One Last Fling

Well, with Labor Day only 2 days away, our last fling with cooking out is upon us, sadly. But don’t feel as though you have to stop making salads just because you don’t have that grill fired up our your chin won’t be dripping barbecue sauce anymore………….(just thinking of it brings a frog to my throat). Enjoy these two recipes anytime you want to bring that summer feeling inside.

Everyone claims to make the best Caesar Salad, including me. But this would be a misconception. If done properly and with its’ original intent and style, there would be no difference. You see, Caesar Cardini, the creator of this salad, meant for it to be a mild tasting salad even though he added anchovies. As we all know, anchovies are quite “loud” in whatever recipe you use them in. But Caesar loved this tiny fish and it was what he had available at his restaurant in 1924, the year of this great salad’s debut.
Now for those of you who just don’t dare top use raw eggs, you have a couple of options. Substitute a 1/4 c. pasteurized egg product to this salad and proceed according to the recipe or many chefs are adding 1/2 c. plain yogurt in lieu of eggs, making sure you whip it first to a smooth consistency. If you choose this route, mind you that the taste will be off, but none-the-less, the creaminess willb e apparent. You can also make Caesar Vinaigrette, which is omitting the egg and yogurt altogether.
Please find below, the same exact recipe as used by the first Yankee Chef and continued on by the second and, finally, the third Yankee Chef, yours truly.

Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

6 oz French or Italian Bread, cubed
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper

Salad:

2  eggs
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ t. salt
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
Juice of one lemon or 2 T. lemon juice
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces*
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

*”rinsed, dry and crisp”, says the original recipe as written by Caesar’s daughter. She also states that the leaves were used without being torn.

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and place cubed bread on pan. Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss. Bake until golden, stirring after 5 minutes to ensure bread doesn’t burn. (Totally time 7-10 minutes depending on how far bread is from flame).
Cut one of the garlic cloves in half. Rub the garlic on the inside of a large wooden salad bowl. Take this clove and the remaining 2 cloves and mince then mash with the salt, using the side of a large knife, pushing down and sliding the blade to crush. Add the anchovies(if using) and continue to mash until a past forms. Add to wooden salad bowl. Whisk in lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk eggs into the salad bowl while drizzling in olive oil in a slow steady stream. Add romaine pieces and croutons to the bowl tossing with tongs or wooden spoons until leaves are coated with dressing. Sprinkle on Parmigiano cheese and toss lightly.

Caesar Potato Salad

1 1/2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 slices French bread
1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 c.(or more) broccoli florets, barely cooked and cooled
2 t. anchovy paste, optional
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 c. chopped green onions
3 T. chopped parsley
Romaine lettuce leaves
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine oil and garlic; let stand 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Brush 1 1/2 t. oil mixture over bread; cut into cubes. Place bread cubes in a
single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake for 9 minutes or until toasted. Boil potatoes, covered, 18 minutes or until tender. Let cool; cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Combine remaining oil mixture, vinegar, and next 7 ingredients ( vinegar through parsley) in a bowl. Pour dressing over potatoes; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill. Serve in lettuce lined bowl, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese and croutons.