Grilled Romaine Salad (yes, in the Winter)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 - 
I have been wanting to use this for quite sometime...
My mom had an extra tube and insisted that I take it with me when we left Wisconsin after the holiday.  On Monday, I decided to make the most simple item I could think of out of the paste - Caesar dressing.  
This all really started with the fact that hubby and I had these fantastic kabobs to eat.  Whenever we are in Green Bay, we always stop at Maplewood Meats - this insane meat market.  The quality and variety of the meat products is abundant and we always end up running around like kids in a candy store, drooling over the counters and waiting patiently as we take a number and wait to be called upon to order.  It is quite an experience, and I love everything about it.  We purchased beef sticks (which we ate for dinner on Sunday after we arrived home), stuffed pork chops, beef teryaki kabobs, pizza burgers (mmm...), breakfast sausage, andouille sausage, and so much more.  I knew when we bought the kabobs that I wasn't about to freeze those, so we kept them in the cooler (yes, we travel with a cooler due to our anticipation of the butcher shop) for our Monday night dinner.  They are large portions, and both the veggies (mushrooms, peppers and onions) and meat are always tender. And might I add that it isn't just beef tenderloin, but they throw hunks of ham on their too.  I love you Maplewood Meats...nom nom...

Thus, on Monday, we fired up the grill and I pondered, "what shall we have on the side?"  Then, I thought about the delicious grilled romaine salad I had at Pizzology a few weeks ago.  And rather than an herb salad, why not make some Caesar from the anchovy paste?  I gathered up some garlic, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mayo and some herbs along with the anchovy paste and started pulsing while adding olive oil.  And just like that - Caesar dressing.  Delish.
As hubs grilled the kabobs, I decided our salad needed croutons as well.  I buttered up some bread that we had and sprinkled Italian herbs and a healthy dose of garlic powder on top before popping them in the oven.  I also prepped some mozzarella and Indiana tomatoes for the salad.  

Once the kabobs were just about ready, hubs added the lightly oiled romaine halves to the grill.  When they were done, we had a meal that was perfect for the summer - or in our case, a Wisconsin-ites winter, because outdoor grilling is year round of course.  The kabobs were tender and delicious, bursting with flavor that had me yearning for an al fresco dining session.  And the salad, crisp and warm, was dressed perfectly and had the subtle char taste we were looking forward to.
It was a great meal, not too heavy, especially since I didn't eat all of the kabob.  Leftovers were saved, and as I sit here writing this, I'm enjoying this:
Yup, I sauteed the remaining peppers, onions and tenderloin, added some tomatoes and made an egg scramble.  And don't judge - I like to cut up my toast and make it mini for easier eating. Plus, mini is just adorable.

We also LOVE to shop at Festival Foods when in Green Bay, but that is for a different post (teaser - let's just say that remember I said my husband was jealous of the amazing King Crab I had in Vegas?  Well, after Thursday, he won't be jealous much longer...  
Is there a place that you just HAVE to stock up when visiting?