Sunday, January 12, 2014

Caesar - as it should be...

I think one of the things that everyone should be able to make is a good Caesar salad and if you don't know how or want to try a new recipe, I'm here to help you out.  It's a staple that's so easy, delicious and great all year round -you'll want to make it all of the time.  It's perfect for lunch or dinner and you can cater it to fit your taste exactly.  I personally love a shrimp Caesar, but you can add chicken, salmon, or just leave it as is.  Give it a try…it can be done in less than thirty minutes.  Enjoy!  

Mason and his friend Lex eating a Caesar salad. 

La Recette:

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
2 egg yolks (these can be pasteurized if needed)*
3 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard - I love Trader Joe's Dijon
1/2 teaspoon gluten free Worcester sauce 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 - 12 oz. bag Romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, quartered

4 pieces of gluten free bread (regular bread works here too if you don't need gluten free)
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

-Divide the chopped Romaine into 4 serving bowls.
-Combine the garlic, egg yolks, anchovies, Dijon, lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, cold water, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
-With the blender or food processor running, slowly add in the olive oil.  You'll start to see it thicken up.
-Next add in the Parmesan cheese and pulse until just combined.
-Meanwhile quarter the cucumber.  Cut lengthwise and then 1/2 inch cuts horizontally.
-Divide the cucumbers evenly between the bowls, divide up the croutons evenly and add the shrimp, chicken or salmon if desired.
-Drizzle the dressing over each salad and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Directions for the croutons-
-In a toaster oven or regular oven, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the bread on the sheet.  Drizzle the olive oil over the toast and rub it in so that the toast is covered with olive oil (only a little olive oil is needed here).
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toast until golden brown, usually 5-7 minutes depending on your oven.
-With the bread warm, spear the garlic clove with a fork and rub each piece of bread with the garlic a few times.
-Let them cool slightly, and cut into squares.

*If you want to make a shrimp Caesar, I buy just over a half pound of the 36-40 count.  That will give you about 5 shrimp/salad.  Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the shrimp on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.   Roast them for 6-7 minutes, remove them from the oven and baking sheet.  Let them cool before adding them to the salad.  Shrimp cook quickly and you don't want to over cook.  Tough shrimp are the worst.  
*To pasteurize an egg, fill a small sauce pan with water and bring to a roaring boil.  With a spoon place the egg(s) in the water and leave them in for 30 seconds remove immediately and place in cold water.    
*I choose to not add anchovy fillets to the top of my salad.  It's just a preference.  I like anchovies but not right on top of my salad.  One of the reasons I love this salad is because you can customize it just the way you like;)

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