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Grilled Sweet Vidalia and Tomato Salad

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Post Sun May 19, 2013 10:07 am
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Last weekend I wanted to cook a special meal for the CFO. She asked for a different salad, if you knew how many we eat you would understand :shock: , and this planked shrimp from APL that I make.

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The tomatoes are sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper then set aside. The vinaigrette is a traditional combination; prepare and set aside. The onions are grilled, about 30 minutes total, turning frequently and basted each flip with the butter/thyme baste-- simply melted butter that is kept warm with fresh thyme sprigs in it. I will try to get pictures of this process today as she has requested this to go with the pork chops I am making tonight.

Here is the list...

Dressing
White balsamic vinegar
grated Vidalia, using fine microplane
fresh thyme
black pepper
kosher salt
Dijon mustard
olive oil

Baste
butter
fresh thyme

Salad
sweet Vidalia onion, sliced thick
tomato slices, preferably ripe heirloom
goat cheese, softened
fresh basil
bacon, thick cut
mixed salad greens

Once everything is prepped the stacking can begin. Tomato, grilled onions, smear of goat cheese, bacon, a little basil, repeat and top last with grilled onions. Then a Tablespoon or so of vinaigrette is drizzled over the top. Toss your favorite greens with the remaining vinaigrette and serve on the side.

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The shrimp is in Serious Barbecue and I modify it some... I view recipes as inspiration, more of a guideline actually. The shrimp is brined...
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Once it is drained it is tossed with canola/olive oil, butter, salt and pepper, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, and placed on the planks.

A quick grill until pearly is all it takes to finish. Another drizzle of olive oil and a few chives for color and it's done.
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OK... maybe this wasn't the simplest thing I have ever put together :D , but it was surely tasty. I hope you draw some inspiration from it and have a go at twisting it up a bit.

CC
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Post Sun May 19, 2013 10:24 am
Dyal_SC well done
well done

Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
That all looks fantastic! I've never thought about planking shrimp before. Gotta try that!
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CG Duo with SFB

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Post Sun May 19, 2013 12:35 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7324
Location: Stoughton, WI
I echo Dyal's thoughts about the shrimp...shellfish in general, in fact. That's a nice variation!

CharredGriller User avatar
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Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Excellent cook, QJuju! I agree about the planked seafood - I figure if it works for salmon it works for shellfish. I've tried planking shrimp and diver scallops a few times, but nothing pic-worthy.

I really like the idea of grating the onion for the dressing with a microplane rasp, too. Mine gets a lot of use for lemon zesting and baking but I've never tried veggies of any sort on it.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

I like planking... maybe not as much as Ted Reader, but enough that I have a stack just in case. When I was making the Vidalia salad tonight I took some progress photos. Nothing you couldn't do without, but I thought I'd share.

Prep...
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Just on...
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About half way...
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sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1153
Location: Warrington, PA
Awesome looking pictures Qjuju. Why do you use the grill pan when you cook the onions, why not just on the normal grate?
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QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

sroach wrote:
Awesome looking pictures Qjuju. Why do you use the grill pan when you cook the onions, why not just on the normal grate?


Less chance of any onion goodness falling through the grate and a little less direct flame with all the butter basting going on. The original plan was to use Steven's trick of running a wooden skewer through the onions first, but it didn't work so well on the first batch I did and I opted for the pan. The half-moon worked so well the first time, I just did it again. This takes about 30 to 35 minutes and they get flipped and basted about every 4 or 5 minutes. In retrospect I think direct would have blown them away in that time frame as well. It is extra work, but the buttery grilled goodness is worth the extra time. :wink:
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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
QJuju wrote:
sroach wrote:
Awesome looking pictures Qjuju. Why do you use the grill pan when you cook the onions, why not just on the normal grate?


Less chance of any onion goodness falling through the grate and a little less direct flame with all the butter basting going on. The original plan was to use Steven's trick of running a wooden skewer through the onions first, but it didn't work so well on the first batch I did and I opted for the pan. The half-moon worked so well the first time, I just did it again. This takes about 30 to 35 minutes and they get flipped and basted about every 4 or 5 minutes. In retrospect I think direct would have blown them away in that time frame as well. It is extra work, but the buttery grilled goodness is worth the extra time. :wink:


I've found that the "onion lollipop" technique Steven uses works great on a gas grill where you can set the burners to different heat settings. It also works well on a charcoal grill where you can set a 2- or 3-zone fire like a Weber kettle or CharGriller.

