Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hawthornes Make Caesar Salad And Fried Oysters For Lunch.

The Hawthornes recently bought
their first bushel of oysters for the season.
Anyone care to make bets on how many bushels
we'll go through this year?

One of Mr. Hawthorne's favorite meals
is a Caesar Salad with fried oysters-
a meal just this side of heaven.
Mr. Hawthorne is taking care of the oysters
 and I'll be making quick croutons and the Caesar dressing.
First, quick croutons. We had a Schwann's baguette which I sliced
and I gathered fresh herbs from the garden-
 chives, parsley, oregano, and thyme.
I melted around 1/3 - 1/2 stick butter with a few swirls of ELBOO.
 That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil!
And added in the greenery.
Let cook over low for a bit to allow for a herby infusion.
Add in bread disks.
Turn to coat both sides.
Grill the bread slices a bit, then ...
... pop them in the toaster oven under broil around 200 degrees.
 Watch carefully. Lightly brown.
 Turn and do the other side.
Herbalicious buttery baguette slices.
On to the Caesar dressing.
One must always prepare one's mise en place.
It's the proper and logical way to cook
 and makes everything so much simpler.
 Always, set out your ingredients first.
One never wants to hunt and peck.
I'm halving my regular amount I make
 and only using 1/2 tin of anchovies.

 My ingredients for Caesar Dressing:
1/2 tin anchovies, rinsed well
 4 garlic cloves juice of one lemon with any pulp that makes its way in
 1 TB Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
 1 TB Dijon mustard
 1 coddled egg
 about 1/2 cup+ ELBOO
That's Extra Light Bertolli Olive Oil!
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely grated good Parmesan
I use Il Villagio from the Teeter.
Mash the anchovies and garlic to a paste.
Add in the lemon juice, the L & P Worcestershire Sauce,
mustard, and whisk away.
 Coddle the egg.
Bring water to a boil.
 Drop egg in.
 Leave it for 1 minute.
 Then whisk the egg into the mixture.
Very slowly, whisk in the oil, maintaining an emulsion.
 Never add the oil too quickly.
 You don't want to see a small pool of oil in the dressing.
 You want to constantly whisk the oil as it drizzles in
to incorporate it in a creamy consistency.
 Taste test and adjust as you would like.
 I only give you basic guidelines for what I like, tastewise.
 Please feel free to jump off the diving board
 into new waters according to your tastes.

 Let's make the Caesar Dressing.
Mash 1/2 tin rinsed anchovies with the garlic cloves.
Add in lemon juice.
Dijon mustard.
To coddle an egg, bring water to a boil and drop egg in.
 Leave it for one minute in the water.
Then whisk the egg into the dressing.
I go by color.
 And this is the shade of buckskin you want.

I had just slightly over 1/2 cup.
Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking the entire time.
 You don't want the oil to pool like it's doing in the picture.
 You want to whisk constantly
 to incorporate the oil and make a nice emulsion,
 but I can't shoot pictures, whisk, and pour all at the same time.
Yes, even Rosie has her limits.

Whisk. Whisk. Whisk.
I ended up with a cup of dressing.
Grate 1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan.
Add Parmesan to dressing. 
And you have a proper Caesar salad dressing.
Pour dressing over chilled, torn romaine leaves.

And toss.
And toss some more.
On to the oysters.
Mr. Hawthorne shucked the oysters.
 Don't bother draining them.
 Let them sit in their own likker.
Mr. Hawthorne changes his batter from oyster batch to batch,
 depending on his whim.
 This time he used 1/2 cup corn meal,
 1/4 rice flour, and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
He added about a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.
Toss to coat oysters.
Fry about 1 minute then drain on paper towels.
Here's our lunch.
 Caesar salad with seasoned baguette slices.
 Crisp, lightly fried oysters with a remoulade
 and Rosie's Pig Shack Sauce.
 Rosie's Remoulade recipe:
 1 cup mayo
 2 TB finely chopped onion
1 TB finely chopped celery
2 small garlic cloves, minced
Heaping tsp capers, minced
2 TB white vinegar
 2 TB coarse ground mustard
 4 grinds sea salt
10 grinds pepper
 1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
The brown squiggle is Rosie's Pig Shack Sauce
and you owe it to yourself to try it.
 It's my re-creation of Boar and Castle Sauce which,
sadly, is no longer made.
Romaine, lightly kissed by the Caesar dressing.
If you want a proper Caesar salad and fried oysters ...
... you know where to come.

No comments: