Thursday, November 14, 2013

the ultimate grilled caesar salad

So I may never buy Caesar dressing again. Ever. This was so amazingly good that I was kind of sad that I didn't make more. And I made a bunch. It's tangy and salty and zippy and bitey... and amazing! And by putting it on top of one of my favorite salads ever- gah! It was almost too much.
This is what you need to make the dressing... and don't be too leery about the anchovies! They are essential and you can't even tell that they are in there.
The Greek yogurt is awesome in this- it gives the dressing great viscosity and a tartness that sour cream can't replicated... but if you don't have Greek yogurt, you can always sub sour cream. After this has been pulsed smooth, start to drizzle in olive oil until it's the perfect consistency you are looking for.
Oh, yes. Perfect. This will change your life.
It makes a lot of dressing, but you'll be glad of that! Into the fridge it goes to chill down.
I like my Caesar salads to have corn in them. I actually like corn with almost all my meals and I will be very sad when corn season is over. Which, it almost is. Since this is the Ultimate Grilled Caesar Salad, the corn will be grilled to, so I just boil it for about 3 minutes to soften a bit.
The dressing has so much flavor that the chicken doesn't need anything but salt and pepper.
Same with the lettuce. Yes! The lettuce! I told you this was the ULTIMATE Grilled Caesar Salad, which means we are grilling the lettuce too. I got hooked on this when Ed and I lived in Pennsylvania. We just to go to Gettysburg all the time, and we often went to Appalachian Brewing Company that has an amazing Grilled Romaine Salad.
No need for oil, salt or pepper for the corn. Just right onto the grill. Let this cook with the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning to blacken on all sides.
Fun fact- grilled corn smells like popcorn. Kind of. I always make sure my corn and chicken is cooked, then I take it off the grill and add the lettuce.
The lettuce will literally take no time at all. About 30 seconds per side will be enough to warm it up and char some of the leaves.
Perfect! Not too blackened but it gives the lettuce more texture and some extra charred flavor. This is the ULTIMATE Grilled Caesar Salad, after all. All that's left is assembly and eating! My favorite part, personally.
The Ultimate Grilled Casear Salad
Dressing adapted from Food Network.
1 head Romaine lettuce
3 ears of corn, peeled and husked
1/2 lb bonless, skinless chicken tenders
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 anchovies, packed in oil
1/2 lemon, juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

In a food processor or blender, combine together garlic, Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, anchovies, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth, and while still pulsing, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Pour into a resealable container, like a Mason jar and place in fridge to cool. Dressing can be store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. To prepare the salad, first bring a large stock pot of water to a rolling boil. Boil corn in water for 3 minutes, then drain. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place both chicken and corn on grill. Cook chicken until no longer pink, about 4 minutes on either side. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into strips. Grill corn until all sides are blackened and charred. Remove from grill and let rest for 2 minutes. Cut kernels from cob. Meanwhile, slice romaine head down the middle, lenthwise, and season inside with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place heads of lettuce directly onto grill surface and cook on either side for 30 seconds, or until some of the leaves are blackened. To assemble, lay whole romaine head intact on serving platter, topped with corn, chicken, additional Parmesan cheese and drizzle with chilled Caesar dressing. Enjoy!