Wednesday, September 4, 2013

End of Summer Salad


With the end of summer quickly upon us, it is time to start the diet that peels away the layers of beers on the porch, burgers off the grill and lazy summer days sipping cocktails by the pool.  It was with this realization that I found myself scouring my recipe arsenal for something that my aunt and I could cook that would be something filling, healthy, and easy to put together.

We decided this was just the recipe for us though we thought we would add some grilled chicken to give it a little extra protein.  As we are walking through the grocery, throwing everything in our cart, it was decided that we didn't need charcoal for the grill because there was already plenty at the house.  

When we get back to the house we immediately popped open a beer (what? it is a process we have perfected that allows us to solve all of the problems of the world...) and started marinading the chicken in the thai peanut dressing.

Here is where the story really gets interesting!  After the chicken is resting silently in the fridge we head out to the porch to light the grill.  Hmmmm, the match light won't light....that's odd.   Maybe it just got a little wet.  Let's grab another beer and just give it some time to smolder. 

Interesting...it seems to be smoldering but no matter how much paper we put in there it just doesn't seem to light the charcoal.  Since we have no lighter fluid we must get resourceful....wait, my beer is empty, can you grab me another?

What's in the pantry?  Let's give canola oil a shot...it is oil after all....fire + oil = grease fire...Perfect!  Just what we are looking for....epic fail.  Evidently canola oil doesn't burn the way we had hoped....pull out the cooking spray....not the greatest idea but thankfully there wasn't much left in there anyway so flash forward two hours from the beginning of the grill lighting extravaganza and you find us sipping another beer trying to figure out what to do next.

Well forget it, we are going to head to the store and get some more charcoal and be done with it.  Oh and cooking it on a grill pan was just not an option...don't ask.....it just wasn't an option.

Well first we try Walgreens but traffic won't allow us to get over, then we think CVS will surely have it....another epic fail so we head down the road to the gas station.  They have every type of candy bar and soda you can imagine, but NO CHARCOAL!

Finally we find ourselves back at the grocery store where we had been a few hours before getting ourselves some fresh charcoal.  As we pull back in the driveway and walk up the stairs to the back porch we see that the damned fire has heated more and is close to being ready but just barely not enough.

We add some fresh charcoal and between the smoldering embers, the oil and all the paper we had shoved in there we immediately had a roaring flame.  Perfect, now we will only need to wait another hour for the flames to die down....As was said perfectly by my aunt "I have never worked so hard for a damn salad in all my life!"

In the end, it was 9:00 p.m. and we were laughing hysterically having the best time together having caught up on everything eating a delicious, albeit timely, salad.

I guess God really does work in mysterious way since we haven't had that much time together uninterrupted in years!  Thank goodness for rain soaked charcoal!

End of Summer Salad
as adapted from Espresso and Cream

2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
3 heads sweet corn, grilled or boiled, salted and removed from cob
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
3 chicken breasts, marinaded and grilled
Mild Thai Peanut salad dressing

Marinade the chicken breasts in half of the thai peanut dressing.

We used the Sesame Peanut Dressing for the marinade and the Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette on the salad because that is what we had but either would work for the whole thing!
Wrap the corn in aluminum foil after brushing with butter, salt and pepper.  
Grill the corn and chicken over indirect, medium heat.
Remove the corn from the grill and with a sharp knife slice the kernels off the cob.  Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest while you put the rest of the ingredients together.

Divide the lettuce among three bowls.
Top with the avocado, tomatoes and sweet corn.

Sprinkle with the fresh basil. Lightly dress with the thai peanut salad dressing.
Serve immediately.
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1 comment:

  1. You forgot the part about how I found a fresh bag of charcoal in the pantry after you left!! I guess I was more fixed on our conversation than I was on the charcoal!! It was a fun night, needless to say!! Lot's of laughs!

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