Hail Caesar! ( Hail Ina!)

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I have a girl crush on Ina Garten. I love her simplicity of style in everything from her “uniform” of dress slacks and vibrant blouse, to her style of cooking. Fresh ingredients, simple steps, nothing fancy. Everything works together. I love her kitchen, her set design, her garden and I have always thought the moniker “Barefoot Contessa” was brilliant!

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Last week’s show was about eggs and now that I have poached eggs down pat thanks to my tutoring from Lidia Bastianich, I now have a killer Caesar dressing and salad menu from Ina. The egg features in both the dressing and as an ingredient in the salad, a step away from the more traditional greens and croutons or the 90’s version with chicken. Ina advocates for ingredients of cooked but slightly creamy boiled eggs, thick cut bacon and bleu cheese, along with the homemade dressing. There’s a few moving parts in this, so plan accordingly.

While I was cooking bacon in the oven, I whazzed up the salad dressing in the food processor. Always the long pole in the tent, homemade dressing take a bit of time, but the rewards are worth it. Ina’s recipe called for 1 egg yolk, 6-8 anchovies ( I  use anchovy paste) , 2 tsp of garlic, dijon mustard and salt ( I used 1 tsp of salt) and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Hit the pulse button with the egg, garlic, dijon and anchovies. Add 1/2 cup of lemon juice and the salt and pepper  and pulse again.

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Next with the blade on, drizzle 1 1/2 cups of olive oil into the food processor. DO NOT dump it all in at once or you will get a mess!

 

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Finally, add about a cup of grated fresh parmesan and pulse 3 times.

Meanwhile, your bacon should be done and nice and flat and crispy. Add whole slices of bacon to your long romaine leaves. Don’t cut them up, leave them long and add the bacon and slices of bleu cheese. I gave the Hubs bleu cheese and I shaved some ricotta salata cheese for myself. ( not a huge fan of the bleu, so the ricotta works for me). I added a little dressing to each salad.

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Now comes the science experiment, so make sure you have a lab partner or at least a trusty timer… Place whole eggs in cold water in a pan and bring to a rolling boil. Once a boil is reached, turn the pan OFF! Let set for  three and a half minutes. Then place the eggs into ice water for 2 minutes.

Tap each end of the egg and then roll the egg on a surface until it is cracked all over in order to peel it. Slice the eggs on the long side and place on your salad. Instead of croutons, Ina suggests ( and I agree) to rub baguette slices with garlic and a little oil and toast or broil!

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The Hubs and I missed the ice water bath and just used cold tap water so middles were not as creamy as Ina’s but they were delish anyway! Clean plates all around for this salad, and definitely something I will make again.

Here’s the link to watch the episode online!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/barefoot-contessa-back-to-basics/episodes/cook-like-a-pro-eggs

I’m also going to try the Jose Andres egg recipe thats also on this episode!

 

 


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