Yield: 1 servings
|\N \N||Continued from Caesar Salad|
|\N \N||Complete (1 of 2)|
For very fresh, absorbent croutons make your own from ordinary white sliced bread. I use one slice per person. First, put the bread slices in the freezer (wrapped in plastic) until the slices are firm. With a sharp knife, cut off the crusts and feed the pieces to the birds. Cut the rest of the bread into roughly ½-inch cubes. Placecubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at about 250 degrees to dry them out. Sti the cubes around once or twice. Remove them from the oven when they are a very light tan color (usually 30 to 45 minutes).
Croutons will stay fresh for several days in a closed refrigerated container.
The most spectacular salad contains all fresh ingredients. However, if you need to simplify the procedure, here are some recommendations for substitutions. Use a few tablespoons of lemon juice in place of a freshly squeezed lemon. In place of the garlic cloves you could sprinkle garlic powder (but not garlic salt!) into the bowl. You can try commercially prepared grated Parmesan cheese, but freshly grated Parmesan is sweeter and has a better texture. (Commercial grated cheese often contains cellulose to prevent caking. If it does, it will taste just like a cardboard box.) Ordinary head lettuce instead of romaine might do in an emergency, but it's not for guests. Anchovy paste in place of flat fillets is not a very good substitute. Never use anything but pure olive oil.
TECHNIQUE: Part of the enjoyment of a Caesar salad is watching the chef create it at the table. Prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time and arrange them in saucers and bowls on a small table next to the dining table. Be sure to include a stack of dinner plates and a small bowl for discarding the egg shells. Do everything with a flourish and occasionally tip the bowl allowing your guests to watch (and sniff) your progress.
From: billen_j@... (James H. Billen) Submitted By SAM LEFKOWITZ On 07-31-95