<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Fanny. No really – that is her actual name. She is a massive massive massive foodie, and would like to share with you all the adventures on all of the things she puts in her mouth. Wait, no – not like that … I mean … well, you know what I mean. Aw shucks, just hit it already Fanny … </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Fanny Slater
in honor of talk nerdy to me lover’s first live show (tomorrow night at 9:30 PM at the little modern theater on santa monica boulevard), i decided that this post should be somewhat of a tribute. obviously, this is a food blog–and there’s not really a food that screams “website-turned-kickass-stage-show”–so you’ll just have to go with me here. from the moment i met jen friel, i knew there was something special about her. actually, it was about half an hour AFTER i met her–because for the first thirty minutes, i didn’t realize she had headphones on under her hoodie and couldn’t hear a word i was saying. when you meet people that have the “it” factor, you can practically reach out and touch that magical light they have around them. i was so honored to be asked anytime jen needed an extra hand or face on camera, but when she asked me to be part of her incredibly successful blog–i couldn’t have been more thrilled. getting to be one of the very first five girls in the TNTML live show is going to be an experience i’ll never forget. it hasn’t even happened yet, and i already know it’s going to be classic.
to me, classics are everything from sixteen candles, to skip-its and pop rocks, and of course…
jen friel is a one-of-a-kind classic and i’m lucky to be a part of whatever she spreads her magic onto. another irreplaceable classic–that i believe no one will disagree with me about–is a caesar salad. they’ve always been a favorite of mine, but coming from a family where the salad dressings are always homemade–i can be a little picky. nobody likes a wilted, gloppy, over-dressed salad. especially when it comes to something so traditional like the caesar salad–the ingredients should be treated delicately and as equal members of a wonderful ensemble cast. although i don’t mind the flavor of anchovies when they’re blended into a dressing at a good restaurant, they’re not something i generally keep on hand unless it’s olive’s birthday. the recipe that my dad originally taught me for this is pretty standard. you can certainly add things to it and change it up as you like, but for it to be a traditional caesar dressing (minus the anchovies)–the ingredients are as follows:
-cracked black pepper
yes, it’s true. caesar dressing doesn’t HAVE to be full of mayonnaise. there’s a restaurant in raleigh where i’m from that, in my opinion, makes the best caesar salad i ever had. a few years back, i had the opportunity to work as an intern under the executive chef and i couldn’t help but ask what the secret was. are you ready for this?
just kidding! that would be awkward. the secret is hardly even a secret at all! instead of using raw garlic–like most caesar dressings call for–they used ROASTED garlic. the sweet nutty taste adds a different layer of flavor that only sticks out enough to make you to say, “what the hell makes this so good?” for my ultimate caesar salad, other than the incorporation of roasted garlic and a touch of light sour cream or plain greek yogurt (to make it a little creamier), i’m a big fan of adding roasted capers and roasted peppers. i learned that trick from another restaurant i used to work at. see…who needs culinary school when you can learn all your tricks in real live kitchens!
for the dressing (this serves 2 people and makes 2 medium size caesar salads):
1. coddle one egg (no, that does not mean hug it and whisper compliments into it’s shell. run it under warm water to get it to room temperature, and then let it sit in boiling water for EXACTLY one minute, run it under cold water, crack it and put the yolk in your dressing bowl)
2. the juice of half of a lemon
3. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
4. a few shakes of worcestershire sauce (two teaspoons maybe)
5. 1 medium minced raw garlic clove + 2 medium roasted garlic cloves (smashed and chopped)
6. cracked black pepper and salt to taste
7. 1 tablespoon fresh finely grated parmesan cheese
8. 1-1.5 tablespoons olive oil (whisk it in until the consistency looks dressing-like)
9. optional: 1 teaspoon light sour cream or plain non-fat greek yogurt
once the dressing is done–make sure your romaine is washed, dryed, and cut to your liking. a lot of restaurants keep the leaves whole and paint the dressing right on them. i think this makes for a beautiful presentation–but it’s a little easier to eat at home if you pre-cut your lettuce.
never be afraid to pre-cut your food…even if someone tells you it’s impolite.
lay out all of your ingredients…
from the bottom left going upwards: roasted chicken, homemade english muffin croutons, roasted capers, feta cheese, romaine, scratch-made dressing, parmesan for the top.
to answer your questions: 1. yes, i do add feta to my caesar salads because i love the added salty flavor. 2. yes, i’m lying. i add feta because i’m obsessed with greek food and i put feta in my cereal. 3. yes, that was also a lie. 4. yes, i did make those croutons out of honey wheat english muffins. (cut into squares, toss with olive oil, salt, bojangles seasoning, and parsley) once again, if you don’t have bojangles seasoning–just use paprika for the color.
it doesn’t get much more classic than that.
if you’re already being fancy and making a caesar salad entirely from scratch for dinner–you might as well keep the classy going. i recommend a glass of wine.
so does olive.
click here to check out more from Fanny! (heheheeheh her name is Fanny)