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Category Archives: Salad

I Love The Fishes Cuz They’re So Delicious…

Ok, holidays are over finally, I went to town on some paleo desserts.  I feel like I should share what I made for those people who pressured me to “indulge a little” in some straight up garbage food that wasnt worth the tummy ache.  My December of sin included:

Ok, so maybe I did not eat all of that by myself, since a very large portion of my paleoish goodies were given away as gifts, but they really helped me make it through the holidays without snapping when subjected to the dumbest comments on the planet.  Are you ready for another list? Here is some of the stupid sh*t I get to listen to at parties:

  • I don’t eat red meat because it is harder to digest than poultry
  • I burned off 750 calories on the elliptical today so I can eat what I want
  • Here is some cookies/cake/bread/whatever….I know you are paleo but it is the holidays so you should have some

star-trek-facepalm

I actually was able to keep my mouth shut in light of all these comments, I did not start berating a single person for their stupidity, it is a freaking Christmas miracle!  Anyway, I figured it would be a good day for a nice light recipe for a change of pace.

Ingredients:

  • 2 filets of mackerel with the skin on
  • an orange
  • salad stuff: I used lettuce, onion, hungarian pepper, and a hard-boiled egg

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Soak your wood chips before you start, as always, I used alder wood this time. Then, salt and pepper your fish and set aside while you fire up the grill.  We used out 22.5 inch Webbie here, since there is no need to fire up the smoker for something this small.

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Bust out one of your finest disposable foil pans and use it to create a water pan on the opposite side of the grill from your coals.  I only used about 1/2-2/3 of a chimney of coals here, because when you are smoking fish you want to keep the temperature extremely low under the cooking surface so you are actually smoking and not just grilling.  Got it?  Ok, throw the fish on and let it smoke for approximately an hour while you go inside and prep the rest of your food.

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Cut your orange in half and slice off the peel all the way around, then slice into segments.  The fruit in this recipe really helps to cut through the intense fishy-ness of the mackerel.  Prep the rest of your salad to your liking and set aside while the fish finishes up.

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With a little experience you can tell when your fish is done by just eyeballing it.  If it looks like this then you are doing pretty well.  It will be easy to flake apart with a fork and turn golden brown.  If you are seeing lots of little white fat droplets on the top of your fish the heat is way too high and you are cooking not smoking….cooking bad smoking good.

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Break apart your fish, pile it on top of the salad, and serve with a drizzle with olive oil (I used lemon infused).  This recipe is big enough for two but I tend to always eat the whole thing myself because I need a big hit of omega 3s to combat the stress-related effects of a life spent silently suffering through stupid conversations.

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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Salad, Seafood, Uncategorized

 

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Hail Caesar! King Of The Salad!

Interesting fact about Caesar, it is not actually pronounced see-zar in its native latin.  C for the Romans was pronounced like K and the AE is actually more of an I sound.  This makes the pronunciation sound like the German word kaiser, also meaning emperor.  Isn’t linguistics neat?  Next time you go into a restaurant insist on a Kaiser salad instead!  Or don’t, you really should not give the person who handles your food a hard time, lest you end up with a few pubic hairs mixed in.

Check it out I forgot to take the sticker off my bell pepper

Ok for this simple, yet impressive dish you will need:

  • 2-3 romaine lettuce heads
  • 2 TB dijon mustard
  • 1 t
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • capers
  • 4 egg yolks
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar or reduction
  • salad fixin’s: I used bell pepper, onion, avocado, basil and hungarian sweet pepper

I started by poking a bunch of holes in my chicken with a fork and marinating them in the dijon, some salt and pepper, garlic powder, and the juice of one lemon. Pop that in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.  Next I soaked a few chunks of alder wood for smoke, then started up the dual zone fire.

By now cooking the chicken should be no difficult feat; sear over direct heat and finish on indirect heat.  While the chicken is finishing(to an internal temp >160F) build your salad.  Rub the heads of romaine with oil and sear them on the grill for a couple of minutes on each side.  Also, lob your lemon in half and put that on the grill, cut side down, until you get a nice char.

Next build your dressing, which is a caesar-style aoli.  Aoli’s take patience grasshopper, add the oil in slowly you must.  I guess that sounded like Yoda crossed with Mr. Myagi, but you get the idea.  Press your garlic and combine it with the juice form one lemon until you get a paste, add in your egg yolks and whisk well until everything is incorporated.  If you do not have an electric beater and are armed with nothing but a lowly wire whisk, I suggest getting a partner and tag-teaming that sh*t like New Age Outlaws in the ring, because your arm is going to get tired.  I added in a very small amount of oil at a time and continued mixing for several minute until everything is incorporated.  I used between 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, or until you get your desired consistency.  I wanted mine to be really thick so it would coat the lettuce.  At the end I also added between 1-2 T of capers and salt and pepper and mixed well.

