Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chicken Caesar Salad


I feel like a squirrel these days. After work I run home and try to pick as many berries as possible before dark. I moved to Fairbanks exactly a year ago and with all the commotion of the move we did not have much time to plan for winter. In many ways we didn’t really know what to expect. In those cold, dark days of January it sure would have been nice to have just a little taste of summer. I know these berries that I am freezing and preserving now will be just the thing to chase the winter chill away (not to mention that cranberry liquor). Last night I made jelly with the precious few Cloudberries I had in my freezer and also made a test batch of rose hip lavender jelly. I have made jam many times, but never jelly. I was inspired by a beautiful article in one of my favorite new magazines, Hobby Farm Home. They had a little article on jelly and the jars looked so pretty capturing the light. I’m a little worried however as they don’t really seem to be setting up. The recipe said it could take up to a week for the jelly to set, so I will wait. I guess that Cloudberry syrup wouldn’t be so bad!

As I prepare our meals these days, I fall back to the old standbys. If I ask David what he wants for dinner, his first answer is always Pizza, but my guess would be that Chicken Caesar salad runs a close second place. I have a sentimental attachment to these two meals as it reminds me of when we first met and started dating. At the time I was living in the small town of Port Townsend, Washington and David was living in Victoria, Canada. We would alternate weekends in each place. With all the traveling and running around we ate out quite a bit. One of our favorite places was Waterfront Pizza in Port Townsend where we would go nearly every weekend and share a Caesar salad and a pizza. Once we moved to Fairbanks, we soon realized that if we wanted a good meal it was going to have to be made in our own kitchen. I went to work on recreating the Waterfront experience. One year later the pizza, Caesar, and beer are just as good as anything we had at Waterfront. If you ask me, the view and ambience have improved!

There is nothing special about this Caesar, no homemade croutons or dressing. I think the secret to a great Caesar is lots of lemon, garlic, and good parmesean.
Chicken Caesar Salad
2 chicken breasts grilled
1 head romaine rinsed and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
3/4 cup parmesean cheese plus extra for sprinkling on top
1 tbsp. store bought Caesar dressing
1 cup store bought croutons
juice of one lemon
In a large gallon size ziploc bag add romaine, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesean.
Close bag and shake well. Add one tablespoon of any store brand Caesar dressing (I use lighthouse). Again, close bag and shake until dressing is evenly distributed. Place mixture on plate, top with chicken, croutons and a sprinkle of grated parmesean. Serve.

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