• Tommy Centola

Try Entrée Salads for Summer

Summer is upon us. These are the days when people like to eat lighter and cooks try to stay away from the hot kitchen. Entrée salads fit into both categories.

Entrée salads are a staple on many casual restaurants. At Cannon’s, the last restaurant I worked at, we sold 8 different varieties. Our Cajun Popcorn Salad accounted for 20% of all of the entrées sold. One day, I will share that recipe with you. Today I am sharing with you two entrée salads, Godchaux Salad & Warm Spinach Salad, along with a homemade Honey Mustard Dressing. Here are the recipes.

Godchaux’s was a New Orleans department store on Canal street, our version of Dillard’s. In the 1920’s Leon Godchaux would walk to Galatoire’s restaurant in the French Quarter for lunch. During the warm months, Mr. Godchaux would ask for a salad made with all of his favorite things. Over the years, this dish became a popular addition to Galatoire’s menu, where it is still featured today. This is the definition of and Entrée Salad.

Godchaux Salad

1 head Iceberg Lettuce, cleaned and cut into large ribbons

2 large Tomatoes, cored and cleaned

1 pound Lump Crabmeat, picked thru for shells

36 large Shrimp, boiled and peeled

2/3 cup Salad Oil

1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Creole Mustard

3 Eggs, hard boiled and chopped

12 Anchovy Filets

In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, crabmeat and shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar and Creole mustard; whisk together to create the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Divide the salad into 6 chilled plates and bowls. Garnish each with chopped eggs and 2 anchovy filets.

This warm (or wilted) spinach salad is very versatile. You can serve this meatless, by not putting the bacon on top. You can also serve this with a grilled chicken breast for a larger meal. If you like, you can include any kind of nuts, fruits or meats to enhance your dish.

Warm Spinach Salad

9-10 ounces Baby Spinach Leaves, washed

1 cup fresh Parsley Leaves

1 cup Croutons

1 cup Boil Eggs, diced

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Hot Bacon Dressing

Mix spinach and parsley in a large bowl. Pour in dressing and mix well. Divide into 4 salad bowls. Top with croutons, eggs, Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon from the dressing. Serve immediately.

Hot Bacon Dressing

2 ounces Bacon, diced (2-3 pieces)

1 tablespoon Flour

2 tablespoons Sugar

1 large Egg, beaten

1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup Water

Creole Seasoning to taste

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan. In a medium bowl, beat the other ingredients then add to the bacon drippings. Cook over low heat, stirring until thick, about 4-5 minutes. Season well with Creole seasoning. Pour over salad and toss.

Honey Mustard is one of the two most popular salad dressings these days, the other being Ranch. While they are great on salads, they also make great dipping sauces. If you have never made your own salad dressing, you don’t know what you are missing. The flavor of a homemade salad dressing is far superior to a bottled one.

Honey Mustard Dressing

1/2 gallon Mayonnaise

1 1/4 cups Vegetable Oil

1 1/4 cups Honey

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard

1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons Onion Salt

1 1/8 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

Mix all ingredients together except mayo. Add mayo and mix until smooth in texture. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for three to four weeks.

Whether you are trying to eat light or stay out of a hot kitchen, Entrée salads are a great meal. Of course, it does not have to be summer for you to enjoy these.

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