However, it's a bit tougher to do on a cooker like the Egg because from my experience the entire grill is the same temperature. Of course, the temp settings on a kamado can be adjusted fairly quickly, but the whole grill is either low-and-slow, screaming hot, and so on.

You're right - the onions would have been a b it overdone without the pan, and the butter taste would have been worth it anyway. :)
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
QJuju wrote:
sroach wrote:
Awesome looking pictures Qjuju. Why do you use the grill pan when you cook the onions, why not just on the normal grate?


Less chance of any onion goodness falling through the grate and a little less direct flame with all the butter basting going on. The original plan was to use Steven's trick of running a wooden skewer through the onions first, but it didn't work so well on the first batch I did and I opted for the pan. The half-moon worked so well the first time, I just did it again. This takes about 30 to 35 minutes and they get flipped and basted about every 4 or 5 minutes. In retrospect I think direct would have blown them away in that time frame as well. It is extra work, but the buttery grilled goodness is worth the extra time. :wink:


I've found that the "onion lollipop" technique Steven uses works great on a gas grill where you can set the burners to different heat settings. It also works well on a charcoal grill where you can set a 2- or 3-zone fire like a Weber kettle or CharGriller.

However, it's a bit tougher to do on a cooker like the Egg because from my experience the entire grill is the same temperature. Of course, the temp settings on a kamado can be adjusted fairly quickly, but the whole grill is either low-and-slow, screaming hot, and so on.

You're right - the onions would have been a b it overdone without the pan, and the butter taste would have been worth it anyway. :)


While a valid point; I should have been more specific. The reason the lollipop trick didn't work in this case was the onion split in two when inserting a flat skewer and the round ones ran off out the bottom of the onion. So it was more about the onion and the skewer at hand.
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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
QJuju wrote:
While a valid point; I should have been more specific. The reason the lollipop trick didn't work in this case was the onion split in two when inserting a flat skewer and the round ones ran off out the bottom of the onion. So it was more about the onion and the skewer at hand.


Your onion slices were thick enough, too. I've had that happen when skewering all sorts of veggies, though, but I found an odd solution. I use a fish filleting knife that's been sharpened so many times it's almost a spike.

The blade is thin enough to make a starter hole all the way through something like an onion slice (or a thick asparagus spear), and the starter hole keeps the veggie from splitting. I've seen thin paring knives that work too - usually in the el-cheapo section of the supermarket.

It's actually a trick I borrowed from woodworking and finish carpentry. Drilling a pilot hole in a thin board like a piece of molding stops it from splitting when you drive a screw into the hole (usually). I adapted this idea to cooking with skewers and it works really well.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
...Drilling a pilot hole in a thin board like a piece of molding stops it from splitting...


Good idea... I will keep that in mind.
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sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1153
Location: Warrington, PA
CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
QJuju wrote:
While a valid point; I should have been more specific. The reason the lollipop trick didn't work in this case was the onion split in two when inserting a flat skewer and the round ones ran off out the bottom of the onion. So it was more about the onion and the skewer at hand.



I keep some of the thinner rounded bamboo skewers around for just this reason..
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CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5790
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
QJuju wrote:
CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
...Drilling a pilot hole in a thin board like a piece of molding stops it from splitting...


Good idea... I will keep that in mind.


I think the fact that I watched the first 2 full seasons of Primal Grill this weekend didn't hurt either. :lol:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1916
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

sroach wrote:
CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
QJuju wrote:
While a valid point; I should have been more specific. The reason the lollipop trick didn't work in this case was the onion split in two when inserting a flat skewer and the round ones ran off out the bottom of the onion. So it was more about the onion and the skewer at hand.



I keep some of the thinner rounded bamboo skewers around for just this reason..


Me too... those where the ones the wanted to shoot out the bottom of the onion. As it turned out... the perfed pan was a great choice. Still got the smoky goodness and grilled flavor and kept the small bonfire from dripping butter at bay. I may never do onions any other way.
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sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1153
Location: Warrington, PA
QJuju wrote:
Me too... those where the ones the wanted to shoot out the bottom of the onion. As it turned out... the perfed pan was a great choice. Still got the smoky goodness and grilled flavor and kept the small bonfire from dripping butter at bay. I may never do onions any other way.




hmm.. maybe skewer the onion before slicing it would work out better.. or use the pan.. LOL
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