The famous Caesar salad and dressing is believed by most historians to have been born in a kitchen with depleted supplies-Caesar Cardini's restaurant kitchen to be exact. A restaurateur in Tijuana, Mexico, Cardini was running short on ingredients one particular Fourth of July weekend in 1924. It was then that he gathered what was left of the basic ingredients, tossed them together in front of patrons at the tableside, and fathered the legendary Caesar salad. It gained popularity reaching even the Hollywood crowd, and from then on the Caesar salad and dressing has never left the world cuisine.
There has been multiple variations of the recipe for the Caesar dressing, but the main ingredients remain the same, more or less: olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, egg, and black pepper. If you've been to the salad dressings lane of grocery stores, you'll certainly notice a lot of brands of bottled Caesar dressing, ready to be purchased and poured over your romaine lettuce and croutons. But why not avoid the MSG and other additives by being a home chef and making your own home Caesar dressing?
To put together your homemade Caesar dressing, get a hold of the key ingredients: eggs, olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce, along with today's commonly added flavor enhancers for the Caesar dressing, such as anchovy fillets or paste, garlic, Dijon mustard and salt. Some even mix in red wine vinegar. If you use anchovy fillets and garlic, mash them with salt in a bowl, then beat the mixture with egg yolks, pepper and mustard until creamy. Stir in lemon juice. To make sure your dressing is emulsified well, add the olive oil into the bowl very slowly, drop by drop, whisking constantly. As the mixture begins to thicken, you can gradually pour in the oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue to beat the dressing until it reaches a thick and creamy consistency.
Plain yogurt also makes an excellent base for homemade Caesar dressing. Simply add plain yogurt and red wine vinegar to the recipe above for a tasty, creamy and healthy version of this classic dressing. Caesar dressing is typically used on salads topped with croutons, parmesan cheese, shrimp and chicken but it can also be applied as a glaze to chicken or fish when grilling. The pepper and anchovies create a sensational flavor for your white meats that is sure to please even the pickiest of pallets. This is an excellent idea for any leftover dressing that you have.
The Caesar salad and dressing has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Learning to make your own home Caesar dressing can be an invaluable kitchen skill, because today its popularity would not make anyone think it was once just a combination of left-over ingredients in a busy restaurant kitchen one fourth of July weekend.
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