Friday, January 21, 2011

Caesar salad dressing-the quest is finally over!

Week 2's challenge was to healthify (is that even a word?) my salad.  I switched my lettuce from regular to organic romaine.  I made my own croutons from leftover French bread, but my biggest feat was to find homemade versions of my family's favorite dressings.  The thousand island one is ok, but when I use it up, I'll probably be looking for something else.  The ranch dressing recipe is a hit!  My husband didn't know it was homemade until I asked him how it was, and he said, "It's good.  Why?  Did you make it?"  Score one for me; actually, score one for Katie at Kitchen Stewardship.  But I did read the recipe correctly and dump everything in the blender.  That has to count for something.

The last thing I wanted to do to completely revamp my salad was to come up with a homemade Caesar dressing.  I really enjoy Caesar salads and don't want to have to wait to go out to a restaurant and pay $5.15 for a plate of salad to go with my $12.99 meal.  And, yes, I just did this on Monday!  If it helps at all, I did use a coupon!

Last week I had tried a couple recipes and the first one didn't make it past the smell and the second one faired only slightly better.  Since the ranch recipe from Kitchen Stewardship went over so well, I thought the Caesar would be a hit too.  But, my first attempt was a miserable flop.  It tasted horrible, and I was sort of sad about the whole thing.  Later that day I was fixing dinner and sauteeing onions in extra virgin olive oil.  When I poured it in the pan, some got on my finger and I licked it off before washing my hands.  It was the same icky taste.  Come to find out, I don't like olive oil.  Evidently up to this point, I've only had it cooked in food and never noticed that the oil itself has a taste.  It's fine in cooked food, but not in my Caesar salad dressing.

I remade the dressing using the recipe from Kitchen Stewardship again, this time using canola oil instead of EVOO.  Soooooo much better!  I'm sure this is a personal preference thing, but for me, I've got my dressing!

Caesar Dressing
1 egg yolk, from pastured chickens, room temperature
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (raw is best)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 Tbs (or a little less) lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used minced as that is what I had)1-2 tsp Worcestshire sauce (I used 2 tsp.)
2 Tbs (or more) Parmesan cheese (I used more! :)  )
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Blend up the egg yolk and everything else but the Parmesan and the oil with the stick blender, then stream in 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or canola oil, if you are like me).  It should thicken up into a creamy consistency, which is SO FUN to watch!  Stir in the Parmesan cheese at the end.

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