Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

Classic Caesar Salad – Mad Men Style

Caesar Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Whenever I watch Mad Men, I wish I could be transported back in time to the New York City restaurants featured on the show. Of course, many of them are still open and thriving, and NY Eater has indexed them beautifully, here. But alas, I live in San Fracisco, and my time machine is in the shop, so I am reduced to trying to recreate the recipes of the day here at home.

I worked at a restaurant in the early eighties that made Caesar Salad table-side. It’s definitely food as theater when the waiter cracks the egg over the salad and mixes it in or lifts his arm high in the air to drizzle in the olive oil. Entertain your family at home with a similar preparation. It was in Season 1, episode 2 (The Ladies’ Room) that Betty and Don Draper dine with Roger Sterling at the restaurant Toots Shor, where a Caesar Salad is prepared table-side. Also in Season 3, Episode 4 (The Arrangements), Pete Campbell, Don Draper, and a potential client, Horace “Hoho” Cook dine at Keen’s where Caesar Salads are prepared table side even today.

Betty and Don Draper at Dinner

Betty and Don Draper at Dinner

Nowadays, people are a little spooked by the raw egg mixed into the dressing, but I’m someone who has eaten raw cookie dough my whole life and never -knock on wood – suffered from salmonella poisoning. This Caesar Salad recipe also calls for a coddled egg (boiled in rapidly boiling water for 40 seconds) which may comfort those who are nervous. The US Department of Agriculture measures the risk encountering a contaminated at 1 in 30,000. Coddling doesn’t quite bring the temperature of the egg to the 160˚F required to kill the bacteria, but it makes for a creamier dressing.

And what about anchovies? They weren’t a part of the orginial Caesar Cardini salad recipe, so I haven’t included them here, but if you want to add them in, just chop a few of them finely to mix into the dressing and then garnish with a few more on top.

For more about the food of Mad Men, check out The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, available at Amazon.com:

Watch Mad Men on AMC, Sundays at 10/9c.

Caesar Salad
Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Dressing:
1 clove garlic crushed
1 egg yolk that has been coddled (boil in rapidly boing water for 40 seconds)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper

2 heads romaine lettuce
Great croutons (if you have to make them yourself, toast cubed bread in olive oil and minced garlic until golden brown).

Method

1. In a large wooden bowl, spread the crushed garlic around. Crack a coddled egg into the bowl. Add mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce and salt. Beat with a fork. Pour the oil in a steady slow stream while continuing to beat the mixture. Tear the lettuce into the bowl and toss. Grind fresh pepper on top. Add the croutons and freshly shaved Parmesan. Toss and transfer to plates. Then shave additional Parmesan on top.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

My Favorite Broccoli White Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust

Broccoli White Pizza

I must admit. I am a total broccoli addict. I eat broccoli every day. Roasted. Steamed. With cheese melted over it on a potato and this way: on a white pizza. This is pretty guilt free. As long as you don’t eat half the pizza, like I sometimes do. But because low-fat ricotta stands in for most of the cheese, the calorie count on this dish is not terrible.

I was first introduced to white pizza in college outside of Philadelphia. Renato’s in Swarthmore used to make an awesome pizza with ricotta, Mozzarella, and lots of garlic. I’m pretty sure there was broccoli on that one too. So basically, I wanted to recreate that pizza here.

I’ve been eating this broccoli pizza almost once a week for about a month now, so I figured it was time to do a post.

I use freeze-dried garlic in this recipe, because it’s so much faster to just sprinkle it over the pizza, than it is to chop fresh garlic. The flavor is great. I don’t miss the fresh garlic at all. I use Litehouse brand, but you can find this other brand at Amazon:

You can make the crust yourself, as I used to do a lot (I just realized I’ve never posted by pizza dough recipe, which is weird), but lately, I’ve just been buying whole wheat pizza dough at the grocery store. Mollie Stone’s now carries Il Fornaio pizza dough in the frozen section. It tastes just like my homemade version, so I’ve been hard pressed to go to all the trouble of making it from scratch. Just make sure that you let the dough sit out long enough to come to room temperature, because if you’re not careful, you can run into the problem of having the toppings cook before the dough is ready, and then it just sticks to the pizza pan like crazy.

