A Warm Winter’s Meal

Best Caesar Salad RecipeLooking for a simple, delicious meal for the wintertime? See our recipes below for Caesar Salad and Maccheroni and Cheese, in addition to a suggested wine to go along with our post in Rose’s Ridge.

Contrary to popular belief, Caesar Salad is not named after Julius Caesar, the Roman general, statesman and consul who played a significant role in the rise of the Roman Empire. Rather, it is attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant and chef who first created the salad at his restaurant in Tijuana in 1924.

According to Life Is Meals, after customers appeared late one night, he instructed a waiter to combine and toss the remaining ingredients in the kitchen, serving the salad as if it were a “house specialty.”

Thus was born a delicious new salad that would become one of the most popular of its kind, with signature features including romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and garlic.

Below is an ATG recipe for a Caesar salad. Simple, basic and easy to make, we promise you’ll enjoy!

Caesar Salad

1 head fresh Romaine lettuce
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of fresh garlic
1/8-1/4 tsp. grey poupon Dijon mustard (optional)
Olive oil (good quality)
Anchovy paste (optional)
Worcestershire sauce
1 coddled egg*
Favorite Caesar salad croutons

Cut washed Romaine lettuce into bite size pieces and place in refrigerator to keep chilled until ready to serve. Remove egg from fridge and let come to room temperature (about 30 min).

Meanwhile, in wooden bowl drizzle approx. 1 ½ tbsp. of olive oil, add finely chopped garlic clove and Dijon mustard, several shakes of Worcestershire sauce, a generous squirt of anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy rubbed around wooden bowl). Swirl ingredients together with fork while also smashing garlic into the mixture. Let sit.

*Coddled Egg: A “coddled” egg is a gently or lightly cooked egg. Place room temp. egg in a small glass bowl and pour very hot (almost boiling) water to cover egg. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Add coddled egg yolk (discarding the white of the egg) to wooden bowl and swirl with fork into the garlic/oil mixture. When ready to serve, place cut lettuce in wooden bowl, squeeze approx. 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice over lettuce, pour 1 cup parmesan cheese on top, add your favorite croutons and mix. Serve on chilled plates.

Note: Depending on how much garlic you prefer on your Caesar salad, use a small clove of garlic for your first try and then adjust accordingly.

When you think of “comfort foods”, what comes to mind?

Here at ATG, macaroni and cheese certainly tops our list for the most comforting foods, particularly during the winter season. Perfect for children and adults alike, it is a dish that soothes the soul.

But, as with many other common, comfort-type foods, the recipes for macaroni and cheese are rather infinite, ranging from complex, specialty variations to simple, basic styles. For instance, the Fanny Farmer Cookbook – formerly called The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, published in 1896 – offers a traditional recipe for mac-and-cheese that is delicious and easy to make.

A very unique, yet simple and quick, alternative to a traditional baked dish comes from the magazine-style publication Finesse by Thomas Keller of Napa Valley’s “French Laundry” and NYC’s “Per Se.” Entitled “Maccheroni and Cheese”, it’s a recipe that calls for cooking the noodles in a skillet, rather than boiling them, and takes as little as 20 minutes. Ingredients, instructions and special tips/notes, below!

Best Mac and Cheese recipeMaccheroni and Cheese

1/2 pound uncooked elbow maccheroni
5 ounces cold unsalted butter, divided
15 ounces chicken stock
1 ounce parmigiano-reggiano, grated
Kosher salt
Lemon juice
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Gently heat a 12-inch sauté pan over media heat; melt one ounce of butter in pan. Add the pasta and a little salt to the pan and gently sauté, allowing the pasta to lightly toast. When the pasta is fragrant, pour all of the chicken stock into the pan at once and reduce the heat to simmer.

Allow the pasta to simmer, stirring frequently, until all of the stock has been absorbed. If the pasta is too firm at this point, add more stock and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. Add the remaining cold butter to the pasta to make a sauce. Stir in the cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Mix well and adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. Service with traditional parmigiano-reggiano.

*Note: ATG added approximately 1/4 – 1/2 cup of light or heavy cream which was not called for. Fresh chicken broth from a just-boiled chicken was used instead of canned or boxed broth. However, it will be delicious either way.

*Note: Do not be concerned when sautéing the uncooked noodles in the skillet and they begin to turn a golden/light brown – this is what they are supposed to look like. The sautéed noodles is what give this macaroni dish a depth of flavor that traditional baked macaroni dishes don’t have.

*Note: When asked to taste this dish, the “tasters” around here were reluctant, as it didn’t look like the traditional type of mac and cheese they were used to.  After some coercing, the whole bowl disappeared within 30 minutes time!

In the spirit of our Founding Fathers’ traditional values, we feature Liberty School, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 (below).

An excerpt from the label, reads:

“One room school houses were once centers of knowledge and community in early rural America. In this spirit, Liberty School pays respect to the tradition of honest work, dedication and perseverance.”

Learn more about Liberty School here.

Liberty School Wine

One thought on “A Warm Winter’s Meal

  • January 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    It might be more like bagel and eggs time right now, but suddenly I’m craving a Caesar salad–my favorite!–and a glass of wine. I would have guessed that the name came from Julius Caesar, and I’m happy to know the true origin. I hope this is a trivia question one day…


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