Monday, October 25, 2010

Eggs, Any Style and a Really Good Caesar Salad

You have to love how versatile the egg can be. Boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, baked. On its own or mixed with other ingredients. The star of the show or an integral player in something grander. Eggs are truly a beautiful thing.

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The dozen eggs I picked up last week from Tawse Winery are definitely beautiful. Being a winery that practices biodynamic farming techniques, Tawse have their own chickens, allowing Tawse to sell fresh eggs to their patrons as well. With a beautiful, smooth outer shell, each egg was huge (and I mean huge). I couldn't wait to crack into them.

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The next day, I immediately enjoyed the eggs simply fried with some bacon for breakfast, allowing me to savour the egg itself and admire the gorgeous deep orangey-yellow of the yolk (you certainly won't find an egg as pretty as these in a supermarket). This past week, I also made myself a fantastic breakfast sandwich: glazed back bacon from Witteveen Meats in the St. Lawrence Market, Gruy√®re cheese, egg over-easy and Buster Rhinos barbecue sauce, all on freshly baked ciabatta. It was a messy affair, with yolk, sauce and bacon juice dripping all over the place, but oh-so-delicious!

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The fresh farm eggs also encouraged me to make Caesar salad with scratch, using the egg yolks. What resulted was a lovely yellow-hued, all-natural, creamy vinaigrette that's a thousand times better than any creamy-based dressing. Slightly tart from the lemon juice, super garlicky with a punch of anchovies, and naturally creamy from the egg yolks, it perfectly coats the lettuce without leaving clumps of dressing all over the leaves like a creamy dressing would. I served the salad with some toasted garlic ciabatta (Drizzle ciabatta halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in a 350°F until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately rub cut-side with a clove of garlic.), pancetta crisps and lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Really Good Caesar Salad Dressing
Makes about 1 cup dressing

2 large egg yolks

8 to 12 anchovy fillets in oil, finely chopped (or to taste)

2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust to your taste)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon filtered water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a salad bowl, combine egg yolks, chopped anchovies, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Worcestershire sauce with a fork until a paste is formed. Slowly pour oil into the bowl while stirring briskly. Add filtered water, combine, and set aside.

Immediately toss romaine lettuce leaves with dressing and serve with garlic croutons and lardons, if desired. Or pour dressing into a clean jar and keep refrigerated for a few days.

1 comments:

canadianfoodiegirl October 25, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

I just realized that I'm hungry and crave bacon. Mmm... pancetta. I like eggs as long as I don't think about what they really are.

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