531: Caesar Salad

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:00

Hi. I'm Molly. And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all, and you can't have any.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:10

And today we're talking about Caesar salad.

Molly 0:13

Whoo. Hey, it's March.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:16

Should we just this is March national Caesar salad month.

Molly 0:20

No, no, but I was just thinking, you know, like, we're getting close to the time that we'll be getting some spring vegetables, maybe some baby Romaine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:29

Yeah, there's a song called Baby Romaine. That's really good. It's stuck in my head. Now

Molly 0:34

we're taping this in early January. And I think maybe I'm feeling a bit delusional about when spring vegetables are coming. But okay, so you're listening to this in early March? I don't know maybe you'll get some baby Romaine in the next couple months.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:49

Yeah, baby like just like delivered to you unexpected? Yeah, yeah,

Molly 0:53

yeah. Or you can listen to that song. Matthew, who? Who makes that song?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:58

It's by the would be good. It's it's one of these like indie bands that I listen to that no one's ever heard of. I couldn't even find when I tried to Google the lyrics. What came up was Nicki Minaj Anaconda for suffering was a very different song. It's

Molly 1:12

such a different song. It starts

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:15

it starts out like baby Romaine so young intend out I don't remember what happens after that.

Molly 1:20

Oh my god, this Oh, sorry. I'm I've got my feet on a drawer and my

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:27

feet in a drawer. Not

Molly 1:30

as I lifted my feet in the drawer shifted. Wow, things are so exciting here on spilled milk this morning. Well, let's talk about Caesar salad.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:39

All right. Let's go down memory lane. Oh, man, you know,

Molly 1:43

it was strange. When I sat down to think about memory lane for Caesar salad. All I could think about was like ladies who lunch or like movies where like people play tennis or golf, and then go have lunch. You know?

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:00

What is this? This sounds like the worst movie? What he taught me?

Molly 2:05

No. Okay. Or maybe like TV a

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:08

TV show where people play golf and many lights.

Molly 2:11

Picture Lucille Bluth? Okay. Bluth having lunch with Lindsay. Now she she's gonna have a lot of martinis but she's also going to have a Caesar salad. Am I right? Yeah, you're, you're absolutely right. Okay. Okay, so anyway, my memory lane is just filled with the words ladies who lunch and vague montage is of people sitting outdoors eating Caesar salads.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:38

I haven't thought about the phrase ladies who lunch in a really long time. But it sounds great. Right,

Molly 2:43

doesn't it? Yeah. Do you think that we are ladies who lunch Matthew? I mean, like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:48

certainly, like pre pandemic? Yeah, like we would get together for lunch for no reason.

Molly 2:54

I mean, well, this show was pretty much just us having like lunch together. Yeah, like 10 in the morning, you know? I mean, we're back again someday someday. Matthew, what about your memory lane of Caesar salads.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:07

So I talked about this with wife the show Lori and we both felt like we associated with like catering and like buffets. Like at a buffet there would be like a big bowl of Caesar salad. family restaurants like it would be a salad option. Like at maybe like a Denny's. I don't know. That feels right. And I definitely had it. Did you ever go to the local small local chain? Zupa when it existed?

Molly 3:31

No, I've never I've never even seen or thought about this word till I saw it on the agenda. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:37

so this is zop a so like the Italian for soup only spelled wrong for like copyright reasons. And it was a local like Seattle area chain that maybe had like three locations at the most and the one I would go to was itself center. And it was just like a soup and salad and dessert buffet.

Molly 3:57

I feel like we are describing different cities. Like I have never heard of such a thing. This was a chain in Seattle.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:06

Yeah, chain chain is a strong word. It's never like two or three multi multi locations. Yeah, it was it was at concept restaurant.

Molly 4:13

How about when was this?

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:15

I first went when I was in high school. So oh, you know, the dark ages like the seven hundreds. So I was living in Oklahoma. You were living in Oklahoma, which I'm sure had like soup and salad buffet restaurants have its own?

Molly 4:29

Yes. Hold on. If you went to Zupa and you had Caesar salad with your soup? Yeah. Was the Caesar salad already like tossed yet on

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:41

like a salad bar where you could like put together your own well, okay, this is a good question. I don't remember it's possible there was like Romaine and Caesar dressing available or it's but they did have some like pre made composed, not composed, but some like pre made salads. In addition to like a salad bar where you could build your own it was it was the kind of place where like abundance was the was the by word how our salads win there I can't believe you let me get away with just saying abundance was the by word without making fun of me.

Molly 5:15

I was I had tuned out but

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:19

it's a great it's like the kind of place a kid or like a hungry teenager would love because it was all you can eat. Like you there's like, you know, seven kinds of soups and like any, you know, 27 different salad ingredients and like a dessert bar and just like all kinds of shit.

Molly 5:34

Okay, and how is the Caesar salad when it's been made and left on like a salad bar all tossed and everything for a while. How is that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:44

I mean, I think it's fine. Like I you know, I understand that like after a while, like like a salad will get soggy but I don't think it's like it doesn't happen as quickly as like recipe head notes tend to imply I think, okay, like I'm okay with it with a 20 minute old salad and I think I think probably they were they were like refreshing the sound the composed salads pretty often. I'm just going with composed salad.

