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

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chefross, May 13, 2012.

  1. chefross

    chefross

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    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?
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    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.
     
  3. margcata

    margcata Banned

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  4. durangojo

    durangojo

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    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
     
  5. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    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......
     
  6. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    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.
     
  7. durangojo

    durangojo

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     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
     
  8. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    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.
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    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
     
  10. durangojo

    durangojo

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    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
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

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    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....
     
  12. michaelga

    michaelga

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    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?"
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    You can use anchovy paste  no cans to open
     
  14. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    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.......................
     
  15. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    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 /img/vbsmilies/smilies/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.
     
  16. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  17. zoebisch

    zoebisch

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    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...
     
  18. zoebisch

    zoebisch

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  19. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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

    cheflayne

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    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)