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Saturday, March 24, 2007

kick your butt chicken caesar salad

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I know I know.....I haven't posted. And this post doesn't even have a picture. So I officially suck right now. Work has been draining lately and weekends have been quite busy. Last weekend, actually, I didn't even cook ONCE! On the Friday night, hubs and I made a little impromptu visit to our favourite haunt, Absinthe Café and ate like kings. Then on Saturday, we lunched with friends (who made amazing eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise....I am in AWE). And then we had dinner with other friends (who made an amazing italian feast, complete with guiness cake at the end! yum!). And then Sunday, we had pizza (go Gabriel's). And then this week, I did cook a few things, but had zero energy or creativity left in me.

But last night we did have a kick ass dinner. I didn't think it would be that good, so I didn't take any photos....but don't let the lack of photographic evidence discourage you from trying this out, because it was AWESOME.

Last night was actually a perfect evening.....I'm such a homebody....or perhaps I'm finally moving beyond the pseudo-student mentality....I'd much rather have a quiet evening in (or out at a friend's place) than go to a bar, pub or other such social mecca. I am officially lame.

But we started out with shrimp and cocktail sauce (Hubs was astonished to discover that rather than buying cocktail sauce, I've just been pulling the old mix-ketchup-with-horseradish-and-call-it-a-day trick.....he didn't believe that's what he had been eating). This was yummy. I paired it with a lovely bottle of bubbly - a 2002 Méthode Classique from Jackson-Triggs Grand Réserve (about $25 and a fabulous alternative to the real deal).

The main attraction was the most decadent chicken caesar salad - you don't need to have the chicken, or even the bacon, because this dressing is so fabulous, you could practically eat it with a spoon. It's brutal for you, but don't let that deter you. You want decadence, you shall find it right here. The dressing recipe is from epicurious and you should all make it now. Because it's THAT good. I think the bubbly would have been a nice compliment to this, but we'd already consumed it all (winos!) so I had it with an Inniskillin Méritage (LOVELY wine, not the best food match).

Caesar Salad Dressing (slightly cheating version)
3 garlic cloves, crushed/minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise (not miracle whip/whipped salad dressing)
1 t anchovy paste
2 T chopped capers
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
fresh black pepper

1. Combine all these ingredients (can use blender or food processor, but by hand is fine if you don't mind a less-smooth dressing). This dressin makes enough for 4 main-course salads, or 8 side salads.

To make caesar salad:
- romaine lettuce
- croutons
- bacon (5-6 slices, cooked and crumbled)
- parmesan cheese

1. Wash and tear romaine lettuce, add bacon and parmesan cheese. Don't add croutons until the last second, or they can get soggy.
2. Add a small amount of dressing and toss to coat (start with a smaller amount than you think you'll need, and add more until you are satisfied. This dressing is intense and you don't want your salad to be sopping in it. Three cloves of garlic is quite strong; if you're making this for company, 1.5-2 cloves might be more prudent!
3. Top with BBQ'd or grilled chicken (as always, I brine my chicken in 1/4 c. kosher salt, 2 T sugar, dissolved in about 2L of water for 30 minutes or so - the chicken ends up juicier at the end).
4. Add more grated parmesan and pepper to taste.

You don't regret making this salad is AMAZING and totally worth your time....even if I don't have any pictures. :)

Thanks for reading and I promise, I WILL be back again soon!


Anonymous said...

where did you pick up the ancovy paste?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip on the chicken! I love ceasar salad and make my own rendition of that salad dressing... although quite similar. The only substitution I make is some white balsamic vinegar and brown sugar for your lemon juice. The only way to do ceasar is with homemade dressing :)

-first_2b_aBride from WB

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's April 2nd! Slacker.

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