Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The Taste in my Mouth
I love Caesar salad. So do my kids. Of course they don't sell Caesar dressing here. And that's totally okay. Necessity breeds invention. So I have toiled and tweaked to come up with a Caesar dressing recipe that I like. Oh, I started with a real recipe. And as things progressed I ditched the measurements, I substituted for things I didn't have and finally came up with something I liked. The thing is, not everyone else likes it cause it's kinda spicy. But my family? They like it and that's all that matters.
And I know if you read my post The Ex Factor you're like, but you broke it off with lettuce, remember? Well, we're back on. Let's not get stuck on semantics people. So, back to Caesar dressing. I found the original recipe on line at cooks.com or epicurious.com or was it recipes.com. I confess, I'm a total recipe whore, so I totally don't remember who I got it from. My printer wasn't working at the time, so I copied the original recipe down on a note card and put it in my recipe box.
Here's the original:
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil
So the first time I made it, I did not include the optional anchovies. And, the first time I made this recipe was the day I fasted, as you'll remember from my post Quick I Gotta Fast. So, I couldn't taste the dressing until I brought it to a friends house for dinner that evening. And let me tell you my friends, I have learned that the anchovies are NOT optional. Include them or your dressing will be boring and bland. I always have plenty of garlic on hand, so that's no problem. I am fresh out of Dijon though, so I substituted regular mustard and added some horseradish to give it that Dijon-y zing. And if you've ever had my shrimp cocktail sauce you know I LOVE horseradish. I do confess, I was a bit heavy handed. And as for the vinegar, I save my plain white vinegar to clean my veggies. So, I substituted a shallot vinegar.
The other night we was invited to a friend's house and I brought a Caesar and a Waldorf salad. You know how I made the Caesar dressing. The Waldorf dressing was made with plain yogurt, mixed with some honey and red curry powder. Unconventional I know, but I also LOVE curry.) Both salads were well received. Well, except for one person. My friend Jenny. My friend Jenny who detests anything spicy. Which is fine, I respect her love of bland boring food. I mean I don't get it, but I respect it and I do love Jenny despite this. So upon eating my spicy Caesar salad she utters, "You coulda warned a girl." Now, everyone knows I like spicy food. I eat spicy food. I make spicy food. I serve spicy food. But granted, we were at a pot luck and she didn't know I made the salad. Cause if she did, she could have simply avoided eating it. But I do love that my friend Jenny is so opposite of me. That's why we're friends. I'm yin, she's yang. We both accept and appreciate that. And that leaves even more spicy food for me. So it's all win-win like that.
So yesterday I scored some beautiful romaine lettuce and made a spicy quiche and a spicy black bean soup and a spicy Caesar salad. It's one of my favorite dinners. And my family's too. And that's about all that matters. But after I brushed my teeth, I could still taste the garlic from that dressing. Cause we all know, you can brush your teeth and swish as much mouthwash as much as you want, but it takes at least 3 days to get rid of garlic breath. And you know what? I like the taste in my mouth. It reminds me of the dinner I love so much and the people in my life I share it with who love it too (or don't). Whatever. I guess it comes down to this. If you don't like my spicy food or my garlic breath, you'll probably want to avoid eating it or talking to me...