A Taste of California.........
First things first, please say a prayer for my baby Harley. He went to the vet on Thursday because he woke up shaking like a leaf and he wouldnt eat. Turns out he is having some back issues( dachsunds are notorious for having bad backs). We tried some over the counter medication the vet reccomended, but that didnt work and now he is on prednisone. We have to carry him up and down the stairs when he goes outside or when he wants to get up on the sofa so its been quite a workout. He is a heavy guy( 30lbs). I've been worried about him all weekend and when I worry, I cook!!!
So, most of the weekend was spent at home, keeping him company. Chelsea came to stay with us too and she is always eager to help me in the kitchen.
Her parent came to pick her up tonight and they stayed for dinner. My BIL is a big eater so I had to make something that made a lot. Robin suggested wings since we had 2 huge bags of frozen wings in our downstairs freezer. I baked them in the oven and then brushed them with Ina Garten's BBQ sauce that I made last week. I also made a whole whack of onion rings in our deep fryer. I soaked sliced onions in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce. I then dipped them in a mix of flour, salt and pepper, dried parsely and cornmeal. They reminded me of the onion loaf's we'd get as kids at Tony Roma's.
The last item I made was a Mexican ceasar salad. I'm not such a big fan of ceasar salad, its way too ubiquitious around these parts. It's very hard to get a really great one too. What makes my Mexican Ceasar salad diffent is the dressing. About a month ago, Nic and I did a private swap. She sent me this Cilantro Pepita dressing that I used to buy when I lived in California and I sent her Food and Drink magazine. Food and drink is put out my the LCBO( liquor control board of Ontario). Its big, glossy and delicious and best of all, its free. Of course, its a big marketing tool because you look at all the pictures and recipe's and just want to buy the liquor required to make some of the recipes( case in point, the kirch I bought for the black forest cake I have yet to make).
Mexican Ceasar salad
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 package filled ravioli or tortellini( I used chicken rosemary)
pepita's( roasted pumpkin seeds)
El Torito's Cilantro pepita dressing .
Cook ravioli, drain. Toss with lettuce and remaining ingredients.
And, if you can't get to California, here is a copycat recipe for the dressing.
Yield: Makes 1 quart
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 medium Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled
and seeded (See How to roast chile peppers)
1/3 cup roasted pepitas
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups salad oil (or mild avocado oil)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons grated cotija cheese
2 small bunches cilantro, stemmed
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Place all ingredients except cilantro, mayonnaise and water in a blender or food processor. Blend about 10 seconds, then add cilantro little by little until blended smooth. Depending on the size of the blender/processor, it may be necessary to do in batches.
Place mayonnaise and water in a large stainless steel bowl and mix with a wire whip until smooth. Add the blended ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.