July 30, 2008

Neelys Grilled Caesar Salad

This salad caught my eye mainly because it's being whipped up by the Neelys. You know the Neelys - the Memphis couple who focuses just as much on their loveydoveyness as their barbecue. I still can't figure out if I like them or if they annoy the heck out of me. They dance around the kitchen all "honey you're the best" and "help me do this, that and the other" without even an ounce of frustration at the fact that they are practically tripping all over each other. We have a small galley way style kitchen, and let me tell you, hubby-to-be knows he's not allowed anywhere near that area when I'm cooking. Maybe that's what it is - I just can't believe that 2 people can operate so lovingly (and in a major over-the-top way) while being all up in each others hair.

Either way, I've been really wanting to make something of theirs for a while, but have found it rather difficult as I don't have an outdoor grill and our whole apartment fills with smoke the moment I heat up the indoor grill pan. However, this salad has a 2 minute cooking time so I thought I might just be able to get it done without setting off all the fire alarms in the building.

It's a different take on your traditional caesar salad. First off, the romaine lettuce is slightly grilled with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. The dressing combines garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and Parmesan cheese in a blender. Totally simple side dish to make - the whole thing took a number of minutes. I liked the idea of grilling the lettuce but it just didn't materialize quite the way I would have hoped. It got a bit soggy and the olive oil on it, even though it was just a bit, seemed to keep some of the dressing from melding well with the lettuce. The dressing was also a little off. It had a unique flavor and was not at all like the traditional caesar dressings I'm used to having. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't great either. I definitely might try grilling romaine another time and just leaving off the oil to see if that makes a difference.

Since this is the first dish I've made of theirs, and it wasn't really much of a meal anyways, I'll work to try something else they have soon. So, if you are ever up on the UES and see a pile of smoke coming from a window, pay it no mind, it's just me trying to bring some Memphis lovin' to our kitchen. :)

Please visit the link below for the recipe:


Bitten Sweets said...

i say to my husband every time we watch the Neely show--'aren't they SO annoying?!' all the 'can you get this honey?' 'sure can, sugar,' irritates the mess out of me. and yes, they are def. tripping all over each other. i do like the food they cook, however. if only they'd tone the lovin' down a bit...

Culinarywannabe said...

I always wonder if they really act like that, or if it's all just a big show. I don't know if their overplaying is attracting any real viewers though!