or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › That one dish you can't live without..
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

That one dish you can't live without..

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
My friends and I had a conversation last night on "the one dish you gotta have at least once a month"...

Mine was Cesar salad with real bacon bits and mozzarella cheese.

Others mentioned "cabbage rolls", "chicken soup" and "hot dogs" :)

What's yours?
post #2 of 25
:eek::confused::eek::confused::eek:

When is a Ceasar salad not a Ceasar salad? What can be put in the bowl to make it something else? Is nothing sacred?

Lazy, I'm scared to ask, but here goes anyway: What's your recipe for Caesar salad?

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #3 of 25
In response to the original question.... sorry BDL..

... a piizza margherita..
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Boar, I couldn't disagree more :)

My girlfriend makes a Ceasar salad like no other. Bacon bits, croutons, the right dressing... I've tried a Ceasar in dozens of restaurants, but nothing compared.

I guess it comes down to how you make it. She's coming back tomorrow. I'll ask her to post the recipe online :)
post #5 of 25
For me living in Montreal, its either a poutine ( definition here: Poutine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) or a great smoked meat if I happen to go downtown ( the poutine I can order home easily )
post #6 of 25
Eggs over easy.
post #7 of 25
One of my pastry sous' freshly baked white rolls slathered in butter. MUST have one mid day EVERY DAY. Either that or her porridge bread with honey every morning before work.
post #8 of 25
Lamb, Veal or Beef
Any cut, any style, always mid-rare.

As long as I have that, I can do without.
post #9 of 25
Disagree with what?

I've got no problem at all with your favorite dish being your favorite, not really. De gustibus non disputandum after all.

I am not so much as freaked out as bemused by you calling a salad with mozzarella a "Caesar." That's such a deviation what Caesar Salad, a well defined dish, originally was. But again, language changes, dishes evolve. The mozzarella was a new one. That makes your girlfriend's recipe interesting.

The real "original" Caesar may or may not be lost in the mists of history. One story has it created by a restaurateur named Caesar Cardini who had a hotel in San Diego, and during prohibition, another sort of road house/hotel just over the border in Tiajuana. The idea was that people would make their way to San Diego (usually from Los Angles), then Cardini would drive them to Tiajuana where they could get cocktails, a dinner and a show. If they passed out, they could stay in Mexico, otherwise they'd go back to San Diego which had significantly nicer accomodations. The legend is that he developed "Caesar's Salad" there. Cardini was a terriffic self promoter as was his daughter who took over the reputation -- but wasn't known for inventive food. Certainly, nothing else survives.

As I said, it's a very defined recipe. No bacon bits, no mozzarella. And in the Cardini version, no anchovies and not much lemon juice either.

Another story has the Caesar Salad created around New York -- same recipe, but with mashed anchovies. Another has the anchovy recipe version created anonymously in California. I was born and raised in California, and have eaten Caesar salad that's been on menus here since at least the early thirties in several places -- a few of which are still around. Musso & Frank's in Hollywood, for instance; so I tend towards the California theory.

At any rate, the salad was a major trend in SoCal from the thirties into the mid-fifties when it went national. Again, very defined. The variations concerned a choice of cheese (Parmaggiano or Romano), sour-dough or regular croutons, mashed and/or whole anchovies, and that's about it. The anchovies had a history in California salad dressings, just as green salads were an important part of the regional upscale cuisine -- Green Goddess, by way of example.

Sometime in the seventies or eighties, around the time fern-bars became popular, people started getting pretty creative with Caesar, using sour cream, cutting out the egg and the Worcestershire and tossing in all sorts of innovations. I suppose this is when bacon made its appearance -- perhaps as a substitute for the anchovies.

Anyway, can't wait for the GF.

BDL

My girlfriend makes a Ceasar salad like no other. Bacon bits, croutons, the right dressing... I've tried a Ceasar in dozens of restaurants, but nothing compared.

