Friday, August 04, 2006

Cobb Salad - My First Post

The day has arrived. I finally broke down and started a blog. And what better topic for a blog than food, right?

Back when I was still doing Sunday dinners for the family, I made the Ultimate Cobb Salad. It was a pretty warm day and I didn't want to use the oven or the stove and I also didn't want to be slaving away in the kitchen while everyone was sipping cool refreshing drinks in the living room. And thus the Ultimate Cobb Salad was born.

Ain't she a beaut? From left to right: diced cheddar cheese, crumbled blue cheese, pitted black olives, hardboiled eggs, grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, avocado and diced tomatoes.

When I got home from the grocery store I washed and dried the Romaine lettuce. On Sunday morning I made a marinade of lemon juice, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and a smidge of olive oil. I let the chicken marinate for a few hours (2 or 3 tops since the lemon juice would start breaking down the meat if I let it sit too long). While the chicken was marinating I diced the tomatoes, added salt and pepper and let it sit at room temperature. Then I cooked the bacon in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, cooled it and cut it into a rough dice. While the bacon was cooking, I put four eggs in a small pot of cold water, brought it to a boil, turned off the heat and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. Then I drained the eggs, ran them under cold water and peeled them and cut them into a large dice. I also cubed the cheddar cheese and crumbled the blue cheese.

In the middle of the afternoon I got out my handy-dandy electric grill (apartment living definitely has its drawbacks - no outdoor grilling. And since my grill pan suffered a miserable fate a few months earlier, the electric grill is all I've got) and cooked the chicken a few minutes on each side until it was nicely browned. After I let it cool I chopped it into a large dice and let it come to room temperature.

Before everyone arrived at 4:30 I got out my very large brown oval serving dish. I lay down a bed of Romaine and started assembling the arranged salad. Color was everything so I arranged the brightest colors at the ends (the cheddar and the tomatoes) and worked my way in. The avocados had to be diced at the last possible second so they wouldn't turn brown. Once they were diced, I spritzed them with some lemon juice and seasoned them with salt and pepper.

I served the salad with (gasp!) bottled Caesar dressing. My husband (from here on out will be referred to as SP) actually had (double gasp!) bottled Russian dressing because that's what he preferred. I could have made my own Caesar since it's certainly easy enough, but I just wasn't up for it. Ken's makes an excellent bottled Caesar that worked just fine.
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