Alright, so I admitted in a post after this that I have not been blogging regularly.  To give you an idea of how irregularly I am blogging… I have completed three applications.  Three!  Without blogs attached.  Therefore, my goal is to catch up on my blogs so that I can start cooking again… because I can’t keeeep cooking… and then blog about things I made months ago.  That doesn’t make sense… and needed details get lost.  …I will confess something to you though… I took a plunge and conned James into making two applications with me.  Two.  The same day.  Same time.  This is a big step.  Anyway, this explains why I got behind on my blogs…

Now that that’s out in the open, the two applications I made were:
A) “Hail Caesar Salad” (yes, we are still on “Salad Daze”, but this is the last salad for this episode… which sort of makes me sad because I’ve still been obsessing over salads).
B) “B & B Chicken”… and for the purposes of blogging, I’m going to divide these two applications because they are different dishes that deserve separate comments.

So.  “Hail Caesar Salad.”  It sounds so… royal… which Alton even talks about because he suggests preparing the dish tableside to show off its elegance.  It was regal though.  Honestly.  And this was the main reason I convinced James into fixing two applications with me — I wanted to impress my parents.  I missed them, and my mom was going through a hard time because she lost a friend she met at work… so I decided, “What better way to cheer my mom up than to fix her dinner?”  It worked.  James and I went above and beyond on this meal…  We served a whole 4 pound chicken, veggies, and… but wait, let me pull myself back in.  We’re only talking salad here… so, we also served a salad.

Now I hear what you’re thinking — “A salad?”  *Yawn*  And maybe you’ll skip to the next post about my outstanding chicken… but heed this warning: Don’t.  This salad was very technical… very good, but very technical… mainly for (what I thought) was a simple salad.  I have to say though, James prepared this application probably more than I.  Is that bad?  Since I’m the one who wants to cook these applications?  …I don’t think so.  I enjoy cooking because of James, and it makes me happy when he helps.  So heck, he could take over the entire danged thing if it meant us in the kitchen, cooking something new together, then eating and commenting on our progress at the end.  In sum, James, if you’re reading this… I know I said it before, but I’m saying it again: You fixed one awesome salad.

Okay.  Let’s start at the beginning (like I said, this salad was very technical; there were so many steps).  I was scared of this salad.  I didn’t want to be, but the whole “Don’t eat foods I’ve thought a lot about” comes into play here because the dish required me to eat a raw egg.  R-a-w.  What a nightmare.  Remember how difficult it was for me to even taste my Eggs Over Medium?  Ah.  Now (go figure) they are raw…  I told Alton, “Alton.  This is not starting off well…”  He didn’t hesitate to continue…

Now that I said the negative side of this salad, here’s the plus side — homemade croutons.  AKA-Crunchy bits of heaven.  They truly were that good.  I remember seeing a “Good Eats” episode where Alton encouraged the viewer (with the most serious facial expression) to, “Make your own croutons.  They are too easy not to.”  He’s right.  All you basically do is chop up bread and bake it.  Done.  James single-handedly knocked out the (first part of the) croutons in about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, I made the (what I’m calling) “Crouton Dressing”… or at least I tried to, until I realized I needed James’ help.  I had bought a beautiful green marble mortar and pestle and was ‘o so excited to use it… until I realize how much physical labor goes into using one!  I mean, there’s grinding food… and then there’s mortar and pestle grinding… and… grinding…  I got bored.  Antsy.  Plus, I wasn’t seeing results.  Therefore, I threw in the muscles… and by that I mean I called James.  He got those ingredients mashed and smashed into the smoothest, silkest paste.  Then he sautéed that “dressing” over the croutons.  And PS-It may not sound extra-ordinary, but those croutons got rave reviews.  In fact, looking back on the meal, those croutons were the most talked about food!  Congratulations again, James.  I’m so smitten with you, love.

While James finished off the croutons, I flitted to the caesar dressing and greens… which I (embarrassingly) admit, these items weren’t as impressive as those croutons.  Hey, it was a tough act to follow.  How often do you make homemade croutons?  Moving on… I tore my romaine hearts into bite-sized bits (PS-I know I said mixed greens are the only way to go for a salad, but you also have to take into account the type of salad.  If you want an original caesar salad, romaine is key.  Just had to clarify that…).  Next, I quickly broke and mixed my eggs (raw, nasty, slimy eggs) into the other dressing ingredients until it was creamy; then I took the plunge and poured that raw goodness over the salads…

I’ll say here, I wasn’t the only one who was leery of the raw eggs.  My mom and dad were.  In fact, I’m convinced my dad wanted me to fix his salad without the dressing!  But know what, daddy, if I have to try something new, it’s out of your little box too!  I’m happy to admit though, once the salads were topped with Parmesan cheese and James’ croutons, everyone loved the salad… including me.

A great salad with devine croutons. I highly suggest making your own croutons!

In closing though, this really was a “royal” caesar salad.  The name “Hail Caesar” fits perfectly.  I certainly hailed after devouring it.  (Okay.  Corney joke, I know.)  Overall though, maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise I enjoyed it.  I’m clearly overcoming my food obstacles with Alton’s guide.  …Maybe one day I’ll be able to eat lobster… or mussels… (yuck, yuck, yuckyuckyuck!)  Thank God that day is not today…

On a side note, here’s a fact — Real caesar salads never contain anchovies.  The anchovies come from the Worcestershire sauce… which I guess people suddenly attributed to caesar salads.

One thought on “I Hail To Thee, Caesar Salad

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