Caesar Salad with candied bacon, rustic croutons and a poached egg
Ok, it may look like a lot of work to do but it really isn't. The results are well worth the effort because this is one of the best Caesars to have, just ask Ellah. It's her favourite!!
3 baby cos lettuces or 1-2 cos lettuces (you can buy baby cos lettuce leaves picked and washed already if you wish)
4-6 extra large free range eggs (by Ellah)
1 crusty bread rolls
100grms grated parmesan
8 anchovy fillets
30mls olive oil
8 rashers of bacon
150 grams dark brown sugar
75-100mls of water
2 free range egg yolks
6 anchovy fillets
5grms Dijon mustard
300mls veg oil
2-3 teaspoons of white vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 180°
Lay out the bacon onto an oven tray, combine the dark brown sugar and the water to a nice pouring syrup consistency in a small bowl, run your fingers through it to make sure all the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup over the bacon making sure it is covered evenly and place in the oven, cook for 25-35 minutes, checking occasionally.
Put a pot of water on a high heat with a little vinegar and salt.
Break up the crusty roll into bite size pieces and place onto a tray, drizzle with olive oil and add a little salt and place in the oven, they should take about 6-8 minutes to become nice and golden, make sure you check them and move them around in the tray at least once.
A Caesar dressing is basically a mayonnaise with some chopped anchovies and parmesan.
Combine the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk. Chop the 6 anchovy fillets finely and add to the mix. Steadily pour the veg oil bit by bit into the bowl whilst whisking(put a tea towel under the bowl to stop it moving around) incorporating all of the oil. Add a small handful of grated parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to your desired taste.
Mixing it all up!!
When water starts to boil, turn down heat so it's at a rolling simmer. Stir the water round and round using a slotted spoon. Crack the eggs separately one by one into a small bowl and put into the water one at a time. The motion of the swirling water should enable the egg to wrap around itself. The eggs will be ready after 4-5 minutes for soft poached or longer if you like your eggs hard. Use a slotted spoon to take the eggs out of the water and drain onto kitchen cloth.
Wash and pick the cos into a large bowl making sure the leaves aren't too wet.
Add the croutons, a handful of parmesan, enough dressing to coat the lettuce well and seasoning into the bowl and mix with your fingers. Taste for seasoning and add more if you need.
Arrange the salad into individual serving bowls, place 2 rashers of the candied bacon on top, garnish with 2 anchovy fillets, sprinkle some parmesan and then place the poached egg on the salad neatly. You now have a beautiful Caesar salad to enjoy with family and friends.