Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lemony Caesar Dressing...

Once upon a time I worked as the Personal Assistant for a very wealthy family.  One summer we went on a trip to the Muskoka Lakes area in Ontario, Canada.  They had a summer cottage there,  that had been in the family since it was built in the early 1900's.  Two story, wide covered porch, rustic but gorgeous in a National Parks kind of way, boat house with window boxes filled with flowers, use your imagination, then take it up a few notches.  Did I mention it was on it's own island? Kind of makes my heart flutter a bit just thinking about it....  Anyway, the parents of my bosses, who also summered there, had a cottage (understatement) along the shore where we dined from time to time (side note: if the homes didn't transport you to another time, traveling to social engagements via antique wooden Donzi sure did.).  Their home was fully staffed. While their regular chef had stayed back at their main home, they did have their summer chef with them.  She gave me this recipe:

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 small cloves of garlic, pressed (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c olive oil
1 egg, coddled (See directions below - or can substitute 1/2 cup mayo, but plan to reduce oil)
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1/4 c grated parmesan

Blend first five ingredients in blender (I use my mini chopper).
Coddle egg and put in blender.
While running, remove cap in blender lid and pour in second portion of oil. (In the mini chopper you just pour it in the lid, there is a hole. I'm lazy, I just remove the lid, add it and blend.)
Turn off and add lemon juice and cheese.
Give it one more flick for a final blend and it's ready.

For a delicious salad:
Grill some chicken (pound to even thickness for even/consistent cooking) and cut into strips.
Then, cut your baby romaine in half long-ways, baste with olive oil and grill.
Yes, grill your salad greens, trust me - just till it caramelizes a little...
Serve whole on a platter buffet style, or cut the greens into bite size pieces.
Top with the chicken and dressing (croutons and freshly grated parmesan too!).
You'll never want to eat your caesar salad any other way!

How to coddle an egg:
Start with a fresh egg at room temperature - you can put a cold egg in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes if you need to, or just pull an egg out in the morning and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours.

Place the egg in a small bowl or mug and pour boiling water around it until it is completely covered. Let it sit for one minute.  Remove carefully, it will be hot!

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