The Classic Caesar Salad

Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons. Dear Martini

All Hail Caesar salad!  Most people agree the Caesar salad was invented by Caesar Cardini in his Tijuana restaurant, opened during the 1920s to circumvent Prohibition laws.   The Hollywood in crowd appreciated Cardini’s flare for the dramatic.  Cardini himself would prepare the salad table side with a flourish.   The Caesar salad soon became a national and international hit!

Anchovies, or no anchovies?

How to Make Anchovy Paste for Caesar Salads or Pasta Sauces.  Dear MartiniThe great debate rages on:  anchovies or no anchovies?  Many cooks and food experts debate about whether or not to include anchovies in Caesar Salad. Some critics say the original Cardini recipe did not include anchovies, but instead used Worcheshire sauce, which also contains anchovies. However, others believe that the best Caesar salad include anchovies, and it’s just not a Caesar  without them!  We believe the secret is not to add too many anchovies.  The anchovies give the salad a nice subtle savory note and we promise, our recipe is not the least bit fishy.

Classic Caesar Salad in a Wooden Salad Bowl.  Dear Martini

How to Enjoy Caesar Salad

If you’re having a party, you can serve the salad on a large platter, or prepare and serve it out of a large wooden bowl, just like Caesar Cardini did in his restaurants. But if you want to try something fun, make it portable for a picnic by serving it in individual mason jars.   Enjoy the salad by itself, or add  chicken or salmon for extra protein.  Caesar salad is a great option for lunch or dinner or as Chef Terri prefers for brunch– preferably with a Blood Mary cocktail!

 

Classic Caesar Salad

Serves 6 to 8

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 anchovy fillets, smashed

Pinch kosher salt

2 large egg yolks, coddled (see below)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dash Worcestershire sauce

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large head Romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry

¾ cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh croutons, recipe follows

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

In a large salad bowl, add the smashed garlic cloves and anchovy fillets.  Using two forks, smash and rub the cloves and anchovies with a pinch of salt to create a paste.  Add the yolks one by one and whisk to combine with the garlic.  Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire, whisking to combine.  Slowly drizzle the olive oil while whisking constantly to create an emulsion.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Tear the romaine lettuce leaves into bite-sized chunks directly into the bowl with the dressing.  Toss together with Parmesan cheese and croutons.  Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

* to coddle the eggs, place the eggs in a small saucepan.  Cover with water and heat to just before simmering.  Use immediately.  Note:  Consuming raw or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions.  Make sure your eggs are fresh and stored in the refrigerator.  Coddling the eggs will eliminate any bacteria that may be present on the surface of the shell, but will not completely render the egg yolk 100% safe.

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Baked Croutons

Makes approximately 2 cups

½ loaf country bread, such as ciabatta, pulgiese or batard, crusts trimmed and cut into ½-inch cubes

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread cubes together with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the bread cubes in one even layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the pre-heated oven until golden brown, about 9 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow the croutons to cool.

Classic Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons and Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Dear Martini

How do YOU like to enjoy your Casear Salad?  Let us know on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DearMartiniCooking

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Make-Your-Own Granola

Make Your Own Granola

Did you know that it’s inexpensive and easy to make? Did you also know that it tastes better if you make it yourself?

Our idea for granola uses whole nuts, dried fruit and as little oil as possible. We’ve been making our own granola for quite some time now. Whenever we have a handful of leftover nuts or dried fruit after a party, baking project or photo-shoot, the nuts get packed away into the freezer and are marked for a future granola-making session.

To make your own, all you need is about 90 minutes of baking time, and a basic granola recipe. If you binge-watch TV shows on Netflix like we do, you could totally make granola while catching up on The Walking Dead (…or Game of Thrones. Your choice).

Photo of Bowl of Make Your Own Granola and milk

Basic Granola

Makes 10 cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups a rolled oats (not the quick-cook or instant kind)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt,
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups of a combination of any of the following ingredients: raw almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • 3-4 cups of a combination of any dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, cherries, blueberries, apricot chunks, pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 250℉. Line two baking trays with parchment paper (or foil). Mix the maple syrup with the vegetable oil and stir to combine. It may form a gelatinous mass, and that’s OK.

Close-up photo of Cinnamon and Salt for granolaIn a large bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 4 cups a rolled oats (not the quick-cook or instant kind), and three cups of a combination of any of the following ingredients:

Raw almonds, sliced almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds… you get the idea…

Close-up photo of nuts for Make Your Own GranolaStir the nuts and oats together with the maple syrup mixture and divide the mixture between the two prepared sheetpans. Spread in a single layer and bake in the oven for 90 minutes. We set the timer for 15 minute intervals, and stir the mixture around every time. When the oats and nuts are golden in color, it’s done. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.

Our extra-special ingredient: crystallized ginger bits (a little goes a long way so add only about 1/4 cup). Play with the ingredients. Your granola should have a nice balance between oats, nuts and fruit.

Close-up photo of dried fruit for Make Your Own GranolaWhen the oats are completely cooled, stir in the coconut and dried fruit mixture and transfer to airtight containers for storage.

Give one container to a friend. Pay it forward. Sharing is caring.

Thank you!

Thank you

Vote Early…. Vote Often… and VOTE FOR US!

saveur video festivalDear Martini is absolutely thrilled to be a part of  the first-ever SAVEUR Video Festival.  As a celebration of food and film online, it will be a curated presentation of the most creative and beautifully-told culinary stories in the world of video.  SAVEUR is a publication that celebrates authentic food, culture, and travel; they crisscross the globe to find honest and surprising stories about people and the meals that bring them together.

This week, after much nail-biting and sleepless nights, Saveur.com announced finalists for their first-ever Saveur Video Festival.  A call for submissions took place earlier in January, asking for videos related to the following categories:

  • Ultra-short form (Less than 60 seconds)
  • How-to and Recipe
  • Documentary
  • Animation and/Experimental
  • Culinary Travel

blanch peas

Dear Martini is excited and proud to announce that we have been picked as a finalist!  Our Blanching Peas video is eligible to win a People’s Choice Award in the Ultra-Short Form category!

Please help us win the People’s Choice by casting your vote for our video and asking everyone you know to go vote for us as well! Simply use this link below, which will take you to the voting page.

http://www.saveur.com/video-festival-2013/vote.jsp?ID=1000014369

Thanks so much for your support!  We are so excited that our little video production endeavor is finally getting some national recognition!  Please spread the word!

WooHOO!

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