Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mr. Hawthorne Makes His Caesar Salad. Rosie Makes Her Croutons.

Tonight's dinner dropped into my lap, literally. Earlier this morning, a friend dropped by with "extra" Romaine lettuce. By extra, I mean 6 heads. Later this afternoon, another friend dropped by with a chicken he'd just smoked. We have good friends.
Lovely Romaine lettuce.
Caesar salad with my homemade croutons.
Caesar salad with smoked chicken slices.
Here's Mr. Hawthorne's mise en place for his Caesar salad dressing. Actually he calls it his menage a trois. Close enough. about 1 cup ELBOO (Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil) 4 garlic cloves 1 TB anchovy paste 1 TB Dijon mustard 1 TB Lea and Perrins juice of 2 lemons 1 egg, coddled 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (We prefer Il Villagio from the Teeter.) Mince the garlic. Whisk in the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice, and Lea & Perrins. (We're using anchovy paste here for the convenience. We only wanted a small amount of dressing and using up a leftover tin of anchovies is not the easiest thing to do.) To coddle an egg, bring water to a boil, and place egg in water for one minute. Crack egg into mixture and whisk. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking, to emulsify. Grate Parmesan into dressing.
Mr. Hawthorne decided he needed some wine in his menage a trois.
Mr. Hawthorne uses a garlic press to mash his garlic. I prefer using a knife to mince the garlic.
He squeezed out a tablespoon or so of anchovy paste.
Juice of two lemons.
And whisk.
Dijon mustard in.
Lea & Perrins in.
Bring water to a boil and drop an egg into it. Leave it for one minute ...
... then add to Caesar dressing.
Whisk away.
Slowly drizzle in the ELBOO, whisking, until you have a nice emulsion. Taste test and adjust ingredients to your taste.
These hand held rotary graters come in handy.
Grate in cheese.
Next, I started on my croutons. I only used about 3/4 of the loaf, saving the rest for Moreover French Toast on Sunday Morning.
I went down to my herb garden and picked oregano, variegated lemon thyme, English thyme, rosemary, sage, and parsley.
Smells really good.
I stripped the leaves off the woody stems of the rosemary and thyme and chopped all my herbs.
I melted 1/2 stick of butter in my stove top-to-oven pan and added in a little ELBOO.
4 garlic cloves ...
... minced, into butter and oil over medium heat.
Add in herbs and cook for a minute or two to release the flavors.
Tear bread into cubes ...
... and add to herb mixture.
Toss quickly to coat.
Cook for about 5 minutes, shaking and stirring to slightly brown the cubes. Place the croutons in a slow oven - about 250 degrees and let bake until desired level of toastiness. About thirty minutes works for me. Shake pan every now and then during baking time.
I love these little nuggets of herbaliciousness.
Me washee produce! Me washee produce!
Blot dry with paper towels.
Tear lettuce. Pour on dressing. Add croutons.
Don't forget the smoked chicken.
Add a little smoked chicken. Another lovely dinner.


Marilyn said...

Looks yummy.

Sigh, all anyone ever brings me is six pounds of overcooked spaghetti.

DH said...

I love little nuggets of herbaliciousness. ;)