08 Mar 2013

The Author

Sheryl Goldstein
Sheryl is the founder of The No Gluten Solution: Feeding Family and Friends, which is the culmination of her talents, skills, and her personal desire to develop an effortless style of cooking good food, making her guests comfortable, and always having an excuse for a dinner party.


Craving A Real Honest to ...

How about a Caesar salad for dinner? A classic version with a coddled egg and real anchovies, not, “the anchovies are in the dressing” kind. The one that in the 1930s, was voted by the master chefs of the International Society of Epicures in Paris as the “greatest recipe to originate from the Americas in fifty years.”

The next question I have is when did we think it was okay to bastardize the perfect salad? I know that it has become common for things to be moderated in flavor and taste to accommodate a wider range of eaters. But the question remains, why do I have to compromise? I enjoy the traditional ingredients in a Caesar salad and resent when a restaurant serves me a watered down version.

The first bastardization of the salad was when anchovy paste was substituted for filets. Next came a salmonella alert in raw and undercooked eggs around 10 years ago, and the coddled egg was removed for health reasons. It was replaced by mayonnaise. Really, mayonnaise? Did chefs truly believe that no one would taste the difference?

I want to let you all know that you can use a coddled egg and live and don’t be afraid to use anchovies. Okay, not everyone is as fussy as I am and certainly not as vocal about standing up for the injustice this salad has faced. Perhaps you have never tried the real thing and don’t know what you are missing, but believe me, the version you are eating is not worth the calories or cost.

Choose organic free-range pasteurized egg. To coddle the egg, place the egg in boiling water for 1 minute and remove. Once it is cool enough to handle, crack open and place the egg yolk in a small bowl. Pour the lemon juice to be used in the dressing and add it to the bowl and mix. The lemon juice will act as an antibacterial. Some say that lemon juice is not a reliable disinfectant, but I don’t agree.

My last dilemma is how to get gluten-free croutons. You can make your own by toasting gluten-free bread and then sautéing cut up pieces in olive oil and garlic. There also are gluten-free croutons available in specialty markets, but they are not as good. When I was first diagnosed there was not good gluten-free bread available so I prepared Parmesan Puffs to accompany the salad in lieu of the croutons. You can’t go wrong with either choice.

I hope my lament encourages you to take a little time to prepare a Classic Caesar Salad. Once you do, you will understand my passion for the real thing.

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