I guess it comes down to how you make it. She's coming back tomorrow. I'll ask her to post the recipe online :)[/QUOTE]
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #10 of 25
I guess I'm an "old fogey", but what you describe may be very tasty but it NOT a Caesar's Salad!
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #11 of 25
i have no idea

i suppose it would be a gyro from this iranian guy who riuns a middle eastern (persian style) place

the rice with eggplant and tomato (bademjan) is really good as well as the chicken fesenjan (this persian dish of poultry in a walnut and pomegrant sauce served over basmati rice is usually made with duck)

other than that, i am good, but those hot rolls with butter sound like they could become an addiction.

i eat a pretty varied diet.

maybe a good pizza from this one local pizzaria is on the list.
post #12 of 25
ill see that. but i gotta have it with grits!!!!
post #13 of 25
grilled cheese sandwich

dal with rice

deep fried food of some kind... fish, chicken, hush puppies, puris, indian split pea fritters or pies, salt fish fritters, latin fired pies, caraminolas, bunuelitos, or any austria or indian or middle eastern pastry .... gulab jamon, kurma, baklava, ras mittai, sebian pastries (there is a wealth of deep fried pastries or baked phyllo or semolina confections drizzled with a syrup of some kind in the middle east to india and pakistan region)whatever. gotta have something like that once every few weeks at least.

in that vein a doughnut or funnel cake of some kind is also always appreciated
post #14 of 25
The Caesar Salad has gone the way of the Martini...the best Caesar I ever had was in a hotel restaurant in Mexico City a few years ago.

For me, it's not so much a "dish" as it is a pretty simple list of things, and they're things that are more daily than at least once a month. Cured meats, good cheese, chiles, greens, Bourbon and cigars. The last two are food groups, right?
post #15 of 25
My favorite is braised veal shanks served over egg noodles, except instead of veal I use canned tuna and instead of egg noodles I put it on slices of Wonder bread with mustard. That's the best way to make a ceaser salad.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #16 of 25
I think it's a Canadian thing, but practically all caesars here (east to west) have some form of bacon in it, whether in the form of bits, strips, or pancetta... though the mozzarella is very unusual.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #17 of 25
Then, IMHO, it is NOT Caesar's salad!
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #18 of 25
I must have a curry, pilau rice and naan bread once a week. I also need spaghetti & meatballs at least once a month.
post #19 of 25
In 500 years I predict a Caesar Salad will consist of space algae, tofu, and soylent green ;) .
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #20 of 25
Lazy -- It must feel like a bunch of old foodies and has been old chefs are jumping all over you for you calling food a Caesar salad that clearly is a Caesar salad, because that's what it's been called your whole life everywhere you've ever been.

On top of that your thread is well and truly hijacked. Take it in stride brother. You'll be a cranky old SOB quicker than you know it. Also, don't take it personally. The conversation isn't about you but about language and food generally. Anyone who thinks you're ignorant doesn't understand how age breeds a false sense of omniscience. On top of that, you're right. A lot of us are old a-holes.

Considering the alternative, it ain't so bad.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #21 of 25

More Generally ...

Since this thread started I've taken a few hours ago to survey Caesar salad recipes in the three languages I read well enough to include. English, Spanish and French.

Most recipes written in Spanish (including Mexico, Spain, Central and South America), follow the classic outlines pretty closely -- although there's a strong minority that wants sour cream as part of the dressing. I found a couple or three that wanted blue cheese. Surprisingly, at least to me, none suggested using any of the several cheeses from el mundo Castillano which could successfully be substituted for parmesan. Cotija, e.g. One recipe, from Spain I think, called for partially roasting the garlic before incorporating it. Interesting. Nearly everyone wanted the croutons fried in butter instead of oil or toasting in the oven. Most recipes specified a mix of vinegar and lemon juice.

