HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

why not the whole egg in Caesar dressing?

  • 25
  • Share

Why not put the whole egg in Caesar dressing? The recipe calls for just the yolk and I was wondering what would be wrong with putting the whole egg in?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. You're using the yolk as an emulsifier. What would the white bring to the table?

    1. I use a whole coddled egg.

      1. The Original..so far as we know...is a whole egg, beaten, and added to one head of romaine.

        I await the howls.

        11 Replies
        1. re: hazelhurst

          I have read all the time that the original had no anchovy in it.

          1. re: c oliver

            It did not.

            1. re: hazelhurst

              But it did have Worcestershire, which stands in for the anchovies (as that's one of its main ingredients) for the flavor and umami of them. Also note the egg was coddled (as others have said) to help thicken the yolk, and the Romaine leaves were served whole and eaten with fingers.

              And note that, IIRC, the dressing wasn't added to the Romaine. It was the other way around -- the dressing was mixed in the bowl and then the leaves were added and tossed.

              Or at least that's the mythology.

              1. re: acgold7

                Yup, that's the deal so far as we know it and I spoke to people who ate the thing at Cardini's. The whole leaves are what it started as and then the idea of riping them up and doing the famous table-side prep caught on. I've heard it said that the Lea & perrins was why people thought there were anchovies I I defy anyone apart from (perhaps) a wine-taster of colossal talent to spot anchovy per se in a tablespoon or so added to a whole salad. I love anchovies and will add them but, at that point, it ceases to be a Caesar and becomes something else..hellifiknow what it becomes but it is like vodka and vermouth--it needs another name.

                Eggs were not always coddled in my experience but folks who were worried about them used to do it. I cannot point to Beard ever having gone to Mexico for it but La Child apparently did.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  I love it when the leaves come out whole and I can pick them up.

                  1. re: hazelhurst

                    I don't agree that the addition of anchovies calls for another name. Variation is normal in the culinary arts. No one will make a Caesar salad exactly like the original, and few have ever had the original. A separate name for every variation in a dish would be far too cumbersome.

                    Anchovy in a Caesar has become accepted as a standard ingredient, whether in worcestershire, or minced and added to the dressing, or as whole fillets. When I order a Caesar, I can expect to get any of these variations and I don't think the salad chef is taking liberties. Once, however, I ordered a Caesar at a place which had been making a respectable "classic" Caesar, and it came with chicken added. This is not acceptable, because some people do not eat chicken. One should not get a Chicken Caesar unless it has been ordered that way.

                    The martini variation is not comparable, because gin and vermouth are the two primary ingredients. When vodka is substituted, it is a "vodka martini."

                    1. re: GH1618

                      Well, "voka martini" is exactly the problem. This is the old "bright line" effort that every law student and lawyer is looking for and rarely finds. But it is fun to try to draw one. In the rare cases where we have The Original Ingredients and/or Recipe, then we have a Gold Standard. Variations are variations. I have noticed in Louisiana that trout meuniere has been meddled with; some places add demi to it and their customers don;t think of anything else as The Real Thing.

                      One could say Caesar with chicken added, I suppose, but then I'd call for another name. Then, too, we have those exceedingly creamy "variations" (or "aberrations") that many folks consider characteristic.

                      Some Legilatures, in their habitual mania, would boot the raw egg out entirely.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        I think there is a difference between a main ingredient, which is fundamental to the dish, and an ancillary ingredient. If you substitute another lettuce for romaine, it isn't a Caesar. If there is no egg in the dressing, it isn't a Caesar. But whether the egg is coddled or completely raw is merely a variation.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          Fair enough..it would fall into the question of how much garlic one put into the croutons as something, like say salt, that would be a permissive variation within the Code. Sort of like jurisprudence versus the written law.

                          I recall a tableside fabrication at the Penrose Room at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs some years ago. The young woman making it had al the ingredients displayed, just as used to be done in the 1950s. She tactfully inquired if we would like "the speil" so we said sure, why not? She had been schooled well and knew that she was operating in a minefield and was careful to address the Great Anchovy Debate. She had capers as well but said that she discounseled them. Some heretics had asked for red onion and I gather their remains were in the firepit outside the bar downstairs.

                          it was a very fine Caesar and worth the cost, whatever it was.

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            Funny, I started poking around the internet, and there's similar debates about the real "original" martini! So maybe the modern martini and the modern caesar have something in common......

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              There is no question about that. These are Dig-In-Your-Heels issues. Lots of fun.

          2. I hate to waste the white. I used a whole raw egg last night and I was just wondering...

            1 Reply
            1. re: chezron

              I don't really have an opinion on putting the white in a Caesar salad but I will point out that egg whites freeze nicely. Use 'em for a bunch of desserts or for Pisco sours.

            2. I always use the whole egg. Often coddled but not always.

              1. Beard calls for a whole coddled egg. That's the classic recipe.

                1. The original may not have anchovies, but mine does, a lot of anchovies if it's just me - I scale it back for company, anchovy wimps, and children. And a whole coddled egg. And it's delicious.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Teague

                    Mine too. The anchovies are my favorite part. Don't care about original.

                  2. I think that the egg yolk by itself is better, coddled or not, because the goal is to emulsify the oil and yolk in the bowl. It's pretty easy to separate an egg, and I would use the extra whites to add to scrambled eggs the next morning.

                    The Cardini used the ingredients that he had on hand that night. Nothing was published about that salad for a couple of decades as I remember. I'm not saying that it wasn't good, and I have made it that way when I'm in purist mode.

                    I consider using anchovies, instead of worcestershire, as an improvement. I'm not sure what Cardini would have done that night if he had anchovies.

                    1. Anyhow, when I did tableside under a high dollar chef 20 year ago, here's basically how we would do it (just FYI and based on memory)

                      Big wooden bowl. throw anchovies in and macerate into a paste. Add prepared mustard and minced garlic and blend. Rake this mixture up the side of the bowl.

                      Add coddled egg yolk, whip, and slowly incorporate the olive oil with a whisk until emulsified. Blend the anchovy/mustard/garlic mixture into that.

                      Add red wine and white wine vinegar (or it may have been lemon juice). Throw in shredded leaves and incorporate. Toss in parmesean. Can't remember if we used croutons.

                      Fresh ground pepper at the table to the patron's desire.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rudeboy

                        Since a coddled egg is cooked for only one minute, I don't see why a coddled egg yolk would be significantly different from a raw egg yolk.

                        1. re: GH1618

                          Yeah, at home, I don't bother with coddling the egg yolk. I think it was more to elicit the notion that the egg was not completely raw, because a lot of patrons might freak out. There was a little dish of very hot water, the sous chef would place the egg in it, and I'd wheel the whole cart out to the dining room. We'd separate the egg at the table, having a dish for the residual whites....and the chef would use that for something.

                          I make egg nog every year with raw eggs, and no one gets sick. Yet.

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            I get my eggs from the local farmers market. I am not worried at all. It would be different if I bought factory farmed eggs, sold by the millions at every grocery store. First of all, I wouldn't eat them, but if I did, I sure would heat treat them first.