I love to order salad in a restaurant. For some reason salad tastes even better when someone else makes it for you. I know that salad is supposed to be fancy these days, with dark greens and things like roasted butternut squash and pistachios running through it. And I do love salad like that too. But I really love an all-American classic green salad. If I am being perfectly honest it is my favorite bacon, cheese, and crouton delivery system. I love how crunchy and crisp it is. I like to make all of my own dressings and croutons. I like to make my own ranch; it is mayo-free so it is not entirely traditional, but I love it and make it all the time. Making croutons is also a great way to use some bread that needs a second life. I could eat this salad every single day of my life and be perfectly happy.
Kansas holds a special place in my heart. We lived there for a year and it is a beautiful place. Contrary to what I believed previously, it is lush and green with gorgeous farms everywhere. We spent a lot of time exploring and meeting the amazing people of Kansas. Bacon is a staple at our house and one of the only foods everyone here agrees upon. The Kansas Pork Association asked me to create a recipe featuring bacon (uh, no problem) and share their “Your Bacon Starts Here” campaign with a chance to win a year’s supply of bacon. (You can find out the details at the bottom of this post.) You can watch videos showcasing Kansas farmers and their families. These farmers are truly feeding America.
You can watch the Wondra family and their children and see a true family farm in action. This family takes an immense amount of pride in what they do and the quality of the product they create.
4 ciabatta rolls (or any bread that you have around)
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh dill
1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk
Flat leaf parsley
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crispy bacon pieces
To make the croutons, cut the rolls or bread into small pieces. Add to a cast iron pan or sheet pan. Generously drizzle with olive oil and seasoned salt. Toss to combine.
Toast in a 375 degree oven, tossing occasionally. Or do it on the stove over medium-high heat. Set aside.
To make the dressing, combine sour cream, garlic, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and dill.
Add buttermilk, I add enough to get the consistency that I like.
I like to grill the corn in a cast iron pan. I just heat the pan over medium-high heat and add the corn to a dry pan. I let it brown on each side until it is nice and charred. Then I cut it off the cob.
After I cook the corn, I use the same pan that I used for the croutons and corn to cook the bacon. I like to cut my bacon with scissors. It is my favorite way to cut most things.
Add the bacon to the pan with a few tablespoons of water. I know it seems weird, but I saw Alex Guarnaschelli do it on the Cooking Channel one day and tried it and I swear, it makes the bacon crispier somehow.
Cook the bacon until it is golden brown and crispy. Drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
Add the vegetables, cheese, and bacon to a large bowl. Add dressing and croutons.
Enter to win a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF BACON! Head over to the Kansas Pork Association’s facebook page and upload an original photo demonstrating your devotion to all things bacon for a chance to win a year’s supply of Farmland Foods bacon. One grand prize winner will be randomly selected on November 12, 2013 with $500 in coupons for bacon- keeping bacon at your fingertips ALL YEAR LONG.
**Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the Kansas Pork Association. All opinions and views are 100% my own.**