This recipe was given to me by my friend, colleague, and long-time softball coach Steve Laplante. I visited Steve at his 'pad' in the Hunter's Point Neighborhood of San Francisco and he showed me how to make it, made us a cocktail, and talked story about his time working for Bill Clinton in Arkansas.
"The President showed me how to use microwave oven and I showed him how to burp Chelsea."
This recipe is excellent. I recommend it highly.
1- large head of Romaine lettuce
1- raw egg (option A: coddle [boil one minute] egg before using; option B: use two tablespoons of mayonnaise)
2- cloves of fresh garlic
1- rounded tbl of Grey Poupon dijon mustard
3- dashes of Lea & Perrins worestershire sauce
3- dashes of Tabasco sauce
1/4- cup of extra virgin olive oil
2- tbl of Barengo gourmet red wine vinegar(or other gourmet red vinegar)
½- fresh lemon, juice of
4- dashes of coarse ground black pepper
5-6 oz- fresh parmesan cheese (may wish to use the more expensive reggiano parmesan cheese)
2- cups of ceasar salad croutons (Use store bought or recipe below)
Wash lettuce leaves and stack in sheets of paper towels; place the stack in the refrigerator to chill; makes the lettuce crisp (or use packet of pre-washed romaine).
Prepare dressing in salad bowl starting with the egg and add in the order listed above; as each ingredient is added, mix thoroughly with the wire whisk prior to adding the next ingredient; this is the key concept.
When adding olive oil, do so slowly while whisking; lessening the amount of olive oil will result in a lighter dressing; when doubling the recipe, do not double the olive oil – add 1.5 the amount. After black pepper is added, retrieve the lettuce from the refrigerator and break the leaves into the bowl.
Toss salad. Hand grate the chunk of cheese using the large slice section of the grater. Toss salad. Add croutons. Toss salad and serve.
*If raw egg was used, do not save the unused portion of the salad. The brand names listed above are my favorites; other brands may be just as good. The best croutons are hand-made; see next recipe for making your own croutons.
Large salad bowl & salad tossers
Medium to large wire whisk
Large hand-held grater
Half cup measure
Stephen La Plante
HOME MADE CROUTONS FOR CEASAR SALAD
4- slices of white French bread; cut off the crust
6- cloves of fresh garlic
2- tbl extra virgin olive oil
½- cube of unsalted butter
After removing the crust from the white French bread, cut into rectangle pieces; lay aside. In a frying pan over medium heat, mix the olive oil and the butter. Add pressed garlic into the oil/butter mixture.
Once these three ingredients are mixed well and cooked, then add the bread.
With spatula, move the bread around the pan until drenched in the butter blend.
Line a broiler pan with foil; transfer the bread pieces to the broiler pan and place into the broiler.
Broil 7-8 minutes each side for a total of roughly 15 minutes until toasted; turn occasionally.
Lay aside covered to keep mildly warm.
Proceed to make the salad dressing.
Created by Elizabeth Colton, as told to Steve La Plante on 11-17-02.
NOTE ON USING RAW EGGS: If you do not know the complete medical status of one or more of your guests, then use option A or B. Otherwise, a raw egg may adversely affect someone with a compromised immune system.