To help with making sure the pizza doesn’t stick, I use a nonstick, perforated pizza pan like this one available at Amazon.com (just click on it). I also spray it with a little nonstick spray:

Broccoli Pizza Slice

 

Broccoli White Pizza With Whole Wheat Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
White pizza with lots of broccoli and garlic
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 package of pizza dough (I use whole wheat)
  • Semolina or whole wheat flour to handle the dough
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon freeze-dried garlic
  • ¾ cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 500˚F
  2. If you have purchased frozen pizza dough, make sure it thaws overnight. Then let it rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes before shaping it into a pizza.
  3. While the pizza dough is resting on the counter, you can steam the broccoli. Put the florets in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of rapidly boiling water. Steam for 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully. When the broccoli is ready, it will be bright green still, and tendercrisp. It is better for it to be undercooked than overcooked. Remove from the heat and drain completely. Then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain again. Pour the broccoli out onto some paper towels. You don’t want to transfer any water to the surface of the pizza.
  4. When you are ready to shape the dough, put a couple of tablespoons of flour (semolina or wheat) onto a large cutting board. Coat the dough ball with the flour. Flatten the ball into a disc. Then with your fingertips, work your way around the edges, stretching it all out as you go. Put your fist in the middle of the growing circle and let the sides stretch down. Move your arm up and down to help it stretch out. Then work your fingers around the edge of the circle one more time.
  5. Spray the pizza pan with a little nonstick cooking spray and spread the circle of dough onto the pan. With the back of a spoon, spread the ricotta evenly over the pizza. Then sprinkle with the dried garlic. Arrange the broccoli pieces over the surface evenly. Sprinkle with the Mozzarella. Season with salt.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully. If the cheese starts to brown too quickly (before the crust has had a chance to brown), back off the heat a little bit. When the cheese and the crust are just starting to brown, remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Then slice and serve immediately.

 

Meyer Lemon Black & Green Iced Tea

Iced Tea

Meyer Lemon Black & Green Iced Tea

Today is the first in a series of Maryland (my homestate) oriented posts. Maryland summers are full of just-picked corn on the cob, Blue crab feasts, Thrasher’s French Fries, and pitchers of iced tea. My mother used to make 2 quarts of iced tea with a few Lipton’s tea bags, a cup of sugar, and a couple of lemons. She would let the tea and lemons steep for a really long time. Like most of the afternoon. It was awesome and there was never enough. I didn’t think I would taste tea that good again, but two things happened. I moved to California and my tastes changed a bit (a whole cup of white sugar? Ouch.) and my friend Paige brought over a batch of her iced tea. It’s iced tea heaven all over again.

There are three secrets that comprise the genius of this tea.
1) The black & Green combo
2)The honey and
3)The Meyer lemons.

In Marin County, where Paige and I live, it’s as if Meyer Lemons grow on trees. Well, not as if; they do. Lots of them. People are often trying to unload them because there are so many. We are so lucky. Eureka lemons are the bright yellow lemons you usually find in the grocery store. Meyer lemons are darker on the outside and are nearly orange on the inside. In fact, Meyer lemons aren’t truly lemons. They are believed to be a cross between lemons and either oranges or mandarins. They are less acidic than Eureka lemons and have earthy, herbal undertones. They are a great match for the Green Tea in this mixture. If you can’t find Meyer lemons (since they are usually only available in specialty stores from later winter to early Spring), you can substitute a mixture of two regular lemons and one small orange.

Iced Tea

Meyer Lemon Iced Tea with Mint Sprigs

Meyer Lemon Black & Green Iced Tea
Makes 2 quarts

Ingredients
4 Black Tea Bags (I like Earl Grey)
4 Green Tea Bags
1/4 cup honey or more to taste
2-3 Meyer Lemons, sliced thinly and seeded
Mint springs to garnish

Method

For the Green Tea
Heat one quart of water to boiling in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Green Tea is best steeped at about 180˚F and remember, water boils at 212˚F. Add 4 Green Tea bags to the pot and allow it to steep for 1-3 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow Green Tea to continue to cool.

For the Black Tea
Heat one quart of water to boiling in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 4 black teabags to the saucepan and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow black to continue to cool.

The mix
While both teas are still a bit warm, pour them into a glass pitcher. Add honey and stir to dissolve and mix. Add half of the lemon slices, reserving the other lemon slices for garnish.

To serve
Fill glasses with ice, add the tea and garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs (optional).

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