Charred Pear over Mesclun Salad
Pan-Charred Bosc Pear seasoned with Sugar, Salt, Pepper
Red Rock Cave-Aged
Sesame-Crusted Baguette Croutons
Vinaigrette Reduction of Rendered Bacon Fat, Cider Vinegar, Pop Sauce™
As I've been suffering the longterm after-effects of injuring my back, I've been laid up at home with doctors recommending that I don't leave the apartment or otherwise engage in any even remotely strenuous activity. That only gives my brain more time to churn and think of more exciting things to involve myself in if I ever get the opportunity to pursue them.
Every day this particular week I have a medical appointment that will require me to leave my apartment. Today it was a dentist visit that had me commuting by foot 10 blocks from my apartment and back. And on the way back I allowed myself to stop into the local supermarket to procure a Bosc pear, some mesclun, some slab bacon, and a baguette. Between there and my apartment I stopped into local butcher shop Schaller & Weber to pick up a thick slice of cave-aged cheddar-blue cheese, which I discovered there yesterday as I was shopping for sliced fresh Black Forest ham.
Just seeing that cheese got my already restless wheels turning, and over the next hour I quickly came up with a salad idea of charred pear over greens with crispy bacon, croutons, this unusual yet intriguing cheese, and a vinaigrette of grain mustard and our own Pop Sauce.
Pre-seasoning the length-quartered Bosc pear with sugar, salt, and pepper and placing in a dry pan over high heat gave the pear surface a great earthy, sweet, smoky char, as well as a caramelization whose texture was a pleasant compliment to the pear's now cooked-through fleshy fruit. The pear quarters were then placed over chilled mesclun leaves.
Slab bacon cut into long matchstick strips crisped in a another pan, the rendered bacon fat used along with cider vinegar, grain mustard, and Pop Sauce then reduced into a "chunky" vinaigrette.
A sesame baguette was cut into large crouton squares, brushed with olive olive, flecked with white and black sesame seeds, and toasted. The slab of cheddar-blue was hand-crumbled over the salad, along with the lardons and croutons, with the vinaigrette spooned directly to the side, allowing the eater use as little or as much of it as they preferred.
Not only was making this a pleasant break from fretting over the general state of my health and my age, it was a welcomed break from the stress-eating of pizza, tacos, and Girl Scout cookies I have subsisting on.
And it gave be a chance to also show that Cheeseboro Kitchens' "marquee" product, Pop Sauce, can be used in a ever growing variety of ways, from a humble dish topping, to more haute culinary iterations.