Monday, October 15, 2012

Mexican Caesar Salad

Guest post from Sandra Simmons at Dear Lauren, Love Mom

Mexican Caesar Salad.

I know what you're going to say!

Raw eggs and

anchovies?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO way!

But do you know about this?

If you use anchovy paste, your don't need to mess with the little disgusting fishy creatures! I don't like dealing with them either!

But what about the raw egg?

It's just one egg yolk. No biggie.

And this salad gave me a chance to use a tip I found on the internet today. I needed some roasted corn and it's a well documented fact that I have Grillophobia. I still can't find a diagnostic code for it but I'm sure I'm not the only one with this disoder!

I'm skeered of the grill!! I'm going to get past it one of these days. But not today. So I found an easy way to grill corn in a cast iron skillet. Just look at this picture!

Photo Credit: Gwen Ashley Walters at Pen & Fork

It's perfect! And no grill to be found anywhere! I did exactly what they told me. Even the timing was perfect. I love it when that happens.

Mexican Caesar Salad
adapted from Olivette at The Houstonian in the Houston Classic Mexican Recipes Cookbook

Now, you can make this salad as is or you can add some grilled shrimp or carnitas or fajitas or even tofu. Whatever floats your boat. And I've written the salad recipe to serve one so you can very easily multiply it for however many servings you might need. But the recipe for the salad dressing serves 4-6 (depending on how much dressing you like on a salad). It'll keep in the fridge for a week so this way you can have a fresh salad for lunch a few days during the week or you can serve it all at once. Whatever works for you!

1/2 head romaine lettuce, cut lengthwise and chopped
1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup corn kernels, roasted (use these instructions, they work!)
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (pepitas), roasted (they sell them already roasted at Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons Cotija cheese, finely grated (you can use Parmesan if you like), plus a little extra for garnish
2 corn tortillas, cut in strips, crisp (see instructions below)
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup (your preference) Southwest Caesar dressing (recipe follows)

Prepare your corn. Set aside.

To prepare the tortilla strips, preheat your oven to 350. Get out a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper to make for an easy clean up. Stack your tortillas and cut in half. Stack them again and cut them in 1/2-inch strips along the short edge. Place the tortillas on your baking sheet and pour the oil on them. Toss them til evenly coated and then spread the tortilla strips in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 4-5 minutes til crispy. Watch closely so you don't over cook them. Set aside.

Put your lettuce in a bowl large enough to toss a salad. Add the back beans, corn, pepitas, cheese, tortilla strips (save about 1/3 of them for garnish), and the dressing (start with 2 tablespoons and see if you need more) and toss the salad. Put the salad on a plate and garnish with more cheese and the remaining tortilla strips.

Serve right away.

Southwest Caesar Dressing

1 egg yolk
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
3/4 teaspoons black pepper, ground
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cold water

3 ounces olive oil
3 ounces vegetable oil

1 ½ tablespoons Sriracha
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
¼ cup Cotija (or Parmesan) cheese, grated fine

Place the first set of ingredients (egg yolk, garlic, mustard, anchovy, pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, Worcestershire and cold water) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth.

Add the oil while the food processor is running, a tablespoon at a time in a very thin stream until the emulsion forms and the sauce has thickened. Then add the Sriracha, lemon and lime juices, and cheese.  Process until smooth and taste to adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Refrigerate until you use it. Will keep for a week.