The Bistro Salad
The Bistro Salad
    Ingredients
    For the Beer-Candied Bacon:
    For the Caramelized Nuts:
    For the Vinaigrette:
    For the Salad:
    Instructions
    For the Beer-Candied Bacon:
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, beer and cayenne, whisking to form syrup. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack or oven rack on top. Arrange bacon on the rack. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush one side of the bacon with the beer syrup. Turn bacon over and brush the other side with syrup. Sprinkle one side of bacon strips with a few grains of course salt. Return to oven and cook for 15 minutes. Repeat process until bacon is browned and syrup is used up. (Don’t burn the bacon.) Cool to allow bacon to harden.  Rough chop and set aside.
    For the Caramelized Nuts:
    1. In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, melt together brown sugar and water until rapidly bubbling. Add pecans/walnuts, stirring thoroughly to coat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and most of the liquid has evaporated and nuts are golden brown. Spread pecans/walnuts into a single layer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and use a fork to separate them. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour, until fully cooled and dry. Break apart any clusters and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
    For the Vinaigrette:
    1. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
    Assemble the Salad:
    1. In a large bowl, combine the spring mix, bacon, apples, cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese. Drizzle dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6-8