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Grilled Romaine with Smoky Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine with Smoky Caesar Dressing

Grilled Romaine with Smoky Caesar Dressing – Crispy grilled romaine drizzled with a homemade smoky Caesar dressing totally elevates the traditional Caesar salad. Top with crumbled goat cheese and cornbread croutons and you have an instant winner.

Would you hate me if I told you that I really, really don’t like Caesar salads? At least that was the case until not too long ago. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences where you order a meal at a restaurant that comes with a free salad. That salad always happens to be a Caesar salad with that egregiously thick Caesar dressing, deathly limp iceberg lettuce, and dry AF croutons. Those croutons make me want to cuss every time.

I avoid that salad at all costs but something came over me the other day. While out dining I ordered the Caesar salad as an entrée [GASP]. I must have been beside myself because to me, that is the unthinkable. I am a firm believer in NOT ordering salads at restaurants; I like to reserve my dollars for something that will stick to my stomach. Which is probably why I need to work out every damn day but that is another story we will discuss at a later date.

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I can’t remember if I had worked out on that day or maybe just felt heavy but either way I decided to go against my NO SALAD rule and ordered the salad. To my surprise it was beyond delicious and I left inspired partly because of the dressing, which was Caesar with a hint of smoke in it. So it got me to thinking; this would make an amazing Labor Day salad if it were grilled. And not more than a week later I was plotting out the recipe.

The process of making my version, “Grilled Romaine with Smoky Caesar Dressing” is quite easy which you can see in the video above. I love salads with grilled vegetables because the grill imparts so much flavor. You can buy your own Caesar dressing if you are weirded out by sardines but I think the homemade version really makes a difference and tastes soooo much better. Believe me I wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Hopefully you love grilled romaine as much as I do because I charred the hell out of mine. Just look at it – so good!

I also had fun making my own croutons with leftover cornbread. I cheated a bit by doing them on the stovetop (saved me like 10 minutes). If you have some time you can always bake them in a sheet pan until brown like traditional croutons. – totally your choice

Finally you just layer everything on top of the grilled romaine. Oh man I forgot to mention that I used crumbled goat cheese because I’m addicted to it. So that’s going on top along with the smoky Caesar dressing and cornbread croutons. YUM! Take this salad to your Labor day party or keep it to yourself (I wouldn’t be mad if you added a nice grilled salmon fillet on top to make dinner proper) either way you win!

Do you plan to make this recipe? Be sure to tag @meikoandthedish on Instagram and hashtag it #meikoandthedish.

The this recipe label
Grilled Romaine with Smoky Caesar Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 heads romaine hearts, sliced lengthwise in 1/2
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Cornbread Croutons
  • 1 batch day-old cornbread (homemade or from a box mix)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter (+ more if needed)
  • Caesar Dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I used “Grey Poupon” brand)
  • 4 anchovies, drained
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worchestshire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

    Caesar Dressing Preparation
  1. Combine mayo, Dijon mustard, anchovies, garlic, lemon, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Cornbread Croutons Preparation
  3. Cut leftover or day-old cornbread into cubes, any size
  4. Melt butter on medium heat in large sauté pan, Add in in cornbread cubes and toss lightly to coat.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning. Flip once and continue to cook until you see that both sides are toasted and brown.
  6. Grilled Romaine Preparation
  7. Preheat the grill
  8. Lightly and evenly coat romaine heads with cooking spray. Place the romaine cut-side down on the grill until grill marks appear, approximately 2 minutes. Repeat on opposite side. Remove romaine from the grill and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Salad Assembly
  10. Layer goat cheese, cornbread croutons and smoky Cesar dressing on top of grilled romaine and serve.
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Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

Summer never tasted so good with this refreshing and easy watermelon salsa. Serves great with chips or over grilled seafood and poultry. Serves up in just ten minutes. (full recipe below)

Reclaiming My Blog

Inspired by the great words of Auntie Maxine, I declare today, that I am RECLAIMING MY BLOG. To say that I have had a love hate relationship with consistency on the blog this year is an understatement. 2017 launched with so many competing priorities that it has been difficult to give everything the attention it needs.

maxine waters reclaiming my time meme

As a result MATD unfortunately, has been a bit neglected over the last few months but it has never left my heart. I am always thinking of new ways to offer more value to those of you subscribers but as the ideas flow in I sometimes get overwhelmed with the load of work that accompanies it. I have to also confess that the time away has also driven a bit of anxiety and insecurity about where my blog is compared to where I think it should be. I had some one-on-one convos with other entrepreneur friends who said these feelings were normal and apparently what I had signed up for when I decided to become a solopreneur. I don’t know honey, that must have been in the fine print.

fresh summer watermelon

Regardless, taking some time away has allowed me to focus in on where I want to take the blog which will involve a visual refresh, some narrowing of content as well as some new perks for loyal subscribers. I’ll talk to you more about the details of the changes over the next few weeks but just know that I am still here, not perfect, but still fighting the good fight.

