Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hay, Hay, It's Caesar Salad Day!

Caesar Salad

I've been meaning to make salad-filled rolls for a while now, because I like baking but have a hard time incorporating the bread into actual meals - I wind up eating sandwiches way more than what's good for me, and not even interesting sandwiches - cheese and cucumber is about as good as it gets. (You really don't want to know about the quality of the cheese I use for this, either.)

Caesar Salad

Of course, carved-out roll innards are just begging to be made into croutons, and when Katie of Other People's Food chose Caesar Salad as the theme for this month's HHDD, my choice was made for me. Now, I've made Caesar salad the original way, with raw egg and without anchovies, and quite frankly I don't see what the fuss is about. (Read: I probably just bungled something, but that was vile.) So I was quite happy to find a version using mayo instead.

Caesar Salad

Normally I'd fill the bread bowls with something a bit more substantial and creamy than this, maybe a mushroom or chicken salad (in which case, make/buy your buns in a bigger size...) which is why, upon consideration, I decided to toss in some crispy bacon with the romaine and croutons. OK, really it was because I wanted to fry the croutons in bacon fat, but once I had acquire said fat, what was I supposed to do, throw away the lovely by-product? I don't think so. I liked the dressing a lot and made a double batch of it to have some leftovers for the weekend. You'll have to go by feel as to amounts of lettuce and dressing anyway, depending on the size of the bread you're filling.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad-Filled Bread Rolls
Caesar dressing adapted from Bon Appétit, Feb 2002, serves 2

2 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
a few drops Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
50 ml good olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
3 tbsp grated parmesan

2 breakfast rolls, about 120 g each (and a third one for extra croutons)
a few leaves romaine lettuce
3 rashers bacon
some shaved parmesan

In a blender, whizz together the first six ingredients until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while keeping the motor running. Add salt, pepper and grated parmesan.

Cut off a "cap" from two of the breakfast rolls and carve out the innards from the bottom, leaving about 1 cm of the edges. Try to get the middle of the rolls out in as large chunks as possible so you can cut it into croutons, otherwise just slice off the crust of the third roll and cut it into scant-cm cubes. If you have time to leave the bread cubes to dry for a while, that's all the better.

Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels but don't discard the fat from the pan - fry the bread cubes in it until they're nice and crisp.

Crumble the bacon in a bowl and toss with the shredded romaine. Blend in an appropriate amount of dressing, toss in the croutons and parmesan shavings, and divide into bread bowls. Top with the caps.


Peabody said...

Very creative...good luck with HHDD.

Brilynn said...

That is the CUTEST caesar I've ever seen in my life, I just want to eat it up, (and yes, frying the croutons in bacon grease was essential, don't even let that flavour go to waste!)

deinin said...

Peabody, thanks! It's not really creative in anything but presentation, but then there's a reason the Caesar is a classic.

Brilynn, the croutons were really the best part. Occasionally I remember my dad used to fry toast in the bacon grease for Sunday breakfasts, but all too often I totally fail to get it done.

Orchidea said...

Great photos... especially the first one.

joey said...

Oh! That's just adorable! And delicious too I'm sure :) Mmmm...bacon grease-fried croutons! Can I come over? ;)

Helen said...

Very creative...beautiful shots. Good luck with HHDD

deinin said...

Orchidea and Helen, thanks!

Joey, I think the cuteness factor improved the taste by at least 5. And the bacon croutons, well...

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Those are so delightful that I want to make / eat one right now!

Lauren said...

I made my first batch of homemade croutons recently - oddly, not for HHDD - and I will never again be able to eat the boxed kind. Your presentation and pics are gorgeous - really inspirational! I will definitely have to try this.

Nora B. said...

Beautiful shots and a great idea!

Barbara said...

Gorgeous photos, Gorgeous salad, Gorgeous idea. Thanks for joining HHDD.

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