Tuesday, June 8, 2010

caesar salad with grilled lemon pepper chicken

recipe by Mary Tigelaar

I have considered converting my recipe box into a digital file, making searching and menu planning a bit easier.  I just can't bring myself to do it.  My recipe box itself is nothing special, just an ugly green 70's style, 3 X 5 plastic container.  But when I open it up and pull out the individual pieces of paper, I can tell 1,000 different stories describing the people and places behind each hand written note.  Nothing matches, the handwriting differs, folds are uneven and papers are splattered with stray ingredients.  I love that ugly green box.

One of my favorite wedding gifts was given to me by my best friend's parents.  They are both amazing cooks and many of my "go to" recipes came from their kitchen.  Alongside a gorgeous wooden salad bowl, they gave us my most favorite caesar salad dressing recipe.  I make it regularly and have passed it on countless times.  It is great to serve with grilled lemon pepper chicken when having guests for lunch in the summer.  Make the dressing and season the chicken the night before.  This homemade dressing is simple to make and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.  

caesar salad dressing
Combine in a blender:
6 T lemon
2 T white wine vinegar
2 t salt
2 t dijon mustard
2 t worcestershire sauce
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 drops Tabasco 
2 inches anchovy paste (optional-I've never actually made it with anchovy paste, but it is an option!)
1 egg (I sometimes use 1/4 cup of egg beaters_

Blend for 30 seconds and then dribble 2 cups of olive oil through the removable cap in the blender until the dressing thickens.

To make salad:  Use 1 head romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup croutons. Add desired amount of dressing and mix!

grilled lemon pepper chicken
6  boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 T olive oil
1 t kosher salt
4 t McCormick salt free lemon pepper seasoning
2 t garlic powder

*I don't usually measure.  I just shake on the seasoning straight from the containers.
1.  Wash and dry chicken.  Coat both sides with olive oil and kosher salt.
2.  Shake seasonings on both sides of chicken.
3.  Grill over medium high heat until chicken is cooked through. (Cooking time per side will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken!)

Serve with crusty french bread!

Prep Ahead:  Mix the salad, make the dressing and season the chicken the night before.  Quickly grill the chicken about 20 minutes before you want dinner/lunch on the table! 

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