Thursday, July 11, 2013

A REAL Caesar Salad

Every time we go out to dinner, my mom is always disappointed when she orders a Caesar salad.  This is because she makes the BEST Caesars around.  It infuriates her when we are at a nice restaurant and they use a bottled dressing because a homemade dressing is so easy to make!  

I can assure you that if you go the extra mile to make a homemade Caesar, you will never look at one of those heavy, creamy bottles of store bought dressings again.  Buh-bye. Adios. Au revoir.  Good riddance to mass produced, preservative filled dressings. Hello to delicious, salty and fresh Caesar dressing! 

You can use whatever type of protein you want to top off the salad.  Shrimp, salmon, tofu... 

 It all starts with garlic. 

The only time I ever eat anchovies is in a Caesar.  I still haven't figured out what to do with the rest of the fillets after I open the tin.   Suggestions??

 Chopping the garlic and anchovies into a paste hepls to evenly distribute the flavor throughout the entire salad. 

 I always use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard.

I also like to grind my own pepper.  I just love the coarse texture in a Caesar salad.   

Olive oil has a strong flavor.  Combine it with a milder oil like vegetable or canola.   

This is what is looks like after the oil has been whisked in.   

 Now pour it in a measuring cup.  You don't want the salad to be soggy so gradually add it back in to taste.  

No worries if you leave a bit on the bottom of the bowl.   

Chop up some nice, crisp romaine...  

 And some yummy organic chicken... 

Now you can start tossing the salad together little by little.   

Don't forget the cheese! 

Caesar Salad
1 clove of garlic, crushed and mashed into a paste with some kosher salt
2 anchovy fillets, chopped and mashed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable/canola oil 

1 head of romaine lettuce
Grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon 

Start by smashing a fresh clove of garlic.  Chop it as fine as possible and then sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Using a chefs knife, run the flat side of the blade over the clove until it is smashed into a pasted.  Place the garlic in a wooden bowl.  

Remove 2 anchovy fillets from a tin.  Do the exact same thing you did with the garlic, minus the salt.  Anchovies are salty enough as is.  Chop and then smash with a knife into a paste.  Add it with the garlic in the bowl.

 Add lemon juice, Worcestershire, dry mustard and pepper.  Mix thoroughly with a fork.  While constantly whisking, slowly drizzle in oils.  Whisk vigorously for 5 minutes to break up any large chucks.  Pour most of dressing into a measuring cup, leaving a little bit at the bottom of the bowl.  

Clean lettuce and prepare protein.  Matt served as grill master this evening, perfectly seasoning and grilling the chicken.  

Slowly add in handfuls of the lettuce, spooning dressing and grating parmesan after each addition.  Top with protein and serve immediately.  

**My mom normally makes these wonderful little English Muffin croutons with her Caesar, but I forgot to get them at the store.   

To make them, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  While the butter is melting, chop up the muffins into small cubes.  Add cubes to butter and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with granulated garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook until perfectly toasted and golden brown.**   

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