Poultry Spinach Salad with Poached Egg and Polenta Croutons
Ingredients:(Yields: Serves 4)
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 cup yellow cornmeal
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese,
• Vegetable oil for deep-frying
• 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½" pieces
• ¼ cup white vinegar
• 4 eggs
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ cup sherry vinegar
• ½ cup olive oil
• 4 cups baby spinach
• ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
• 2 radishes, thinly sliced
• ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Directions:Brush the inside of an 8" x 5" baking dish with melted butter and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the olive oil and salt. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal until it is fully incorporated.
Cook the cornmeal for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the pan.
When the cornmeal is cooked, whisk in the egg yolks, butter, and Parmesan cheese.
Spread the polenta evenly in the buttered baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 3 hours.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or heavy saucepot to 350°F.
Carefully unmold the polenta onto a cutting board, and cut into 1-inch diamonds or squares.
Lower the polenta croutons into the hot oil, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
With a slotted spoon, remove the croutons from the oil and drain on paper towels until ready to serve.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon pieces on medium-high until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels until ready to serve.
Fill a 3-quart saucepan with water 2-3 inches high, and bring to a simmer. Add the white vinegar.
Carefully break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, and then lower into the simmering water. Reduce the heat slightly and let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the whites are done and the yolks are still soft to the touch.
Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towels until ready to serve.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and ½ cup olive oil until the dressing comes together.
In a large bowl, combine the baby spinach, red onion, radishes, and bacon. Add the dressing, and toss until salad is coated.
Plate the salad on four plates, and top each with cherry tomatoes, polenta croutons, and a poached egg.
Secrets of a Chef:
• Never put any salt in the water when you poach eggs. This will cause a reaction that leaves the egg whites with small spots or holes in them.
• When making polenta croutons, try using small cookie cutters for some fun shapes.