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Troy Gagliardo -

Wedge Salad Makeover

By Troy Gagliardo

Posted: Friday, Jun. 13, 2014

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

The heat is on…so it is time to lighten up dinner, but that doesn’t have to mean dull or boring. Anytime time of week a good salad can make an awesome meal. For me the right toppings and a small portion of protein make for a satisfying dish.

Although I am not a fan of iceberg lettuce, I am a huge fan of wedge salads. It is a classic dish with few topping that make for a moist, clean and crisp salad. For this version we take to the grill; not only to grill a boneless skinless chicken breast, but to make the iceberg a little more interesting. I quick kiss of the iceberg on the grill will transform it into something you never expected.

Crispy bacon, thin sliced shallots and really good blue cheese with set this off in the right direction. Making your own dressing is easy and you can control exactly what ingredients go into it. I love jalapenos, but if you don’t you can simply omit them from this dressing or add roasted Poblano or red bell peppers instead.

Either way this salad will be a great unexpected surprise meal for family and friends any day of the week, enjoy!

For more great recipes be sure to watch Chef Troy’s brand new live cooking show “Troy’s Everyday Eats” each week on WCCB News Rising from 7-9 am and visit www.cheftroy.net

Grilled Chicken Wedge with Roasted Jalapeno Blue Cheese Buttermilk Dressing

1 Head-Iceberg Lettuce
2 Each-Chicken Breast-6 ounces each
To Brush-Olive Oil
To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix
12 Each-Grape Tomatoes
1 Each-Shallot-sliced thin
1 Each-Jalapeno Pepper-stem/seeds removed, halved and fine diced
4 Strips-Bacon-slice into strips, cooked, drained
To Taste-Maytag Blue Cheese-crumbled

Dressing

½ Cup-Buttermilk
½ Cup-Mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons-Cider Vinegar
1 Each-Jalapeno Pepper-charred on grill, skin/stem/seeds removed, fine diced
1 Clove-Garlic-smashed into a paste
To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
¼ Cup-Maytag Blue Cheese-crumbled

Directions

  1. Make dressing by whisking together all ingredients together except blue cheese.
  2. Add blue cheese and stir to incorporate, keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat grill or direct heat grill to medium high heat.
  4. Trim very end of core on lettuce, leaving core intact.
  5. Place on cutting board stem side down, cut in half through the core and cut each half in half.
  6. Lay flat, brush with oil and season with Spice Mix.
  7. Brush chicken lightly with oil, season with Spice Mix and place on grill.
  8. Let cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn chicken 90 degrees (do not flip).
  9. Allow to cook another 2 minutes, flip and repeat until chicken is just cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  10. Remove from grill and let rest on a plate.
  11. Place lettuce on grill for 30 to 45 second per side, flipping carefully to keep intact.
  12. Place on end piece and on center piece each on a plate.
  13. Scatter over lettuce, tomato, shallot, jalapeno, bacon and blue cheese.
  14. Place a small scoop of dressing on both plates.
  15. Slice each breast into about 5 pieces (slice crossways), top salad and serve.

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