Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad for Mom's Day

Have you ever heard of a Mechanic's Lien? Well, neither had I until yesterday when we served with papers. (They should come up with another verb for delivering legal papers because being served has none of the positive connotations that I associate with being served lovely things, like being served a hot fudge sundae perhaps) Nothing makes a pit in the stomach faster than finding out that you are being sued. A Mechanic's Lien, in case you are wondering, is a subcontractor's dispute involving work done on your property for which he has not been paid. The homeowner has paid the contractor (we paid a year ago, before the work had even begun), the work has been completed, but somewhere down the line, someone, in this case, the poor guy who supplied the materials for the concrete in our backyard, never got his due. So now we are being served and you know all of the lovely, pleasant things that come along with that, like countless hours on the telephone, trips to the notary and certified letters, and the gathering of aged documents. It's such fun, it makes me wish I pursued a career in the law. (Actually, I almost did. It might have come in handy now.) But life goes on, even if you have a Mechanic's Lien giving you an ulcer or not, and time marches forward even if you turn off the lights and lock the door, which by the way doesn't work and besides it could be the UPS man and I'm always happy to see what he brought. As far as I know, no one has even been served papers via UPS. And this weekend, smooshed right up too close to Cinco De Mayo, is Mother's Day. All I ever want for Mother's Day is a few hours to read. (I've got the Friday Night Knitting Club waiting for me.) And world peace, of course, but maybe that is asking too much. Oh, and if I'm allowed three requests, I'd also like to settle this little lawsuit in my favor.
Here's what I'm having for dinner on this day in which we spoil the women in our lives: Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. This version is easy enough for the men and little ones in your lives to pull off, plus it'll keep them busy while you hole up and read. Best of all, it's insanely delicious, sooo much better than the limp and flavorless salads that you so often end up with at a restaurant. And once in a while, it's fun to get out of the kitchen and let others serve you. As long as it isn't papers that they are serving. Happy Mother's Day!
Money Saving Tips:
Please don't use your bottled Caesar dressing! Homemade dressing is fast, easy, cheap and soooo much better than store bought. Skip the bagged greens and buy fresh romaine. Wash it well and put it in a pillow case. Send the kids outside to swing the pillow case through the air (in the style of a salad spinner) and you'll have nice crisp greens. Get your chicken on sale and youre bread for croutons on the day old rack.
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Estimated Cost: $8.00 for four servings
Notes: I've included options for fresh garlic or garlic powder to make it easier.
For the Chicken:
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 teaspoon each garlic powder (or two cloves minced), salt, and pepper
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
For Croutons:
1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
For Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne, if desired
For Salad:
Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
red onion, thinly sliced
Place chicken in ziptop baggie. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon juice and olive oil into bag, turn chicken to coat and marinate for 1-12 hours. Grill or broil chicken, about 6 minutes per side.
For croutons:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ON a foil lined cookie sheet, toss bread with garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake bread until toasted, turning once, about 15 minutes.
For Dressing: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a blender and process until smooth.
To serve:
Place romaine and red onion on plates. Top with croutons and chicken breast. Drizzle with dressing and black pepper. Get a nice cloth napkin and go serve Mom. Give her a hug while you're at it.
Up Next:
Still haven't forgotten those jelly donuts.....


Leslie said...

I think child salad spinner might infringe on child labor laws!!!LOL

Catherine said...

I love your new and improved salad spinner. I think Annabelle and Paul would love to sping a pillowcase full of lettuce all over the backyard.

The salad looks delicious. I can't wait to try it. I'll definitely be served this on Mother's Day.

And good luck with the law suit! Oh yes and Happy Mother's Day!

MK and Co. said...

This recipe looks so delicious! I love a good salad. But then again I love a good many things when it comes to food. I am so looking foward to Mother's Day. I love being served delicious food.
I am so sorry you got served with something so unpleasant. Law suit...blah that really is a term that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Good luck Prudy with that one! And thanks for such a great recipe! And Happy Mothers Day!

Debbie said...

Oh that sounds and looks delicious. This kind of salad looks perfect for Mother's Day...

Cristine said...

That salad looks fantastic!

Hope everything works out in your favor with the lawsuit!

Sara said...

This salad looks amazing...and everything made from scratch! I will definitely be giving this a try. My husband loves chicken caeser salad. Thanks! Love the pillow case idea.

Coleens Recipes said...

How delicious looking! I love that it is husband and kid friendly for Mothers Day. I would be thrilled if my family made this for me. What a cute salad spinner!

Madam Chow said...

Hhm. First, sorry about the legal issues. Second, I do not have a small child to swing my bag of romaine. Do you rent yours out? ;) Just kidding, just kidding! Another great post, Prudence!

Michal said...

yummy! my kids would love being salad spinners, too! and i'm so relieved to see that your dressing doesn't have fish in it. i might just have to try it. remember our chicken caesar salad kick at tony romas? we must have gone there 3 times a week for a month, spending money we had no business spending as college students. and i'll frankly admit, i had no idea the calorie content at the time. we were dangerous together. sigh.

vanillasugarblog said...

I can't tell you how many of this chicken caesar wraps I eat in a week. I just love them to pieces, but I am guilty of using bottled dressing.
I'm so sorry to hear about the lawsuit. Oh bother...

Wendyfmckinley said...

Oh E- the same thing happened to my mother in law, they got their lawyer to do a cease and desist. Their contractor never paid any of the vendors its was a mess. W

Marjie said...

Great looking meal! Now, if only anyone else in my house were kitchen literate beyond Cheerios...

EmmCee said...

Hi, as always a great blog and on our blog we have awarded you the Premios Dardo award - please come and get your award and keep up the great work!

Mary Ann said...

Sorry to hear about the legal stuff. That sounds icky.
The salad looks great though. I wish someone would make it for me!

Jamie said...

Yum yum yum...your salad spinner is great...I need one of them! ;)

Adrienne said...

Prudy, please post another top ten list of greatest hits from your blog. I know you did a couple last year. Here's my top ten!

Prudy’s recipes I’ve made (in order of deliciousness)

1. Orange Chicken—This is a new family classic I make at least once a month, sometimes with grilled chicken pieces to cut the calories.
2. Asian vegetables from 2009 Chinese New Year
3. Chocolate Buttermilk Cookies with frosting—And I’ve taken them to lots of neighbors.
4. Peanut Butter Easter Eggs—on a random Tuesday afternoon
5. Overnight French Toast
6. Creamy Tomato Soup—make sure the carrots are totally cooked
7. Caramel Apples—worked great first time, disaster second time
8. Toasted Walnut Pasta
9. Butternut Lasagna—I loved it, the family was not so sure
10. Cinnamon Rolls—operator error to be sure, mine ended up as cinnamon puddles
11. Donuts—tried hard, but I think there’s an unspannable talent chasm here
12. Pretzels

Anonymous said...

Yum! Happy Mother's Day. I hope you found some peace and quite... to read something other than legal documents. Praying for you!


Stacey said...

Oh that looks so good! Perfect for summer too!

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