Smoked Salmon, Crispy Bacon, and Maytag Blue Cheese Salad

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 8 hr 58 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 8 hr
  • Cook: 38 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 entree-size salads
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Ingredients

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 1/2 cups olive oil

5 slices bacon, diced

1 egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

6 ounces blue cheese (recommended: Maytag Blue)

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and patted dry

2/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 pound House-Smoked Salmon, recipe follows

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, quartered, and lightly seasoned with salt

Home-Smoked Salmon:

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon granulated onion powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound skin-on salmon fillet

Directions

  1. Place the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan, drain on paper towels, and reserve.
  2. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, combine the egg, mustard, vinegar, and garlic. Puree until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick. With the machine running add 4 ounces of the blue cheese and the buttermilk. Season the dressing with salt, pepper, and pepper sauce.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the spinach and red onions with as much dressing, as desired. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Mound the greens in the center of each plate. Crumble the salmon over the greens. Sprinkle each salad with the reserved crispy bacon, and remaining blue cheese. Garnish with the quartered eggs and serve immediately.

Home-Smoked Salmon:

Yield: 1 pound smoked salmon
  1. In a small bowl combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne. Season the salmon on all sides with the spice mixture. Wrap the entire seasoned fillet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
  2. Prepare a stovetop smoker according to the manufacturer's directions.
  3. Unwrap the salmon and place skin side down on the rack in the smoker. Place the smoker over medium heat (or as directed by the manufacturer), cover, and cook until the salmon is firm and flakes easily, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the salmon from the smoker and cool.

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