Caesar salad is considered the benchmark of salads that can be prepared tableside. A wooden bowl is selected to extract the greatest amount of oil from the garlic and anchovies. It allows for a great marriage of flavors once the dressing is completed. In a typical Caesar salad bowl, no more than three portions should be made at once.
Grinding the black pepper directly onto the bare place is recommended so you can see how much pepper has been ground. Regular olive oil is recommended for maximum flavor. Extra-virgin olive oil is more expensive, has an overpowering flavor, and is slightly more acidic.
Caesar Cardini conceived this salad in 1924 at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from California. Owing to Prohibition in America, restaurants in Tijuana were popular with Hollywood stars. One evening, a group of actors entered his restaurant near closing time, and the kitchen was out of most items, including fish, chicken, and meat. Romaine lettuce, oil and vinegar, lemon, garlic, mustard, cheese, and croutons were available. In order to satisfy this Hollywood group, Caesar gathered what he had, brought it to the dining room, and assembled his new creation in front of his guests. They raved about it, and the rest is history. Shortly afterward, the International Society of Epicures in Paris named Caesar salad the greatest recipe originating from the New World in 50 years.
For the Croutons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups Sourdough bread, crusts removed, in 1/2-inch (1.2 cm) cubes
For the Dressing
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil to taste
For the Salad
8 cups romaine lettuce, dark outer leaves removed,
torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté 1 minute and discard garlic.
2 Increase the heat to high and add the bread cubes, turning frequently so that they brown evenly on all sides and are crisp and golden. Add more oil if necessary to keep from burning. Drain on paper towels. Reserve.
3 Combine the minced garlic, lemon juice, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper. Whisk to blend.
4 Immerse the egg in a small pan of boiling water and cook for exactly 1 minute. Remove the egg and crack it into the bowl with other ingredients. Whisk to combine.
5 Add the oil in a steady stream and whisk until smooth.
6 Combine the lettuce, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and dressing. Toss and taste for seasoning.
7 Place on individual plates. Serve immediately.
American Regional Cuisine
by The Art Institutes
John Wiley & Sons
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Kate's Global Kitchen: Cooking Know-It-Alls
Unlike the petri dishes and test tube foods of the mad scientists, the recipes below reflect traditional methods, but ones well worth knowing, especially before deconstructing your next shrimp cocktail. Be sure to read their headnotes, to learn more about the history behind each dish.
Recipes from American Regional Cuisine
Cooking History and Lore
Copyright © 2006, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created August 2006