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Recipe: Bacon broccoli salad

Neil Gallagher, the News May Cook of the Month, is down in Memphis competing at the World Championship Barbecue Contest. But he left a couple recipes behind for dishes to go with the oven-cooked Memphis-style pork detailed in today's story.

Here's his sweet and savory broccoli salad.

Bacon Broccoli Salad

14 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, or 1/3 cup real bacon pieces
3 cups fresh broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

Combine bacon, broccoli, raisins, and onion in bowl, stir together. Combine the two bowls by pouring the liquid mixture over the solid, and folding the salad together.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. I like mine to sit overnight.

CSA recipe of the week: Arugula, apple and bacon salad

Arugula apple and bacon salad 
(Photo: Bill Wippert / The Buffalo News)

You could make this salad with baby spinach or even field mix, if you like, but bitter, nutty arugula complements the rich bacon and sweet apple so well.

Here's the Elements column it's from. Here's our video of me making it.

Arugula, Apple and Bacon Salad

1 tablespoon sherry or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced bacon (about 4 slices)

1 tablespoon bacon fat (optional)

3 apples, such as Empires or Galas

4 cups baby arugula or torn larger arugula (1 1/4 pounds)

3 ounces ricotta salata, thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler

Whisk together vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a salad bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined well.

Cook bacon in frying pan over moderate heat, turning frequently, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain (bacon will crisp as it cools).

If desired, stir 1 tablespoon bacon fat into dressing.

Seed and slice apples. Add apples to dressing along with arugula and crispy bacon. Toss to coat and top with shaved cheese. Serve immediately.

(Source: inspired by Gourmet)

Manhattan food critic applauds Bistro Europa, Buffalo food scene

In town as a Nickel City Chef judge (video), acerbic Manhattan food writer and critic Regina Schrambling got to graze through parts of Buffalo and Kenmore, and share her thoughts.

Her championing of the Buffalo restaurant scene continues, with her Bistro Europa meal getting the most attention.

After fried potato pierogis she enjoyed an appetizer of beets five ways, "pickled, mousse, tartare, carpaccio and in pistachio vinaigrette, with a nice top hat of fried Manchego over half the plate."

"I eat beets to be polite at friends’ houses," Schrambling wrote. "These I scarfed, but contemplatively. Aside from the over-the-topness, this would be a first course in a restaurant at the level of Gotham."

As in, Alfred Portale's place.

Her table also saw a wild boar slider with pickled cardoons, porchetta, pappardelle bolognese with pancetta, and a duck egg "shirred over salt cod brandade with bechamel, then teamed with a rosemary popover."

Would she go back? "Absolutely. Eating there was like stepping out of a time machine into Center City Philadelphia in the late Seventies, when all that mattered was the daring with the food."

Also mentioned, some at length: The Delaware, AK Cafe, Caffe Aroma, The Mansion on Delaware, and Sample. Read her take here.

Buy iced coffee, raise cold cash for Roswell Park

Still waiting to be convinced spring has arrived, but if you feel like iced coffee you can support cancer-fighters too.

Buy a small iced coffee today at participating Dunkin Donuts locations around Buffalo for 50 cents, and they'll give the money to Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Small is 16 ounces, so it could slake your thirst for creamy caffeine and your urge to do a good deed in one fell swoop.

CSA recipe of the week: Rhubarb clafoutis

Serious Eats offers a wealth of rhubarb suggestions, but one of the most alluring is the Rhubarb Clafoutis from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Every Day" cookbook.

Rhubarb chunks are cooked with orange juice and cinnamon, then swaddled in a quick cake batter and baked until it's all brown and puffy. It's a simple and satisfying way to use the first fruit Western New York has to offer.

Here's the recipe.

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