Back-to-back cooking nights. Whenever that happens, I try to make something simpler the second night. Today I settled on grilled chicken Caesar salad. I'm fine with just the salad, but some people can't stand the thought of a protein-less meal.
It seems like a simple meal, but it still takes a couple hours because I don't cut corners. I make the croutons myself, which takes about a half hour. Assembling the dressing requires me to put the garlic through the press several times to ensure a good consistency. I have to chopped and mash anchovy fillets rather than use the tube stuff. I get fresh Romaine lettuce instead of the pre-chopped one. I also have to make a lot of accommodations when it's more than just me eating the salad. I like it traditional, with raw egg, but that bothers some people so I have to boil and peel eggs—20 minutes. And the added protein, in this case the chicken, had to be paillarded and marinated for an hour before being grilled. All in all, it's a lot of prep work, and in some ways is a bigger deal than the dinner I made yesterday.
However the overall meal is always top notch. The garlic bread is to die for (almost literally—you do not want to know how much butter and cheese goes into it), the chicken turned out better than expected for something slap-dash, and the salad is always good to me. My Caesar salad is one of the few meals I can eat where it's mostly vegetable and very little meat, and I never get tired of it.