Cobb Salad with Pancetta Chips
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
- 4 thin slices of pancetta
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
- 1 pound hearts of romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
- 2 Hass avocados, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 2 tomatoes, halved and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 4 grilled or roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thickly sliced
- 3 1/2 ounces dry-aged blue cheese, shaved or crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Lay the pancetta on a baking sheet, cover with parchment paper and place another baking sheet on top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned. Blot dry.
- Meanwhile, add the eggs to a sauce-pan of boiling water; cook for exactly 6 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath for 10 minutes, then peel. Scoop the soft-cooked yolk out of 1 egg and transfer to a blender. Add the vinegar, water and mustard and puree. With the machine on, slowly add the two oils and blend. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- In a bowl, toss the romaine with 1/2 cup of the dressing, season with salt and pepper and mound on 4 plates. Arrange the avocados, tomatoes and chicken on the plates; drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Scatter the bacon and blue cheese on top. Carefully slice off 1 end of each of the remaining eggs to expose the yolks; set the eggs in the center of the salad. Top with the pancetta and serve with the remaining dressing.
Although salad is a tough match for any wine, Sauvignon Blancwith its own complex, garden-like bouquet and flavorsthat is, one not dulled by a lot of alcohol or excess oak, a problem with California offerings. Look for a bottling from France's Loire Valley or New Zealand.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.