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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Fondly remembering (cobb) salad days

Sometimes you find yourself in an airport that is about as organized as an old episode of Keystone Cops. I’ve had my share of disorganization, especially after that fateful day that ushered in the mighty TSA.
Finished with our convention this weekend, it was time to say goodbye to the torrential downpours of Orlando and head home. Shuttling to Orlando’s international air hub was simple enough, and retrieving my bags from the back of the van proved equally as stress-free.
The kind and professional ticket agents were moving the line at breakneck pace, and my heart and soul were full of hope; hope that I would be able to get a bite to eat before the plane took off. Southwest Airlines had delivered again, with smiles, courtesy and expediency at the ready.
And then I rounded the corner.
Those of us who travel more than a little know the feeling of dismay when things are going so well only to end in such a trammel. The TSA lines were not only massive but there were no lanes delineating where they started or where they ended. Everyone was just a massive pile of irritated souls and luggage in a mire trying to get through the agent’s questioning and clearance.
After about an hour and change, I was able to jump on the railcar that takes passengers to the terminal, and with only 15 minutes until boarding, I had to settle for something that would be easy to eat. And nothing says easy to eat like a salad (just roll with me here; I’m trying to make a decent segue into the Cobb).
I immediately gravitated to the Cobb salad for two reasons. One, it is my all-time favorite, or at least tied with a Grilled Caesar. Two, it was a frenetic salad which aptly matched the mood of the moment. A neatly jumbled pile of bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, blue cheese and poached & chilled chicken was faultless in my eyes.
And of course there was no Cobb salad dressing, something I wasn’t told until after I had paid, so I made a compromise and tried the Southwest Dressing that was at our disposal. And I have to say, it was impressive. Granted, it is a basic salad with a basic dressing, but it hit the spot and geared me up to sit down and think my way through this.
Nothing more than a simple red wine vinaigrette, Cobb Dressing can be made easily enough in a blender and can hold for a long time. But by adding just a touch of lime and chipotle (of course with its accompanying adobo sauce), a simple transformation takes place and you have a southwestern-style dressing.
I dare say that it was one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time, and not because it was literally the best salad I’ve had in a long time. Rather, it was good comfort food that left me wanting nothing more to eat and ultimately leaving me ready to take a nap on the plane.
All in all, I made it to my gate, I had a simple salad and I made my flight home. There’s not much to complain about here. Now I just need to watch Keystone Cops reruns so I can embed the background music in my mind. Then, I can just replay it on the days when the airport is such a mess. Yes, that’s how I amuse myself.

Cobb salad
Serves 4
1/2 head Iceberg Lettuce, chopped
1/2 head Romaine Lettuce, chopped
3 Fresh scallions, sliced on a bias
8 oz. Poached and chilled chicken, diced
8 oz. Blue cheese crumbles
Fresh tomatoes, diced
8 oz. Fresh bacon, cooked and cut in 1/2” squares
2 Ripe avocados, Diced
4 Hard-boiled egg, halved (recipe follows)
Southwest Cobb Dressing

1. Lay the lettuces on a plate
2. Neatly either line the toppings in neat rows or place them in orderly piles on the greens
3. Drizzle the dressing and you are ready to go
4. Sit back and watch the debacle of an airport that you just may be sitting in at this moment

Hard Boiled Eggs
Makes 4
4 Large fresh eggs

1. Place the eggs in water in a saucepan and salt heavily
2. Bring to a boil, and immediately turn the heat off, allowing the eggs to slowly cook for 12-15 minutes
3. At the end of this, run cold water and ice over the eggs until they are chilled all the way through
4. A little trick that we do in the business sometimes is to put the eggs in a stainless bowl and toss them just gently enough to crack the shells without smashing the eggs themselves
5. You will start the see the eggs ‘self-peel’ and the shells will part from their cooked innards quickly and easily

Southwest Cobb Dressing
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 c. EV Olive oil
1/2 c. Grapeseed oil
1/4 c. Red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic
1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
Juice of half a lime

1 Tbsp. (or to taste) Chipotle with Adobo
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and combine until nice and smooth
2. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately. It will hold for up to seven days in a refrigerator