Please share if you have a favorite recipe for a creamy, garlicky caesar dressing. I’ve tried a number of recipes and they have all been disappointing. Hoping to make for dinner tonight.
I’m not the Caesar expert you’re looking for, but why have the previous recipes not been “the one”? (Without that information, I think you’re too likely to get suggestions that just make it worse, because there are some strong and differing opinions on what makes a Caesar dressing good.)
Hard to put into words, although I appreciate the question. Our favorite versions in restaurants are garlicky, lemony, and very snappy. The ones I’ve made at home with recipes I’ve googled, or found in my own cookbooks, tend to emphasize the taste of the oil. So they feel greasy but taste bland. I am not going to eliminate the oil, because it’s an aoli type of dressing. But I’d like the oil not to be the predominant flavor.
Also, I can’t put my hands on any of those past recipes now - I didn’t keep track. But they all had some proportion of oil, egg yolk, garlic, lemon juice, anchovy, and sometimes worcestershire.
this is my fav
4 anchovy fillets
6 clove garlic peeled
6 T low fat mayo/salad dressing
4 T white wine or rice vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
4 T olive oil
garlic, anchovy, mayo salt&pepper to small food processor
olive oil, to consistency
use about 1/2 tin anchovy in oil
rice wine vinegar not zippy enough - use white wine vinegar
Today I tried the recipe in the big yellow Gourmet book from years past, with a little additional lemon juice. My caesar loving kid said - good, but not caesar. Another strikeout!
Where did the caesar-loving kid develop his preferences? Steal their recipe!
I don’t recall. Ever since he was about 5 (he is 18 now), that has been his order at most restaurants we go to. He likes many of them. I know what he means. They all have a je ne sais quoi that I can’t nail at home.
According to Julia child who grew up in Pasadena. Traveled to the restaurant in the early sixties. And was made the original recipe. There was never anchovies in the dressing she said .
I may have never had anything like the original recipe.
When Julia Child had that salad, the one she used as her example, she was a pre-teen. Even the brightest person who goes on to a brilliant career doesn’t remember everything correctly from when they were 12, nor do 12-year-olds necessarily know every detail of what might have gone into the salad before it reached the table, or after.
Also (Caesar salad heresy alert) original doesn’t mean best. (Sometimes original IS best, but not every time.)
Unless all the restaurants have been very expensive, that means the answer is going to be relatively simple. Maybe not immediately obvious, but simple. Maybe involving very large tubs from famous food service corporations.
You might be right. I think he prefers the taste of some Marie’s from the grocery than anything I have made with good quality raw ingredients at home. Ok, maybe it’s a lost cause. Perhaps bottled dressing at home. And he can keep his order.
Copying a commercial salad dressing “close enough” ought to be easily doable, if you even want to, and if you can have a chance to actually read the ingredients. Someone who makes a hobby of making homemade copies of popular commercial foods will surely have done it already - Caesar dressing isn’t quite as popular as Oreos, but it’s also a whole lot easier to do. (The only snag I can think of is if they use something that’s hard to get without having the right kind of account at the right kind of wholesaler.)
I’ll still take her judgement. And I love anchovies. This could be one of those archololgical food digs. Were canned anchovies on hand in the sixties
She’s a better cook than me, blindfolded and with one hand tied behind her.
The question, though, is whether all the thousands of good cooks since her time have been able to make any slight improvements on her idea. I don’t rate their chances that badly, so many “eyes” over so many years. None of them seem to have actually invented a better salad though, and in her time she did.
A ketchup recipe in England, published in 1758, includes anchovies without explanation or apology (making me think people in 1750s England generally knew what they were and could get them easily enough)… Still looking for information on something more recent and on the other side of the Atlantic… but the Spanish have known anchovies since forever, haven’t they? I’ll see if I can find anything useful.
From at least as far back as Fannie Farmer 1918, to Woman’s Day in the 1960s, anchovies have been generally available and accepted (well, somewhat accepted ) in America.
(In Europe, I’m guessing they go back in an unbroken heritage at least as far back as the invention of the fishing net. ) (food in a can is from the early to mid 1800s; can openers not invented until quite a bit later; during the many years in between, getting the food out of this new-fangled contraption was the customer’s problem, often solved with an axe or whatever else was handy.)
And recipe #144 in Mastering the Art of French Cooking is called Scalloped Potatoes With A Hell Of A Lot Of Anchovies In The Middle. OK that’s not actually the name, but it’s an honest representation of what’s involved.
I don’t have a recipe. I just make it. If I think about it too hard I’ll lose my mojo. Definitely anchovy and Worcestershire sauce.
As a wild guess, I suspect restaurants that make their own use more salt, butter, and extra egg yolk instead of mayo.