Saturday, July 10, 2010
So salad is boring right? Nah! You can make it taste really good with different ingredients and dressings. But how can salad taste good? Just like anything can taste good: proper ingredients and proper cooking/prepping. So I was looking at my stock of anchovies in the cupboard. Yes, I have a stock. I like them very much. And I thought, I've never made my own caesar dressing. It's supposed to be fantastic because it's salty and fatty. Sounds good to me. A nice scour of the internet and I found Martha Stewart's recipe (posted at the end of the blog). First up, the croutons. Didn't have proper white bread. But I sure had old wheat bread sitting in the fridge. Good enough. I cut them into small cubes. Then salted and oiled them. Into a toaster oven at 375oF until browned and crunchy. And now to assemble the dressing. Here I have an egg yolk (previously frozen), oil, pepper, vinegar (didn't have fresh lemons), worchestershire sauce, dijon mustard, anchovies, and garlic. First, mince up your garlic as much as possible. If you have a mortar and pistol, use it. It would be much easier. Add the fillets of anchovies. Them crush them. I used a spoon and a heavy hand. It was really difficult to smash. But I ended up with this. Some garlic unsmashed and some smashed. I was tired, hungry, and frustrated at this point. Time to move on to the next step. Add the rest of the other ingredients, except the oil, and mix thoroughly. Now slowly drizzle the oil and whisk at the same time. You want to emulsify the dressing. You don't want a messy separated concoction. If you think you've added enough oil but want it to be thinner. Use some water. It'll help dilute it a bit. So the iceberg lettuce gets some cheese action (parmesan or pecorino) and drizzle of the dressing. Remember, you can also add more dressing but you can't take away. Plate and sprinkle with croutons. Finished salad. A little more time consuming but worth it. So the dressing was really nice. It was salty but really complex in flavor. The anchovies had enough salt. Garlic is always good. But the layers of the dijon and vinegar, and worchestershire sauce was really nice. I'mn not sure if you can bottle this for another day since it contains raw egg yolk. I would advise against it due to food poisoning. Maybe you can store the mixed ingredients up until the egg step. Add egg later. I guess that could work. But don't take my word for it.