Friday, February 26, 2010

Salmon Cakes with lemon-dill sauce, Parm Crisp, Grilled Caesar Salad

The desire to grill is starting to itch, coinciding with a recently acquired loathe of the winter weather. In a normal winter, Chicago would have about 29.6" of snow. This year 52.3" has come down, making it the 7th snowiest in the last 125 years. 22.4" of those in February, which makes it the 3rd snowiest February in the last 125 years. Hey March, get your ass here quick!

I've never been a fan of hot lettuce, probably scorned from all those half eaten burgers with the lettuce and tomato trapped under the bun, microwaved into hot death. I was therefore hesitant to actually grill lettuce, yet romaine can hold up quite well. You could of course stick with the original Caesar, chopped romaine, close to the original as was done by some guy named Caesar in Mexico. Except the dude forgot the anchovies.

There are certain things that just taste better when homemade- stock, croutons, mayonnaise, breads. Caesar dressing has just been added. Unless you're prego, have a compromised immune system, or live in a third-world country, don't worry about the raw egg. The chances of becoming sick are akin to winning the lottery, and that ain't gonna happen, but you still play every now and then.

Salmon Cakes with lemon-dill sauce, Parm Crisp, Grilled Caesar Salad

12-14 oz. canned salmon, undrained and flaked
1 slice of white bread shredded, or 1/3 C bread crumbs
2 TB onion, diced
1 TB green bell pepper, diced
1 TB fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, diced
1 TB AP flour
2 egg yolks
1/2 ts old bay or essence seasoning
1/2 ts kosher
freshly cracked black pepper
3 TB veggie oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in a large bowl, gently form patties.

In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and fry on each side for about 4 minutes, rotating if necessary until nice and browned.

Caesar Salad Dressing
(enough for 3-4 heads, serves same)

2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 anchovy fillets, your preference
2 egg yolks
2 ts good Dijon mustard
3 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB plus 1 ts cold water
1/3 C good EVOO
1/4 C quality parm-reg, plus some curls
fresh black pepper
croutons, or slice up a baguette, slather with EVOO, grill or toast and chop into hunks

Combine garlic through EVOO, zap with a stick blender to incorporate. Or, combine all but the oil, then briskly whisk in to emulsify.

Rinse and thoroughly dry heads of romaine, then cut in half, coat with EVOO and salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I'd like to start using FCBP for that, like EVOO, just don't know how to pronounce it.
Grill over high heat for about one minute on each side. Drain any water before dressing. Dress, add croutons and parm-reg curls.

Lemon-dill sauce-

2 TB sour cream
1 TB fresh dill, chopped
1 ts lemon juice

Parm Crisp-

Slice off a couple long pieces of parm-reg from your little piece of the wheel, one of the greatest things on this planet. You need to always have some real deal parm-reg on hand, a perfect example of letting the quality of simple ingredients speak for themselves. Fry in a non-stick skillet for a couple minutes on each side, turning over half way through. This will bring a tasty different depth to the undisputed king of all cheeses, parmigiano-reggiano.

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