For my first entry of 2012, I wanted to capture the complexity of the emotions tied into the start of a new year, and the hopes and dreams we often have for it. That brings me to a Caesar salad.
Rich egg yolk, briny anchovies, spicy garlic, grainy mustard, buttery olive oil, tart lemon, salty-sweet Worcestershire, and musky cheese, loving up on crispy, light Romaine.
Separately, some of these things are better than others, but together its magical. Just like the 12 months of each new year that will shape our characters, personalities, and lives.
You'll notice that the recipe below has no exact measurements, just guidelines with a greater focus on the technique of emulsification and making your food yours. Not trying to get all poetic, but its kind of like how life has no blueprint and even if you try to meticulously plan each and every move nothing is predictable and you should just go with it in the hopes of having great stories to tell the grandkids.
1 coddled egg yolk
1/2 cup and a touch more olive oil
Some anchovy paste (a few good squeezes of the tube)
Some Worcestershire sauce (1 teaspoon or so)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Some lemon juice OR lemon juice concentrate (1 1/2 teaspoons or so...I used concentrate because I live in a country with no lemons, bummer)
Some super grainy Dijon mustard (1 1/2 teaspoons or so)
Some grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and anchovy paste in a medium sized bowl.
2. Coddle the egg by placing it in boiling water for 45 seconds, then let it cool. Add the egg yolk to the bowl, mixing all of the ingredients together.
3. Start whisking the mixture. Whisk like hell, while pouring the olive oil. Don't stop whisking...this is what causes your dressing to do this fancy thing called emulsify.
4. Once it looks like and has the consistency of a dressing. add a little cheese in for good measure, as well as salt and fresh cracked pepper.
5. Taste and tweak as you see fit, adding more anchovy paste, lemon juice, Worcestershire, or pepper. I found that the garlic and salt content were fine, but added more lemon and Worcestershire to finish things off.
6. Put some of the dressing in a seperate bowl and toss some Romaine in. Coat the lettuce well, place it on a plate, finish with some grated cheese and croutons (homemade or storebought...no judgies).
7. Enjoy and Happy New Year!