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Caesar dressing from scratch......why and why not.....?

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

It seems that so many places buy that pre-made garbage that, while it may prove consistent, is not really that good.

I hesitate to order that salad out for this reason.

I did a search and came back with conversations from ChefTalk dating back 4-5 years ago.

The recipe is easy.

Easy to teach a salad prep cook to make....consistently. 

Those creamy cheesy dressings that come in the gallon jug are so far removed from the real thing, and yet, I'm always stunned at how many people order it out all the time.

What am I missing here?

post #2 of 89

I have found 1 or 2 that are good. but most of the others are bad . I like them because like you mentioned consistancy. Mostly though because of dangers of  using egg. Some of the commercial ones are pasteurized to control any growth or dangers.

""Kens Premium  and Hellmans"" are good as far as I am concerned.  Hellmans also makes a good Bleu Cheese. with chunks of cheese in fact I have to cut it with buttermilk sometime.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 89

Chef Ross & Chef Ed,

 

On a professional time limit note, time is of essence.

 

However, as a customer, I prefer Evoo and Balsamic Vinegar to a far removed and artifical pre-prepared dressing with tons of additives and fat.  

 

Have a lovely Sunday.

Margcata.

post #4 of 89

personally, why bother eating a ceasar salad without the 'real deal' dressing....it's the main attraction for me...all that garlic and lemon and anchovies and worcestershire etc. in perfect union and harmony.......i agree chefross, the bottled stuff is beyond horrible and probably horribly fattening as well. if i know my caesar salad won't be coming with housemade dressing i either don't order it or just eat it with olive oil and lemon. as with most things and as you well know, people think they are paying for convenience...what they end up with is another bad bottle of dressing sitting in their fridge. restaurants like western sizzler or k bobs and supermarket salad bars are criminal in that they perpetrate bad dressing choices....ranch, thousand island, glutinous italian, catalina and on and on and on  

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #5 of 89

I like the wood bowl Caesar salad method, or an egg less emulsified Italian dressing..........some of the bought dressings are salty, I would rather have to made in front of me..............I would order them a lot in Mexico..........no so much here anymore......

post #6 of 89

ChefRoss ,

 

There are many variations on this salad. I agree with ChefBillyB and the big wood bowl. I am curious to know what everyone likes in their salad. I like to microplane my garlic, use anchovy paste, lemon juice, worcestershire,  egg , parm reg,  cracked pepper, salt,  olive oil, croutons.

 

I have seen some restaurants adding bacon.

 

Those store bought dressing are terrible, sadly so many places use them to cut cost, shame.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #7 of 89

 besides the other things i mentioned, homemade garlicky herbed croutons, whole grain mustard, reggiano parmigiano and toasted pine nuts...and for me romaine hearts, not the outer leaves. extra anchovy filets on top for sure.

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #8 of 89

Yes Joey, I agree, there are so many ways..

 

I like to serve this dish another way, I split the romaine in half, put it on the Barbecue cut side  down , grill it not for long ,  plate cut side up and drizzle dressing ( and whatever else is there for garnishing along with 3 color cherry tomatoes ) .

The flavor of this with a squeeze of lemon ........(lips)

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #9 of 89

I have bought miniature romain and grilled it also served it on top of a raddichio cup on a large square   plate with sprouts acting as a border. and mini yellow pear tomatoes

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #10 of 89

petals,

i too love grilled caesar salad. sometimes just for grins, after i grill the leaves instead of leaving as whole halves i tear the leaves biggish then toss lightly with  the dressing, croutons parm and pine nuts. 

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #11 of 89

Why buy the stuff in gallon jugs?

 

Easy:

 

No one knows how to make a mayo or egg/oil salad dressing anymore.  By hand is too laborious, can't find the whisk for the K.A 5 qt mixer jobbie, food processor is too small and messy, and using the 20 or 30 qt mixer makes too much. Besides, you have to squeeze lemons, and there's something to do with anchovies, but the cans won't work in the can opener.

 

It's just easier to buy the stuff.  Besides, the nice man from Sysco really perks up when we order the stuff....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Why buy the stuff in gallon jugs?

 

Easy:

 

No one knows how to make a mayo or egg/oil salad dressing anymore.  By hand is too laborious, can't find the whisk for the K.A 5 qt mixer jobbie, food processor is too small and messy, and using the 20 or 30 qt mixer makes too much. Besides, you have to squeeze lemons, and there's something to do with anchovies, but the cans won't work in the can opener.

 

It's just easier to buy the stuff.  Besides, the nice man from Sysco really perks up when we order the stuff....

 

LOL - so, so, so, true...

 

...and when you do take some time to make it the right way for a small family meal the boss his wife and the front of the house end up all commenting on "how this dressing isn't very creamy and white but i really like the taste of it... what do you call it? and can I get more bacon bits?"

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #13 of 89

You can use anchovy paste  no cans to open

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #14 of 89

I know this is off subject but, I was watching three gals at a Salad bar last week, they loaded their plates up with all the normal salad bar items, and they put ladle after ladle after ladle of 1000 island dressing, until it was dripping off the plate. I know they were thinking they were doing a great job on their diets but, I bet they also wonder why they didn't lose any weight that week. Salad dressing is real misleading, a Caesar salad is nice because we get to use EVOO, no low in calories, but better for you, everything else except the cheeese and croutons are fine. I like good homemade croutons on a caesar, with some shave parm.......................

post #15 of 89

ChefBillyB,

 

The deception of salad dressing.

