Tag Archives: Dressing

Caesar Salad with homemade croutons

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Sometimes I try to imagine what I will be like as a pregnant lady. I’m YEARS away from finding out (PROMISSSSE) but the images still float through my brain when I think about my eating habits. When I made this dressing… I knew. It became crystal clear. I will not be one of those women who asks her husband to go out at 3am for McDonald’s or who starts to eat oranges with every meal. I will be the woman who can’t shake her need for homemade dressing, and who tiptoes to the kitchen at 1am when she can’t sleep to make a triple batch of caesar dressing and then proceeds to eat it with crackers/a loaf of bread/fingers.

I’m more THAT woman.

Even if you’re not a complete psychopath, you will love. this. dressing. I’m not kidding, The BF said this is the best thing I’ve ever made and that he could drink it with a straw. I’m not ashamed to say we ate 3 bunches of romaine and an entire loaf of white bread worth of croutons because of this dressing… it was straight out of National Geographic.

So… try it. That’s all.

On the menu:
Caesar dressing
Makes 2 cups

2 anchovy filets
2 garlic cloves
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup half and half
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or the juice from half a lemon)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra milk for thinning

In a small food processor, blend together the anchovies and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the mixture is completely blended together. If it’s too thick for your taste, add milk a Tbsp at a time to thin it out. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. For best results, let refrigerate over night.

On the menu:
Garlic croutons
Makes approximately 3 cups

1 small loaf of freshly made bread (day old from a bakery is best)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice bread into one inch cubes (tip: freeze bread first to make it easier to cut and reduce crumbs). Melt butter and garlic cloves together in a small bowl in the microwave. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the garlic butter until the bread is coated.

Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle cubes with salt. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until croutons are browned on all sides (careful not to burn!)

To make the salad: Grill a plain chicken breast with plenty of salt and pepper, and once cooked slice into thin strips. Wash and chop romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces, top with chicken, fresh croutons, caesar dressing, and a grate of fresh parmesan cheese.

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Ketchup, Mayo, and Mustard, Oh My!

One of the classrooms at The Brooklyn Kitchen

This post is a big ole ad (even though they sure as heck are not paying me) for The Brooklyn Kitchen. They have endless classes on everything from brewing your own beer at home and cake decorating to pickling and bread baking, and all for around $50 a pop. They are informative, taught by experienced and knowledgeable chefs, and located super close to the Lorimer stop off the L train in Brooklyn.

Why aren’t you leaping off your couch to go take a class right now?

On Monday night I went out to The Brooklyn Kitchen and took the class on condiments. I am now full of information on how to craft my own mayonnaise, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, citrus vinaigrette, and green goddess dressing.

Jealous?

While chef Brendan McDermott, who taught the class, stressed that recipes are the devil (my words, not his) and that home cooks should use their palates to craft truly special condiments, I’m going to share with you a couple recipes so you can start the condiments journey on your own.

You. Are. Welcome.

Greens with citrus vinaigrette (on lettuce), green goddess, and mustard

Spicy Mustard

3 Tbsp ground mustard seeds
3 Tbsp cheap beer (you heard me)
Healthy pinch of salt
2 tsp olive oil

Add the beer to the mustard and mix well. Add the salt and olive oil. Taste. If it’s too spicy for your liking, add a little more oil. If you’re a glutton for punishment, add more mustard powder.

That’s IT. Can you believe this? Don’t you want to slather this on everything in your cupboard and declare yourself Queen of Condiments?! No…? Just me…?

On to mayo!

French fries with (counterclockwise from top) ketchup, BBQ sauce, curry ketchup, and mustard

Mayonnaise

3 egg yolks
3 cups oil (canola, grapeseed, or olive)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (or zest from half a lemon)
1/4 cup lemon juice (or juice from one lemon)
2 tsp homemade mustard
Healthy pinch of salt (or 2 to taste)
2 Tbsp warm water

In a blender, on low speed, blend together egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Add salt. Add warm water. While the blender is running, add the oil VERY slowly, in as thin and slow a stream as your hand can muster. You absolutely have to add the oil as slow as possible so the mixture stays emulsified.¬†Once the oil is added, you have mayonnaise! Let the mixture sit out at room temperature for about an hour before refrigerating so the mixture doesn’t separate in the cold.

Mayonnaise is an amazing base for so many things; ranch dressing, green goddess dressing, flavored mayo like chipotle and sriracha, and can be used to beef up cakes and baked goods. Seriously, this is the stuff.

All this and more at The Brooklyn Kitchen! Check it out.

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