A total tanget about the capers, traditional caesar dressing calls for an anchovy or anchovy paste, neither of which I could find at the stores I went to.  If you have these things, then by all means use them, I subbed capers for the briny-salty taste.

Back on track now, toss your chopped up grilled lettuce with the dressing, make a little halo with your salad toppings, leaving a big hole in the middle for a mini meat mountain.  Once you add your chopped chicken, drizzle with the balsamic and top with chopped basil.  A neat little basil chopping trick is to roll a bunch of leaves up like a little cigar and slice, that way you get pretty little ribbons of awesome.

Don’t think I forgot about the grilled lemon, I also squeezed that over top just before I started shoveling huge forkfuls of food into my mouth.

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Chicken, Salad, Sauces

 

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End Of Summer Grilled Watermelon Salad

Yesterday was the first cold fall sort of day we had here, to celebrate I figured I would grill up what will probably be the last of the delicious summer melons.  This is more than just grilled watermelon on a salad…I actually grilled the salad too!  Neat, huh? If you have never had grilled watermelon, you absolutely must try it, it doesn’t taste at all like you would expect.  It is effing incredible! If you don’t want to use it in a salad make a salsa with some or just eat it as dessert., but you absolutely must try it!  Today is also an exciting day for me, its CSA day which means I get a big bag of goodies!  Keep checking back to see how I make use of my fall veggies!

Quick go start up your coals before you start to make all of this fabulousness.

 You will need:

  • 1-2 whole heads romaine lettuce
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • a lemon
  • some watermelon- I used a very small one so I cut it into rounds
  • salt and pepper
  • onion
  • whatever salad toppings you want- I used hungarian sweet pepper and dubliner cheese (yes I eat cheese)

Ok…first of all, I have to clarify what you should an should not use on top of your salad.  Who knows, you might make an epic mistake and pick something like a tomato.  You really cannot use anything that is to wet or slimy here because it will be just too much of one texture.  Pick stuff without a lot of juice like carrots, pepper, or even toasted pine nuts would be great here.

Our little princess is in the background!

I know I called her a princess but what I really meant to say is demon.  Anyway, slice your melon into large enough pieces to cook on the grill.  I left my rind on because it makes them easier to flip.  Brush them b*itches with oil and set aside.  Brush down your whole lettuce head the same way, lob your lemon in half and brush the cut side, then take all that crap outside.

Don’t forget to lock up the cat, she will try to make a jail break if the door is open

I grilled my melon on medium-ish heat for about 20-25 minutes flipping occasionally.  When you see nice grill marks you are all done.  Throw your lettuce and your lemon on there, put the lemon cut side down to bring out the juices.  Keep a close eye on your lettuce it will burn very quickly, so turn it often.

about to throw on the lettuce

This is the really cool part.  Once you pull your melon off, you salt and pepper it on both sides.  Yuck, right?  Actually not at all, it makes it taste super meaty.  It is like eating a watermelon lollipop flavored meat.  Ok, that really did not help my case any, just eat it!

When everything is grilled into a state of deliciousness you can start assembling your salad.  Chop the end off your romaine head and cut in half (or whatever), cut your watermelon into chunks and start putting it on a plate.  This salad has plenty of juice and oil already cooked into it, so I like to use a bit of lemon juice for dressing.  If you were paying attention you should have a nice grilled lemon, all caramelized up already.  The juice will pour out of this thing like tears after one of those stupid Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials. (D*mn you, you night ruining b*itch).

drizzle drizzle drizzle

I finished this salad with a balsamic reduction.  The bestest-most awesome part about a balsamic reduction is that everyone thinks they are super fancy.  You basically boil the hell out of something until it is thick and reduced, doesn’t sound so fancy now, huh?  Put 3 times more vinegar than you need/want to use in your pan, boil it a ton, when it is reduced to a third of  its original volume you are done. Ooohh so complicated!  If you want to keep reducing you will end up with a thick syrup that is great for desserts.

If you wanted to make a meal out of this I recommend adding some sort of mild white meat; like chicken, cod, mahi mahi, or scallops.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2012 in Salad