 

There are 58 calories in one tbsp of thousand island dressing. If those woman had of put 10 tbsps on their salad it would come to 580 in calories. For that amount of calories they should have had a Big Mac at 576 calories.....while they are at it , french fries and a diet coke. (imagine, a diet coke eek.gif- but thats what they order ??? )

 

While I'm on the subject, there are 78 calories in a tbsp of caesar dressing (store bought) .

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #16 of 89
I've had the Ken's Steakhouse bottled Caesar. It was pretty good for a bottle, but haven't seen it carried locally for a while. . I recently tried Caesar Cardini's branded bottled dressing and liked it pretty well. Costco was doing samples of it one day.

But yes, I've often wondered why the Caesar is so popular at chain joints when they do it so poorly. It's a no brainer to have on the menu there, certainly. Very simple to produce and a guaranteed seller.
post #17 of 89

It's a classic example of commercialization and the distance between the consumer and authenticity (or at least the goal of authenticity).  There are usually very good reasons why there are even classic dishes to begin with.  Caesar is one of those and the way I see it, do it right or don't, it's that simple. I really hate the idea that because somebody decided to put something on a menu that people have become accustomed to a deprived experience.  Make it right, charge a little more for it. 

 

The only real concern here is over the egg and after a little reading in the cases where Salmonella is actually transmitted to the egg from the hen (many hens carry Salmonella) those occurrences are between 0.1 to 0.5 % (a report I read done in the early 90's cited 1/1000 to 1/200 eggs actually test for it in a henhouse testing positive for Salmonella...which by the way was pretty frequent according to the study) and the paper implied that there may be a strong correlation to environmental conditions for the chickens and infection.  Even if an egg tests, this does not mean that someone will certainly get sick. Interesting how the restaurant industry is supposed to pick up the pieces of the agricultural industry...but I digress...

post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post
glutinous italian

I can't understand how anyone could find that stuff even remotely appealing.  I'd rather have just a sprinkle of coarse salt and a squeeze of lemon if it comes to it (which with some really great Extra Virgin Olive Oil it becomes awesome). I mean that stuff is just nasty. It looks like somebody barfed on the salad. Same reason I am opposed to thicken agents like xanthan gum in my hot sauce, which is why for a standard table hot sauce Louisiana is my go-to: Peppers, vinegar, salt. That weird almost slime-like consistency...nasty.

post #19 of 89

You can also use pasteurized eggs in the shell, which eliminates the possibility of salmonella.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch View Post

It's a classic example of commercialization and the distance between the consumer and authenticity (or at least the goal of authenticity).  There are usually very good reasons why there are even classic dishes to begin with.  Caesar is one of those and the way I see it, do it right or don't, it's that simple. I really hate the idea that because somebody decided to put something on a menu that people have become accustomed to a deprived experience.  Make it right, charge a little more for it. 

 

Years ago I offered chai in my restaurant and everything went along smoothly until it started to become somewhat mainstream, then all of a sudden I started getting complaints about my chai because it wasn't like the grocery store shelf chai or chain stuff. I took it off the menu. A mind is terrible thing to waste, but guests didn't come in to be educated and I would rather be serene than right, so no more chai for you (said with loving acknowledgements to the soup nazi)

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

and there's something to do with anchovies, but the cans won't work in the can opener.

 

 

      LOL

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by petalsandcoco View Post

 

While I'm on the subject, there are 78 calories in a tbsp of caesar dressing (store bought) .

 

 

With out looking how many calories in a Tbsp of EVOO? eek.gif

 

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #22 of 89

Without looking....80?
 

post #23 of 89

Whoops (just looked) hah!

post #24 of 89

Dave,

 

I am not going to look but I am sure its up there. Probably very close to what Zoebisch said.

 

 AKA : liquid gold ?

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(163 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #25 of 89
You can estimate most any fat at 100 cals/Tbs

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #26 of 89

OK. So I've never been a real "Caesar" fan, but if I'm gonna have it or serve it, I've never had any problemmo with these: 

 

        Caesar                 Creamy Caesar

45c1f9190475636.jpge5c349190475638.jpg

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #27 of 89
Oy, feh!

BDL
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post #28 of 89

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubadoo97 View Post

You can estimate most any fat at 100 cals/Tbs

 

Most oils are around 120. ;)

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #30 of 89
When is a Caesar salad dressing not a Caesar salad dressing? Definitional. Whether you like it or not, the modern, "creamy" style dressings without egg or anchovy dominate and are what most people think of when they think Caesar. The fact that they're neither very good, nor closely related to the classic Caesars of the fifties loses to usage as it must, because that's the way language goes. If you find that so banal as to be boring, you're not alone.

I know how to make a great, classic Caesar dressing, I knew how many calories were in olive oil, but I don't know what this thread is doing in the "Restaurant" forum. Perhaps someone can elucidate.

BDL
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