Friday, January 10, 2014

Best (store bought) Caesar Dressing Ever!

The Headlines:

Caesar salad rocks.

This dressing rages! 

Makes Caesar's at home BETTER than a restaurant.

Salmon Caesar Salad

If you're like millions of Americans right now you are eating healthy.  er.  Healthier, at least, than you were -- let's say between December 24th and January 1st.  I know BP (husband) is… and he has informed me he would like to partake in many salad dinners for the next month at least.  This is no problem for me since salads are my specialty.  I love to make them.  And eat them.  They're pretty, light, good for you (for the most part)… they go great with wine… and they just, generally, make me happy.  Therefore, for the next few weeks I'll share some of my favorite salads with you.

This one seems like a no brainer.   Many of you have them every week at lunch, in restaurants, around the country.  They are a huge favorite on menus everywhere.   The problem with the Caesar salad?  The dressing.  It is HARD to get a good dressing.  So many of them are too creamy, too bland, not enough flavor.  Yuck.  It can ruin the whole meal.  It's rare that I find a good one.  More often than not I find myself using just a little of the dressing and, instead, dousing it with parmesan and pepper!

Fortunately for me I happened upon an awesome Caesar dressing.  Problem solved.  I can now make the best salads right here at home. It is that good.  And here is what makes that possible.

Best Caesar Dressing Ever! 

Cardini's.  It says on the bottle he "created" the salad down at his Tijuana restaurant.  Whether that's true or not, I have no clue and honestly I don't care.  It's just so good.  You can find his dressing in pretty much every major grocery store (at least in Arizona), I found mine at Albertson's.  They also produce a "light" version… which I have never tried.  You're eating a salad for pete's sake!

So that's where I start.  I do my caesar a little different than some simply because I substitute croutons (not a huge fan) with tomatoes.  It consists of romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, a little parmesan, a splash of lemon and I always add a meat.  Chicken is boring.  Don't get me wrong, I do that too but my favorite is salmon.

BP goes fishing in Alaska every year so we have plenty.  If your husband doesn't do that...  try Costco or your favorite "fish supply store".  Here's what you do: grill up some up on the weekend.  Eat it fresh off the fire that night and then freeze the rest of it for during the week.  Works like a charm.  Sidenote:  I always crack up at all the food ladies on TV who talk about doing all this prep for your week night meals on the weekend.  Newsflash: my weekend is reserved for fun (or decor work around the house) NOT pre-week night food prep.  That grilling thing is the extent of my "food prep".

I'm not the grill king but I know he takes the filet after it's almost thawed (if it was frozen)… and pours lemon juice all over it.  He then sprinkles a generous amount of garlic salt and a little pepper on top. Next, slice lemons and place them over the filet.  Pop it in the fridge to marinate at least an hour. Then, remove to get it room temp and put it on the grill with the lemons still on top (which keeps the fat and flavor in), grill it about 2-3 hours, not in direct heat, at about 300 degrees.  If you're going to freeze it, wait about 2-3 hours while it cools.  Or if you want to eat right away, dig in!   It is HEAVENLY!  All that good for you salmon fat ooozing out!  And of course I could talk forever about the benefits of salmon… but I will not.

So this weekend, depending upon where you are, (Minnesotans, I don't see you grilling this weekend, a broiler works great too!) grill up some salmon for the perfect salad.  Yes, it's going to be 68-70 degrees the next couple days in Phoenix. I know, it's not fair North Dakota.  But don't forget to top off that salad with the best caesar dressing around.  Or I guess the other option would be to make your own…. NAAAAAHHHHHHH.

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