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Caesar Salad

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My grandfather ate with this fork!
Antique Walnut & Pewter Fork circ. 1880 Bohemia
 

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Recipe name: Caesar Salad

Recipe by: Chef John V., A Good Cooking Recipe!

Serving size: about 4

Preparation time: about :20 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient:

1 large head romaine lettuce -- cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces---about 8-10 cups
1/2 cup + 8 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups French bread -- cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 large cloves garlic -- peeled
8 anchovy filets
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard (may substitute with 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard)
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice -- fresh squeezed
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or other coarse ground salt
1 egg, x-large eggs -- coddled...a briefly cooked egg, see below
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese -- shredded or shaved

Preparation:

Trim the romaine lettuce of bruised or browned leaves, then cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Wash and drain the lettuce, pat it dry and refrigerate for 30 minutes to crisp the leaves. To make the croutons, heat the 1/2 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the bread cubes in the oil, tossing frequently, until they're crisp and golden. Drain the croutons on a paper towel until ready to use. Put the garlic cloves in a large wooden salad bowl. Mash the cloves against the sides of the bowl with the back of a wooden spoon or a fork. Rub the pieces against the bowl until they begin to disintegrate. Remove as much of the mashed garlic from the bowl as you can and discard. The natural oils from the garlic will remain in the bowl and flavor the salad. Add the anchovies and repeat the procedure you used with the garlic, but leave the anchovy pieces in the bowl. Now add the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, white vinegar, black pepper, and egg and then blend well. Slowly drizzle in the 8 tablespoons of olive oil mixing with two forks or a wire whisk until a creamy mayonnaise type dressing forms. Add the lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese and salt. Toss everything together and serve directly from the salad bowl!

A coddled egg...put the raw egg in a coffee cup and pour in boiling water to cover it, let it sit for 1 minute and then crack and add it to the other ingredients, warmed to 120 degrees, so they are soft and runny. Doing this makes the yolk slightly sticky and improves the emulsification , thus making for a creamier dressing.

Note: This recipe is very close to the original version created in 1924 by Caesar Cardini, an Italian restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico.

Sautéed or steamed vegetables, chicken and shrimp may be added if you like! Simply cook them in a separate pan and add them to the top of the salad. This will create more of a lunch or dinner portion entree.

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