BBQ Tips for Beginners (And my own personal recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad!)

Grilled Lettuce

Photo by Foodista — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

If you thought you had a tough job as grillmaster last Memorial Day weekend, just think of the brave aprons that had to flip burgers and wienies for ten thousand people at the Coca-Cola Quarter-Mile Cookout.

An annual event that feeds the bellies and hearts of loyal Coca-Cola 600 customers, the event necessitates 7,000 pounds of charcoal for 1,320 feet of grill. The official sparkling beverage of Nascar and one of the race’s longest running sponsors, Coca-Cola served burgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and brownies to the masses along with ice cold cans of Pepsi to wash it all down. (Just checking if you’re with me. JJ. They had Coke.)

Food Networks’ Tyler Florence manned 16 feet of the aforementioned grill, where he cooked up his favorite BBQ trio of late: skirt steak with grainy mustard potato salad and salsa verde sauce. From the ho-hum look of the burgers being served by his cohorts, I’m willing to guess that the line was extra long chez Florence.

If you don’t know what a Weber is, Coca-Cola has compiled a list of relatively helpful tips for those of you just starting out with the caustic beast known as the barbecue. Novices and grillmasters alike will appreciate the no-fail recipes that Tyler Florence has put together, with cutesy little cut-outs for type A’s. Once briefed, you can find Florence’s recipes here.

For those of you looking for something riskier than flattened meat to flip and char this summer, I’m going to share a recipe that’s been in my family for at least a full decade. (Sorry, mom!) It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it never fails to impress. Got the grill going? Alrighty. Ten-hut!

Grilled Caesar Salad w/ Homemade Croutons (Serves 4)
You’ll need:

  • Two heads of romaine (the more industrial, the better. I know, I know. I’m a locavore too, but the organic stuff doesn’t hold up to the heat. Michael Pollan will forgive you).
  • Olive oil & balsamic & salt and all the other stuff you usually use for seasoning
  • A nice chunk of blue cheese
  • A big handful of croutons (I like to use whatever bread I have leftover, rub the bread with garlic and rosemary, drench it in olive oil and roast it for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is crouton-like)

You’ll need to:
Cut the romaine in half, the leafy part facing upwards. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil and a less generous amount of balsamic over the romaine, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the romaine face down on the barbecue for about four minutes until they’re edibly charred. Give the other side a minute on the grill, and then remove (with the aid of tongs) to a plate. Sprinkle the romaine, asap, with blue cheese and more olive oil. Top with homemade croutons and attempt not to eat all of the romaine yourself. Let me know what you think!

Bummed you missed out on the Quarter-Mile Cookout in Concord? Find other swell things to do in North Carolina.

- Courtney Maum

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One Response to “BBQ Tips for Beginners (And my own personal recipe for Grilled Caesar Salad!)”

  1. Get Cooking With Barbeque | Cooking Tips Blog
    June 27th, 2009 17:12
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    [...] The Edible Festival » Blog Archive » BBQ Tips for Beginners (And … [...]

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