Hail Caesar

11 Feb

Today’s recipe comes from The White House Chef Cookbook by Rene Verdon (1967). My husband Jerry and I dined at Rene Verdon’s French restaurant, Le Trianon, when we were in San Francisco on our honeymoon nearly 47 years ago. I don’t remember much about the food – at 22, my culinary chops were just being developed. Verdon had served as chef to both President Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy. I do  remember the chef came out of the kitchen to greet diners (and probably to sell his cookbook). I didn’t remember that he autographed our copy. Not sure I’ve actually prepared any recipes from this book until now! Talk about easy! This is a must-try if you’re a Caesar salad fan – it’s phenomenal! Copies of this book are still available through used book sites.

Maitre Jean’s Caesar Salad

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1½ tablespoons lemon juice or wine vinegar

3 ½ tablespoons olive oil

2 bunches of romaine lettuce, washed and dried*

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan chceese

1 can of anchovies, drained

2 eggs boiled for 1 minute

1 cup croutons (bread cubes toasted lightly in olive oil and pinch of oregano)

Sprinkle the salt and black pepper at the bottom of a wooden salad bowl. Add the garlic and mix. Add the mustard and lemon juice or wine vinegar and mix until the salt dissolves. Add the olive oil and stir until the liquid is blended.

Wash the romaine well and dry the leaves. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces and add this to the salad bowl. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and anchovies and break the eggs over the salad. Sprinkle with the croutons and mix gently and thoroughly.

Cook’s notes: Look for prewashed Romaine; leaves need to be dry so dressing will stick! I slice and cube leftover challah beginning in September to ensure I have enough to make Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, plus I save an occasional bag of cubed bread other times “off season” in the freezer to use to make quick croutons.

2 Responses to “Hail Caesar”

  1. Hadassa February 12, 2021 at 8:09 pm #

    If you boil the eggs for one minute what is the consistency??
    Can you give me more details about making croutons/ freezing cubed bread … I made French bread every weekend and always end up with a little extra that I compost 😔

    • Connie is cooking! February 12, 2021 at 10:51 pm #

      Hi Hadassa! They are the consistency of runny eggs.
      We buy unsliced challah every week so I cut big slices with whatever is left and then cut them into squares – as big or little as you want croutons. I like to spray them with nonstick spray and sprinkle them with seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic powder and I bake them at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes – toss occasionally and watch them until they are lightly toasted. Cool ’em down and throw them in a freezer bag and freeze em. I generally start saving for my Thanksgiving stuffing around the middle of September. Note, you don’t even need to season them just cut ’em up. Because I’ve been cooking so much more during the pandemic, I will make croutons once or twice a month so I have them for Caesar Salad or a bread salad.
      Let me know if you have more questions! I really started the blog out of pure boredom but learning a lot more about cooking and it’s fun to have AEPHis like you checking it out.

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