Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dinner on 2 grills

One of the tastiest ideas I have learned from my blogging friends, comes from Ann, at Thibeault's Table.  If you do not know Ann or her wonderful tasting blog, please go there.

Along with being a chef, baker and bread baker extraordinaire, Ann, by personal email, has taught me how to pre-salt meat for extra flavor.  In particular, we have been pre-salting steaks for several weeks now.  What a difference this makes.

It just takes a little planning.  We generously salt a piece of meat and wrap in cellophane and refrigerator for a day.  The next day, unwrap and let the meat air dry in the refrigerator for a day.  Then, grill!!  Oh yes, it really does make a difference.  Unless short on time, I can't imagine cooking steak any other way.

We had a pre-salted Porterhouse (a favorite cut of mine), grilled Romaine salad, and mushrooms with thyme.

The steak was grilled on charcoal...our preferred way.  The gas grill was also going.  On this gas grill we were preparing a Grilled Caesar Salad.  Oh yes!!!

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times.  Followed pretty closely, but the changes follow.

Grilled Caesar Salad
adapted from The New York Times


1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 tablespoon lime zest
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 head romaine lettuce, tops and bottoms trimmed neatly, the heads cut lengthwise into quarters
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

We prepared the Caesar dressing in a small food processor and set it aside.

We did not make the vinaigrette because I felt it was over-top dressing and not necessary.  We did not miss it.

Drizzle olive oil over the lettuce and grill 15-20 seconds on each side.  Place on a platter and brush the Caesar dressing on the lettuce.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and grill covered for 30 seconds.

It was perfect and delicious.  At this point, the recipe called for drizzling the vinaigrette over the grilled romaine.  Try this if you like, but honestly, it is not necessary.  This turned out to be a quick and very tasty salad.


  1. I saw somethih ng about pre-salting meat and tried it the other day. I salted the meat heavily and left it on the counter (1 hour for each 1" of thickness), rinsed it, dried it well, and grilled it. It was very good and the only other seasoning I used was a little Montreal Steak Seasoning. I'll try your method next time.

  2. I've seen Ina pre-salt a chicken and leave it in the refrig overnight. We always air dry our steak in the refrig before we cook it, but will definitely try the salt tip too.

    I've also seen grilled lettuce, but never tried it either. After reading your post, we must try both ideas. Thanks Susan.

  3. I've always salted my steaks and bring them to room temp before grilling on a charcoal grill (that's all I have) started with a chimney not lighter fluid (never used that). My father taught me how to grill the perfect steak before I ever knew how to cook! I never thought to post any steak because I do it the same way each time because everyone likes it and it is always turns out so good . My daughter's friends used to ask me to give their mom the recipe for my steak! :) I must post it next time :)

    Your Grilled Caesar Salad
    looks wonderful, nice you could have two grills!

  4. Ann's blog is one of my favorites and I have used her methods for grilling meats for a long time. Her prime rib recipe is soooo good. I have never grilled romaine before and I can't wait to try it. What a great dinner, Susan.

  5. I am definitely going to remember that! I will be passing along that good piece of advice to my husband.

    Thanks for sharing!


  6. I always air dry our meat in the refrigerator before cooking, but never heard about pre-salting; I always thought it was a no no. Thank you for the tip; will be trying this weekend; great weather here.

  7. I have tried pre salting and yes the meat is certainly much more tender. I do though wash the meat well to take the salt off before cooking. Diane

  8. Diane, Ann told me that 1 tablespoon of salt for every 5 pounds of meat is rule of thumb. Cut down to the size of your meat. I have not found it necessary to wash any salt off after the initial wrap in cellophane. It simply disappears if you are not using too much. And then air-drying it in the refrigerator just seals it all in. This is a wonderful way to cook meat. Please check out Ann's blog as she does this so often with all her meats.

  9. I love Ann's blog, too. I once did a pre-salted meat, and I need to do it again. I thought it was good--though I didn't air-dry it. If you say it's good, then I know it's good. I'll add this to our summer grilling menus.

  10. At 6:15 in the morning I am drooling over that steak and salad!! I CAN'T wait to give the pre-salting trick a try!! Thank you for sharing this trick and for the grilled salad recipe. blessings ~ Tanna

  11. Susan, what a wonderful dinner, I bet your neighbors were drooling from the aroma. I have pre-salted meats and you're totally right, it makes a huge difference!

  12. I love Ann's blog...she's an incredible cook! Thanks for sharing her tip. I'd love to try your grilled yummy!

  13. Thanks for sharing Ann's tip. I have steaks that will be going on the grill this weekend. Timely post.

  14. Never have tried the pre-salting, Susan, but I'm sure going to try now! Great tip!

  15. I want to learn more about this pre salting method! thanks

  16. Sounds like such a wonderful meal! I have never heard of pre salting…but I have a steak sitting in my freezer just begging to be cooked!