I know I said I was going to take a break from blogging for a while, but I just couldn’t resist.  I got a sudden craving to make a caesar salad a few days ago and I knew I had to share that experience with the world.  I lead such an exciting life.

In case you were wondering, the caesar salad was invented by Julius Caesar, our twelfth president, in 1986.  In addition to the caesar salad, he is also known for inventing the light bulb and the phonograph.  Isn’t history fun!

First step: Ingredients

Caesar salad can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  This version is somewhere in between simple and complex.  Type, variety, quality, and quantity of ingredients will vary from person to person/place to place, and may even vary each time you make this.  You may have different ingredients that are available to you, you may have better or worse skills in the kitchen, you may feel lazier or more ambitious, etc.   But for today’s version you will need:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Anchovies
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chicken
  • Croutons
  • Black Pepper

Second Step: Lettuce

A) This is what a bowl, a knife, and lettuce look like.

B) This is what chopped lettuce in a bowl looks like.

If you don’t understand how we got from point A to point B please allow someone else to make your caesar salad.

Third Step: Dressing

This picture is pretty self explanatory, right?

It’s time to get your hands a little dirty.  Make sure the lettuce is coated in dressing by mixing the dressing in with your hands.

I prefer to make my own caesar dressing when I’m not feeling lazy.  It can be a bit of a pain and doesn’t always come out right.  To make your own caesar dressing you will need:

  • Eggs
  • Some kind of mustard
  • Anchovies
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Roasted garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Some kind of oil

Put everything but the oil in a food processor and mix together.  Quantities will depend on how you want it to taste, how much you want to make, and what consistency you’re looking for.  The key to making caesar dressing is the oil.  You need to add it slowly while the food processor is going to emulsify the whole mixture.  Moving on.

Fourth Step: Anchovies

Is it just me or does that look like some kind of slimy alien sort of thing?

Many people don’t like anchovies.  I’m not sure if it is the texture, or the taste, or both, but I love ’em.

They have a strong flavor so I don’t suggest using too many.

Chopping them nice and small will make the taste less potent.

Add them to the bowl.

Fifth Step: Chicken

Heat a pan to medium heat and add chicken.

Because I’m lazy I used canned chicken breast.  It doesn’t taste as good and I don’t recommend it, but fresh chicken breasts are more expensive and take longer to cook.  Plus, the grocery store is, like, 200 yards away.  That’s soooooooo far.

Cook it until it looks like food.  Add the black pepper to the chicken and add a little to the lettuce as well.  Let the chicken rest a bit.  It’s had a long day.

Sixth Step: Cheese

Now is not the time to be cheap or lazy.  Cheese is important.  Make sure you get a good wedge of parmesan at the store and treat it with respect.  None of that shredded or grated crap.  You want freshly cut slices or shavings of good parmesan for your salad.  You can skimp on a number of ingredients, but don’t you dare disrespect the cheese.

Your current or future kids will understand if they can’t afford to go to college because you spent a few extra dollars on cheese back in 2011.  You made the right decision.

Add it to the bowl.

Seventh Step: Croutons

Again, if I have to explain how the croutons got from the bag to the bowl we might have a problem.

I prefer to make my own croutons when I have the time.  Croutons are pretty easy to make.  Turn your oven on to some temperature (400 degrees or so I think).  Get out whatever kind of bread you like or have in the house and cut it into 3/4 inch or so sized cubes.  Put the bread cubes in a bowl and add some salt and pepper (you may want to experiment with other seasonings as well).  Coat the cubes with oil and spread out onto a baking sheet.  Put them in the over until they are nice and crispy.  There’s no real set time for this.  Just keep checking on them so that they don’t burn.  Try one or two.  If they are chewy in the middle they need to go a bit longer.

Eighth Step: Chicken (Part II)

Add the chicken to the bowl.

Finally….

Mix it all together.

I suggest eating it right out of the mixing bowl.  Less dishes that way.

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