Friday, February 5, 2010
How Paul Makes Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad is named for the Mexican chef who invented it in Tijuana in the 1920s. Our family agrees that Paul's Caesar Salad is the world's best. It has simply ruined me, as all others disapoint in comparison. One of the most eagerly awaited courses of our Christmas dinner, even the children love it. His Caesar is a fully traditional version, including anchovies and egg, and he makes his own croutons. Here's how he does it.
NOTE: if you are concerned about the raw egg, you can pasturize the yolk by mixing it with the lemon juice and vinegar and heating over a double boiler, whisking constantly, until it reaches 150 degrees. Here is a place with full directions: http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents/Mayonnaise.html
Paul mixes his dressing right in the salad bowl, starting with a tablespoon or two of anchovies, 3 or 4 whole, peeled cloves of garlic, and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Mash these together with a fork. The coarseness of the salt helps grind the garlic and anchovies into a paste.
Add about a tablespoon or two of Dijon mustard. A little secret Paul taught me of making salad dressings is that dijon mustard helps to emulsify the oil, so always add a bit to your vinegrettes and they won't separate as quickly.
Add the juice of half a lemon and an equal amount of red wine vinegar.
Add one raw egg, and mix it all together well. (If you are pasturizing, follow the instructions in the link above about mixing the lemon juice, vinegar and egg and warming it all, then add it into the bowl).
Drizzle in Extra virgin Olive Oil, whisking as you go. The amount will be about equal to the total of the lemon juice and vinegar together, but taste from time to time to get the right balance.
Toss the romaine lettuce into the dressing well. When fully tossed, add copious amounts of grated parmesan cheese.
Add lovely homemade croutons, and toss again. Because of the number of photos involved, I posted a separate post on how to make the croutons, just after this one.
Plate and add a grind of fresh cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.