A true caesar salad, made with raw egg yolks and not mayonnaise, is a beautiful dish. The problem is, most people including me are slightly afraid of raw eggs for fear of salmonella. I usually buy organic free range eggs but I buy the most expensive kind when I know I'm going to be eating them raw for tiramisu, caesar dressing, or my favorite tamagokake gohan (raw egg mixed in with a hot bowl of rice). I recently came across the International Pasteurization Manual which states that whole room temperature eggs can be pasteurized by immersing them in 140°F/60°C water bath for 3.5 minutes. What a game changer. With just a thermometer, we can all start eating raw eggs to our heart's content without getting food poisoning! I tested pasteurization myself and the egg does not scramble at this time and temperature.
Once the egg problem is solved, a caesar is really quick to whip up. I don't bother with the brick dry chicken breast because it adds nothing to my bowl of crispy romaine and tangy flavorful caesar dressing. I also consider the croutons optional. If you do want to use croutons, make them from scratch. They taste so much better and it takes all but a few minutes in the oven.
First, chop up your romaine hearts and wash them well. I always use my beloved salad spinner because it can get all my veggies bone dry with 2 spins. No paper towels or waiting around. I sometimes see salad spinners popping up on lists of unnecessary kitchen gadgets and I gasp because it's probably one of my most used items. Not only is it great for salads but it's essential for stir fries. You just cannot stir fry wet vegetables. If you don't have one yet, go out and get one (though a bit pricey, my favorite one is by OXO).
If you love croutons, then dice up some baguette with the crust on. Toss with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pop them in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes and then turn off the oven and let them sit and continue to dry out until you're ready to plate.
Finely mince the garlic with a pinch of salt while occasionally pressing down with the side of the knife to mash them into a paste (or use a microplane). Mince the anchovies and mix with the garlic, pasteurized egg yolk, dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl. Whisk in the rice wine vinegar. Then finally, whisk in the oil pouring slowly.
Toss together the romaine lettuce grated Parmesan cheese, and dressing. Plate and garnish with shaved Parmesan and if you decided to make them, the croutons. Enjoy!
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