Summer Watermelon

As a matter of fact, the other day I was testing out new recipes and decided I would share one of them with you to get things back rolling. Summer is my favorite season for many reasons but one of those reasons is that its peak season for watermelon. Since I was a kid I haven’t been able to resist a big ole slice of juicy watermelon. Today isn’t any different, only now I try to jazz it up in recipes like this delicious watermelon salsa. It is so refreshing and light that it disappears almost as quickly as you put it down.

Once you get past cutting through the mammoth fruit the rest is easy-peasy. Just chop up a few simple ingredients: cilantro, jalapeno, red onion and toss with honey and lime and you will be introducing your taste buds to your new summer snack.

Don’t wait too long to give this recipe a try, you definitely want to do it now that watermelon are in their prime because peak season ends at the end of August. Go ahead and check out the recipe below and don’t forget to tag @MeikoAndTheDish on social media.

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The this recipe label
Watermelon Salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Watermelon Salsa

Summer never tasted so good with this refreshing and easy watermelon salsa. Serves great with chips or over grilled seafood and poultry.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups watermelon, seeded and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno(s), seeded and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Whisk lime juice, honey salt and pepper in a bowl until mixed.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and drizzle over the lime/honey mixture. Toss and serve or refrigerate in airtight container.
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Jalapeno & Prosecco Vinaigrette

Jalapeno & Prosecco Vinaigrette

Jalapeno & Prosecco Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Jalapeno & Prosecco Vinaigrette

Jalapeno & Prosecco Vinaigrette - The sweetness of the Prosecco balances out the heat from the jalapeno.

Ingredients

  • 1 jalapeno (deseeded)
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • ? cup tablespoon prosecco
  • ¼ cup mint
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blitz until emulsified then refrigerate.
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Homemade Avocado Vinaigrette

Homemade Avocado Vinaigrette

Homemade Avocado Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 cups

Homemade Avocado Vinaigrette

Homemade Avocado Vinaigrette - This vinaigrette is just shows my love for avocados year around.

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped and seed removed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup green tomatillo salsa, mild
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ? cup cilantro
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon Tajin Classico Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients (except olive oil and water) to a blender and blend on low speed.
  2. While blender is running slowly pour in olive oil.
  3. While blender is still running, add in enough water until the vinaigrette reaches your preferred consistency. Start with ¼ cup increments.
  4. Serve or store in airtight container.
  5. Note:
  6. Once all ingredients are added, you may need to pulse or increase speed of blender to make sure all the avocado is broken down.
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Cucumber Mango Salad

Cucumber Mango Salad

Cucumber Mango Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Cucumber Mango Salad

Cucumber Mango Salad - Sometimes you have to use what you have to make a quick bite and this salad here is a solution with leftover cucumber and mangoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Mangos, cubed
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ? cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ? cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ -1 teaspoon of Tajin Classico Seasoning (substitute detail below)
  • optional: add honey to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, toss the red onion in the apple cider vinegar until completely coated. Let the onions rest in the vinegar for at least 10 minutes
  2. In a large bowl, add chopped mango, cucumber and cilantro. Add in onions and vinegar when ready.
  3. Sprinkle Tajin seasoning over the salad and toss until completely mixed in.
  4. Note: if you don’t have Tajin I would substitute with a mix of 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper, and 1 pinch of salt.
  5. Refrigerate and serve when ready.
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Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction

What a week! So if you didn’t read my previous blog post I will catch you up on the week’s festivities.  After being swept away by the Kendrick Lamar Grammy performance I decided to restructure my content and recipe development this week to pay homage to his song “The Blacker The Berry”.  As a result blackberries took the spotlight this week and boy did they shine in these four new recipes.

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction

Brussels sprouts have made a culinary resurgence in the last few years. You can’t go to a restaurant with out seeing brussels sprouts on the menu.  So I jumped on the bandwagon too. I love a good crispy brussels sprout and this recipe shows you how to achieve perfect char and crunch at home. Not to mention, the blackberry reduction is a sweet compliment just takes the dish to another level.

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction

Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Blackberry Reduction - This is a great addition to any many meal doing the fall season when brussels are in season.

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs brussels sprouts, sliced
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of grated orange rind (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees and line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl mix brussels sprouts with 1½ tablespoons of vegetable oil. Toss with you hands to make sure all the brussels sprouts are coated. Generously season the brussels sprouts with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large pan on medium high heat, pour in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, or enough to just barely coat the bottom of the pan. Wait for oil to get hot, then add in brussels sprouts. Brown the brussels sprouts for approximately 10 minutes continuously stirring (every 2 minutes or so) making sure that all the sides get a char. In the last minute add butter and toss so that all the brussels sprouts are coated with the butter.
  4. Pour sprouts on baking sheet. Sprinkle on fresh rosemary and put into the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  5. In a sauce pan, heat the blackberries, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, orange rind, sugar and water on high heat for five minutes, continuously stirring so that the berries start to break down. Reduce heat to soft boil and stir for another 4-5 minutes until mixture reaches a syrupy texture.
  6. Remove brussels from the oven and top or toss with blackberry reduction. Serve warm.
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