In these ‘Restaurant Redo’ posts, I highlight the variety of plates I’ve eaten at the restaurant, give a quick opinion of the place, and choose a few dishes to attempt to recreate. Lets do this.
Gram & Dun is a KC Gastropub that is always at the top of my list of ‘go to’ restaurants. Its never let me down and is the perfect atmosphere. Not too fancy and not too casual. Its great for all occasions. Dinner w/ friends, girls night out, dinner for two, lunch, work colleagues, cocktails & apps – you name it. It is reasonably priced, great location in the Country Club Plaza, beautifully decorated, modern, always bustling, and most importantly have a delicious menu filled with flavor-packed items, yummy cocktails and a solid wine list. In these ‘Restaurant Redo’ posts, I choose a few dishes to attempt to recreate, and show some free food porn from my visit(s).
In addition to enjoying a night out eating fabulous food, I find inspiration for dishes to try at home. My process: I scour Google to find the plate components, then research techniques and/or recipes that seem close to what I tasted and then I get to work. I seldom get it 100% right on the first try, but after I while, I always figure it out.
The first Gram & Dun recreation I attempted was a salad. Not too intimidating, not too much ‘cooking’ which sound easy, but this mix of flavors won’t be easy to replicate. But I shall triumph and I have faith – pretty much because with quality ingredients, it will be delicious either way. The Jackson Salad has grilled romaine, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, bacon, blue cheese and apple-cider mustard vinaigrette. Why grill romaine? WELL WHY NOT? Just kidding – because its different, it adds a smoky flavor and changes the flavors of the salad just enough to make it really interesting but subtle. If you aren’t in the mood for that, just use ‘raw’ romaine.
The recipe isn’t 100% as we had at the restaurant, but it was super close and was so delicious I didn’t care. This recipe will feed 5 with a nice large side salad or 3 persons as a dinner salad. Trim back the recipe according to what works for you. If you want to save some for leftovers, only dress what you plan to use so the dressing doesn’t make the lettuce soggy. Reserve dressing on the side and just make another salad the next day.
The salad could be a main meal, but I served it as a side salad with my grilled glazed pork chops. Here’s my restaurant redo:
- 2 heads of romain lettuce
- 4 strips thick cut bacon
- 1 14oz can or jar quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 14 oz can or jar of hearts of palm
- 1 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 1 tbsp your choice of herbs (I used herbs de provence, but thyme and rosemary also work well)
- 1/4 cup deli style mustard
- 4 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp shallots
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3/4 cup EVOO
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Apple cider mustard salad dressing (make first or make ahead of time):
- Place mustard, vinegar, shallots, honey, almost all of the EVOO (set 1 tbsp aside for grilling the lettuce), salt & pepper in a mason jar, or bowl with a tight fitting lid and shake shake shake until emulsified.
- This basically means mixing two liquids that wouldn’t normally mix easily together: like oil and water. Mayo and hollandaise are examples.
- Will need to shake well right before drizzling onto salad
Creating the salad:
- Trim the tops of the romain hearts
- Mix 1 tbsp EVOO and your choice of herbs
- Brush a light layer of EVOO/thyme mixture onto the outside leaves of both heads of lettuce
- Slice bacon slices into small strips and cook until crispy
- When bacon is cooked, remove from grease and set on paper towel to dry and crisp up a bit more
- Remove the artichoke hearts from the jar or can. Strain off any liquid. Set aside.
- Remove the hearts of palm from the jar or can. Strain off any liquid – chop smaller if needed. Should be sliced or chopped into 1/2 inch pieces or 1/2 thick rings. Your choice! Set aside.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat
- Place romain lettuce onto grill and turn about every 1-2 minutes until slightly charred on the outside, SLIGHTLY charred. See pics below.
- Continue to rotate the lettuce until all sides are charred, some wilting of the leaves will occur. The goal here is to impart grilled flavor into the lettuce.
- Once off the grill, chop off the bottom 2 inches of the romain lettuce (the head)
- Pull off the more charred and wilted pieces of lettuce and discard. The super wilted soggy layers won’t taste good so just let them go.
- Pull apart the leaves of lettuce.
- Combine the firm charred pieces of exterior lettuce AND firm interior pieces and lay them on a platter or large plate.
- In rows, perpendicular to the length of the lettuce – lay down rows of bacon, then blue cheese, then hearts of palm, then artichoke hearts.
- Top with chopped chives.
- Shake dressing one last time and drizzle on top. Remember some leaves already have oil so don’t put too much on – overdressing is the worst!
- Time to eat! Take a few long pieces of lettuce and with it will come the 4 main toppings so you get a bit of everything. 🙂
And as promised, here is that yummy Gram & Dun food porn that will definitely have you making reservations the next time you go out in KC. www.gramanddun.com