Happy New Year and on to Easy, Good, & Classic Dishes

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

A new year brings on all kinds of crazy “new” guidelines, traditions, and classic recipes for ambitious or not so ambitious cooks alike and I began the new year with a wonderful traditional dinner of some kind of beans as the main dish and a classic Caesar salad on the side. Mike chose split pea soup, his favorite and I chose which salad to serve with our nice little bottle of Prosecco…

What could be easier than Julia’s classic “table side” Caesar which really pretty easy if one is prepared to dive right in when your ingredients are ready to go. Check the link below or search for Julia’s recipe.

Another version of a good Caesar is Nigella’s recipe with crispy potatoes that I also enjoy for a change…I like to pan crisp the potatoes rather than the oven method.

For the potatoes:
1 large boiling potato, peeled or unpeeled and diced
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, minced
About 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Coarse sea salt

For the salad:
2 eggs
Leaves from 4 to 6 heads baby romaine lettuce or 2 to 3 heads regular romaine
Pinch salt, plus more, if needed
Black peppercorn mill
a few drops of  Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 400º

Toss potatoes, garlic, and olive oil together. Empty them onto a baking pan, and then roast them for 45 minutes to 1 hour in the preheated oven. When they’re glistening brown, I lay them on some paper towels and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. You don’t want them to go on the salad when hot, so cool potatoes on some paper towels for about 10 minutes.

*Alternately you can pan fry, but only add the garlic the last few minutes.

Put some water on for the eggs, put a matchstick into the pot, and then, when boiling, lower in the eggs and boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

Tear the romaine leaves into edible sizes and toss with the remaining 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil to coat well but lightly. Sprinkle over the salt and several grinds of pepper and toss again. Shake over about 6 drops of Worcestershire sauce, drizzle over the lemon juice, break in the eggs, and toss to blend. Correct the seasoning. Toss with the cheese and then with the potato croutons at the very last-minute, as you bring it to the table – no sooner, or the salad will wilt.

Nigella’s Caesar Salad from How to Eat