Wilted Spinach Salad with Blue Cheese & Hot Bacon and Onion Vinaigrette and Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese and Bacon

This past Saturday night our family went to one of our favorite restaurants, Porterhouse. This restaurant is known for its yummy steaks. However, my favorite food at Porterhouse is their spinach salad with hot bacon vinaigrette. Such a simple salad that packs a lot of flavor. They also have an incredible Chocolate Martini... These two items always keep me coming back.

The grilled romaine salad is very similar to the spinach salad, except you use romaine and it's grilled on the BBQ. A great summer salad, that once again is very easy to make and wakes up your taste buds every time. Both salads are wonderful and great with any entrée. If you want to try something really special try one of these salads for a grill-out or a special occasion...you won't be disappointed. 

This post contains the following recipes...

Wilted Spinach with Hot Bacon Dressing
Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese-Bacon Vinaigrette
Chocolate Martinis

Let's Make Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Blue Cheese & Red Onion
You will need the following ingredients: Baby spinach, a red onion. (I use both red and white), bacon, blue cheese crumbles, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
Start by frying your bacon and onions in about one tablespoon of olive oil. Once they become  transparent and the bacon is crisp remove the bacon and onion to a bowl. (I strain the grease into a bowl and then pour it back into the frying pan to make the vinaigrette.

Add the white balsamic vinegar to the drippings and cook for about 3-4 minutes to make a reduction. Turn off burner and set aside. White balsamic vinegar gives a better presentation. You can purchase white balsamic vinegar at any grocery store.

Now it's time to build your salad...
First arrange your spinach leaves on salad plates. Top with the fried onions and bacon bits. Next sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles and then place a few red onion rings as garnish on the top. Pour one to two tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar reduction over the salad and sprinkle with a little fresh ground pepper. Viola', you have a masterpiece! Such a simple salad, but oh so good. Oh, don't forget about that Chocolate Martini. The combination of both is truly heavenly! The Chocolate Martini recipe follows the Grilled Romaine recipe.

Wilted Spinach With Hot Bacon Dressing Recipe:
Serves 4
·         1 pkg. fresh spinach
·         ¾ C. finely diced red onion (leave a few slices for salad topping
·         1 T. olive oil
·         ½ C. white balsamic vinegar
·         ½ C. crumbled blue cheese crumbles
·         Freshly cracked pepper
1.       Arrange spinach on salad plates
2.       Heat 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and diced bacon and cook until bacon is crispy
3.       Remove bacon and onion by pouring through a strainer, leaving the left over bacon fat and olive oil in a separate bowl.
4.       Return 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil and bacon fat back into the frying pan and add the white balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 3 minutes to reduce and thicken the dressing. Remove from heat and set aside.
5.       Sprinkle the onion and bacon on top of the spinach leaves and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles
6.       Top the salad with a few red onion rings
7.       Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot bacon reduction over the salad
8.       Season to taste with freshly cracked black pepper

Grilled Romaine with Blue Cheese and Bacon Vinaigrette
Grilled Romaine with bacon and blue cheese crumbles is so good. Like the spinach salad, it packs an explosion of flavor. So fun to make in the summertime. Add those Chocolate Martinis, a great steak and grilled or baked potatoes and you have a feast.

  • 4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 romaine lettuce heads, cores removed and leafy ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  •  Freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat a grill to high
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook until bacon is crispy. Remove onion and bacon from pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the skillet and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Brush the romaine with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on the grill cut-side down and quickly sear until grill marks are visible. Set aside
  4. For each serving, place a half head of romain cut-side up on a plate and drizzle with the balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with blue cheese and top with bacon and onion. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
Chocolate Martini
...And last of all...a Chocolate Martini. I love this Chocolate Martini because it's crystal clear. I'm not a fan of milky drinks. This one is clear, crisp and with the hint of chocolate makes it my go to martini!

  • 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. white creme de cacao
  • 1  oz.  Frangelico
  1. Combine vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, and Frangelico and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with a chocolate swizzle stick or a Hershey Kiss skewered on a cocktail pick.
Thanks to "At Coblu Flame Kitchen" for a great beverage recipe.

One Final Thought...
Well, that's it for this week's post. Again, I can't emphasize how yummy these two salads are. A quick salad to make anytime. I do hope you will try one of these or both. Full of flavor and good for you!
Cake Flour Substitutes
I don't know about you, but when a cake or other baking item requires cake flour, I always pass on the recipe. Buying cake flour for one item seems to be a little costly for one recipe. So here's a tip. You can use regular flour to make a particular recipe that requires cake flour. For every cup of cake flour that is required in a recipe you can substitute with the following. Measure out 1 cup of flour and remove 2 tablespoons of the flour. Replace those 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. If you require more flour do the same thing. Make sure you sift the flour and cornstarch so it is well incorporated. I love this tip. I've now used it several times and it works great.

Always remember..."Life's short...eat dessert first!"...words to live by!