The French are down the line classic, except for one thing. They seem to have a hard time with Worcestershire sauce. I looked at around 50 recipes -- and a significant majority are very sparing or omit it entirely. It may be because it's so identified with the English and French folklore includes an association between the English and bad food. The variations I saw weren't terribly original or daring, but followed well trod trails. Typical was the inclusion of grilled chicken or shrimp (to "make it a meal," I suppose) were typical. It seems if the French are going to call a salad a Caesar salad, they expect a Caesar Salad -- but not too English.

English was where things got nuts. Pretty much everyone from anywhere that is or was part of the British Empire since the Americans left (in a huff), uses bacon. Lots of mayonnaise in the dressing, occaisonally sour cream; a few called for ketchup (?!). Tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, very common. Many omit lemon juice entirely in favor of vinegar. Many -- perhaps most -- omit raw or coddled eggs. About half eschew anchovies completely. A variety of lettuces (I know cos = romaine, so don't tell me) have taken root, and spinach has a strong presence. In fact one recipe for Caesar was actually pretty much a classic spinach salad except for the strong, sharp cheese note.

A very common version of incorporating the garlic, i.e., rubbing the bowl with a clove, has disappeared. It seems English speaking people aren't afraid of garlic anymore.

Caesar Cardini didn't include anchovies, feeling they were redundant as Worcestershire sauce supplied many of the same flavor notes in the completed dressing. In that sense, the French no-Worcestershire variant makes a certain sense. On the whole, the French recipes were the most conservative and cleaved more truly to the idea of an old fashioned Caesar. The broad majority of Spanish recipes didn't wander too far afield either. If you were to order an ensalada Cesar in Vera Cruz or Salamanca -- chances are high you'd get a cognizable and recognizable Caesar.

Now is as good a time as any to say that while I wouldn't serve it in a Caesar salad, bacon makes a sort of sense. I'm of two minds as to whether or not it's makes a sufficiently significant difference to continue flinching when I hear about it. Mozzarella though ... Oh well, as long as it tastes good.

Whether or not a given set of recipes represent anything you or I would call Caesar, there are some amazingly bad cooks posting recipes both in English and 'Merican. If you thought there wasn't that much scope to screw up a salad, you're wrong.

BDL
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
Reply
post #22 of 25
None of my posts have been on topic so I'll contribute my own dishes I can't live without...

Okay, so I haven't had a dish I didn't go without for at least a year, but one ingredient I always come back to and gives me great comfort is rice. Fried rice, Bi Bim Bap, Biryani, Pulao, Sushi, Risotto, Paella... it's all great to me.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #23 of 25
Please do not misunderstand my comments, RE: Bacon added to a salad created in the style of Caesar's Salad, for that matter, anything else one wants to "add", i.e. chicken, shrimp, beef, whatever. In most cases the result is more than likely very tasty. Even substituting a different cheese for the Parmesan.

It, in my mind, is just not a "Caesar's Salad", it needs a new name!
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hehe, I didn't think Ceasar salad would spark so much discussion :)

Call it whatever you wish, here's our Canadian version... I posted it on RecipeRepo, as it allows me to put up pictures easily:

RecipeRepo - Recipe Details

Cheers, Lazy
post #25 of 25
On the original theme on this thread - I've gotta have a reaal HOT seared rib eye steak - just bare and naked as mother nature intended, S&P. Totally blue, not just rare. Then I sleep like a baby. Well, a nice baby, not a cranky one.

As to the Caesar - I have tasted one good "authentic" (whatever that has become these days) Caesar Salad. Ever. Nice sweet soft buttery Cos lettuce, anchovies mashed into the dressing, garlic croutons, shavings of parmigiano and a raw egg cracked on top. It was beautiful.

I can see how crispy bacon could go with it (bacon goes with anything!), but I tend to dislike so many variations on what is a classic. Chicken Caesar. Yes it mixes well, but I am a bit (more than a bit) of a purist where the classics lie. There never seems to be enough anchovie, and the egg - I'd rather mix that thru the salad myself than have it just as part of the dressing. Part of it is seeing the egg - whether it be raw or coddled. The look is much better, to me.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › That one dish you can't live without..