Caesar Salad, Romaine Hearts

This Hell’s Kitchen take on the standard Caesar finishes with sweet and spicy pickled onions and homemade croutons; Parmesan is baked right into the croutons for extra deliciousness. To keep the Caesar from going soggy, we use romaine hearts rather than the whole head; they stay crisp and hold their shape when tossed with the creamy dressing. The dressing uses raw eggs, so make sure the ones you pick are super-fresh, preferably from a local farm. To pare down your Caesar, feel free to omit the pickled onions, use high-quality store bought croutons, and serve on its own, or toss in some shredded chicken to make the salad into a meal.

Caesar Salad, Romaine Hearts, Pickled Red Onion, Parmesan Croutons
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PARMESAN CROUTONS
  1. 3 slices of day-old baguette, cut into ¾- inch cubes
  2. ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
PICKLED RED PEARL ONIONS
  1. 20 red pearl onions
  2. ½ cup champagne vinegar
  3. ½ cup red wine vinegar
  4. ½ cup water
  5. ½ cup sugar
  6. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  7. 1 ½ tablespoons mustard seeds
  8. 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  9. ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  10. 1 small bay leaf Pinch red pepper flakes
CAESAR DRESSING
  1. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  2. 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
  3. Juice of 1 lemon
  4. ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 2 large egg yolks
  6. 2 anchovy fillets
  7. 1 small garlic clove
  8. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. ¼ cup olive oil
FOR THE PARMESAN CROUTONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the bread in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss well to make sure that all of the bread is coated with the oil and the cheese.
  3. Spread the bread on a parchment-lined sheet tray in a single layer and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 25–30 minutes.
FOR THE PICKLED RED PEARL ONIONS
  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the pearl onions and blanch for 1 minute.
  3. Run under cold water to cool, then peel the pearl onions and transfer them to a bowl.
  4. Combine the vinegars, water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes in small saucepot and bring to boil.
  5. Strain the vinegar mixture over the onions and weigh them down with a small plate; all of the onions should be submerged in the liquid.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Halve the onions.
FOR THE CAESAR DRESSING (YIELDS ABOUT ½ CUP)
  1. With an immersion blender, combine the mustard, crème fraîche, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, anchovies, garlic, and salt and pepper and pulse until the ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. While the motor is running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream until the dressing begins to thicken and emulsify.
  4. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water. Season with salt and pepper and more Parmesan cheese, anchovies, or lemon according to your taste.
Notes
  1. Toss the romaine hearts with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the plate, overlapping. Garnish with the croutons, pickled red pearl onion halves, and Parmesan cheese.
Hell's Kitchen Recipes http://hellskitchenrecipes.com/

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