The accidental lunch

July 2, 2015

A summery salad, sans lettuce.

A summery salad, sans lettuce.

Sometimes, you start out in the kitchen with no real idea where you’re going, but when you get there, you find out it’s pretty good.

I was peering into the fridge looking for inspiration this morning. I wanted something that didn’t involve turning on the stove. I didn’t want a sandwich, which was a good thing, as I ran out of sandwich bread and I haven’t made any more.

H’mmm. Watermelon. There’s a start. Tomato, sliced, left over from last night. Pull that out. Bacon, a quart bag nearly full, from my major bacon-cooking yesterday. Yep. Any feta cheese down there? No, but here’s some other cheese that ought to work. Contemplated cucumber, decided against it.

Ok. Dice up the watermelon into smaller cubes. Dice up the sliced tomatoes into similarly sized cubes. Chop up two or three strip of bacon. Oh, heck, use the rest of the watermelon, it’s not enough to put back. Yes, that calls for more tomato. Grate cheese over the top.

Dressing. What kind of dressing? How about some white balsamic vinegar, and some balsamic glaze? Ought to work.

This was pretty doggoned good. I might have preferred the honey balsamic viniagrette I have in the fridge and started to pull out, and I’ll try that next time. But the elements went together well, after the initial shock of the taste of bacon next to¬†the taste of watermelon.

You have the sweetness of the melon, the tartness of the tomato, the salty crunch of the bacon, the tang of the Manchego-esque cheese (I forget its name, and I’m too lazy to get up and go look at it). And then the balsamic ties it together, though not as well as a dressing with a bit more body would have.

Speaking of salads, I had one Sunday from Subway, the Spicy Italian chopped salad, that was quite exceptional. I had it with the sweet onion dressing, and that would have been good on this. The other dressing, which is one I’ve tried more than a few times to duplicate and cannot do it, is a regional favorite, Pancho’s, from the iconic not-nearly-Mexican-but-we-didn’t-know-any-better restaurant that’s anchored the east end of Broadway in West Memphis for probably 50 years. Love their dressing. And I just 30 seconds ago, thanks to the interwebs, found a recipe that purports to taste just like it. Here it is. You’re welcome. No extra charge. I believe I may make that this weekend.

(Incidentally, I can also testify to the Pancho’s cheese dip recipe listed in the same article. Have made it many times. It remains the best yellow cheese dip on the planet. Juanita’s in Little Rock has the best white cheese dip.)

Elsewhere/when, I have the roast portion of that pork loin I mentioned last month merrily sous-viding away in my laundry room, where it is convenient to add water, there’s an accessible outlet, and it doesn’t take up room I need elsewhere. I’ll take it off about 4 or so this afternoon, after 24 hours at 125F, and stash it in the fridge until I’m ready to grill it later this weekend. And I have not been told when that will be. And I’m about to have to make a pilgrimage to the grocery to get potatoes, because I have to make potato salad for 20 as my contribution to the soup kitchen Saturday. My “turn” to work happened to come up on the Fourth of July, so we’re grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and serving baked beans and potato salad. Glad we’re going ahead and doing it; people don’t not get hungry just because it’s a holiday.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have a most glorious Fourth, and eat lots, and have fun watching the fireworks. And remember that “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men (and women!) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights….”





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