Molly 6:07

Okay, I love how often you're saying composed salad right now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:12

What is a composts?

Molly 6:15

Think of a composed salad is something that is plated, it's like it's not tossed.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:21


Molly 6:22

I think oh, I just hit on it. Yeah. Oh my god. I just figured it out. Oh, wow. Yeah. So, so composed stands in opposition to toss. All right, that makes sense. Okay, so it's not tossed. It's like, arranged on a plate or a platter or even in a in a bowl? Maybe but like composed? Yeah, possibly. Like with tweezers. Yeah, yeah. Do you like how I've been defining composed by using the word composed?

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:48

Yeah, no, I get it. Yeah. But like, defined in opposition to toss so like, you can be like tempest tossed or you can be Tempest composed.

Molly 6:55

Exactly, exactly. You can be like a tempest in a teapot or composed in a teapot. No, that's not the opposite of Tempest is not the opposite.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:08

Now it is.

Molly 7:11

Ah, Tempest sound. We're

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:13

gonna be talking. Okay. teapot last night, but I'm feeling a little hungover this morning.

Molly 7:22

I got a little bit tossed in a teapot on New Year's Eve. Yeah, I don't think I've ever done that before on New Year's Eve. It was delightful.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:30

Yeah, I drank some like a half a can of hard cider. Wow, Matthew. Whoa, that's crazy. Yeah, that's how I tossed my teapot.

Molly 7:40

That's dirty. Okay, now let us define the salad. So Caesar salad for those who have been living on another planet. It's a green salad composed primarily of romaine lettuce, with croutons. And with a dressing that's usually made from the following ingredients or some like, you know, large subset of these ingredients. Lemon juice, or lime juice. We'll talk more about that in a minute. Olive oil egg, worst to share sauce, anchovies, garlic, Dijon mustard, parmesan and black pepper. Okay, and it's often prepared and served in a teapot table.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:21

That would be nice. Okay. Yeah.

Molly 8:25

In a tempest?

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:26

Well, I mean, you could you could like pour salad dressing from a little teapot. Oh, God,

Molly 8:30

that'd be so cute. Oh, that'd be so cute. You know,

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:35

table side. I like that.

Molly 8:37

I tried to do a little bit of research into tableside cooking and preparation, like where this came from? And there's certainly like a name for it in like French cooking, which I learned from Wikipedia, not from being a snooty Francophile. It's called like, giffy don't

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:58

like the giffy dollies, like the the cart. It's like the rollout chariot.

Molly 9:02

Yeah. But I still like I didn't find anything on Wikipedia about where this came from, or why certain things and not others are done. tableside I wonder if any of our listeners, perhaps food historians, perhaps is it Ken albala might be able to tell us a little bit about tableside cooking. Okay, unfortunately, not in time for this episode. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:26

Cuz like sometimes like, like, you could like carve a prime rib tableside or something.

Molly 9:32

Yeah. Or like, well, like there's the Mexican restaurant in New York that became famous for or like, you know, maybe Tex Mex restaurant that became famous for

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:43

Rosa megacon.

Molly 9:44

I think it was Rosa my econ. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:47

I think yes, I never I never had that. But even though I don't really like guacamole, it sounds good. I just remembered that Tempest toss comes from the poem by Emma Lazarus. Do you think the Statue of Liberty is like technically a very large teapot, yes. Okay. Yeah.

Molly 10:02

Because if you tip her over, you can pour her out. Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:05

Yeah. So she's hold. Someone's probably plotting to do that as we speak.

Molly 10:10

That's what she's holding the torch up for. She's just she's doing I'm a little teapot. Yes, exactly. And that was on I gotta, I got to pull up a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Yeah, that was

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:21

a really original poem. I'm a little teapot and then Emma Lazarus came in. It was like, you know that we need something with something a little more serious.

Molly 10:28

Hold on. She is straight up doing I'm a little teapot.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:32

Are we the first to realize this?

Molly 10:33

Oh my god. She is doing I'm a little teapot. She's got one hand on her hip. Sort of. And then one arm up in the air. That's what you do to become a teapot. You have a handle and you have a spout?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:45

What? I forgot how we got there from Tempest. Okay. Got a tempest in a teapot. Okay, yeah, yeah,

Molly 10:52

okay. Okay, guys. gotta walk it back.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:55

Okay, question. This is a real salad question. Like when asked about what is a composed salad that was like a new segment real salad questions? Okay, okay, you may be getting there. But are there other salad dressing dressings that have egg in them? And as I asked that, I realized mayonnaise is a salad dressing that has egg in it. But yeah, other than those mayonnaise and Caesar salad, are there others because it felt weird putting an egg yolk in the dressing when I made the Caesar salad,

Molly 11:23

you know, so I'm sure I've talked about this on the show before but my dad used to make his vinegar yet sometimes using an egg yolk, okay and emulsifier but I he always used Spice Islands like salad vinegar seasoning? Yeah, sometimes he would use an egg yolk and but I don't I don't know what other dressings. You do that in? Okay, who knows? So how about we go into the history here because I realized I realized as I was researching the history that I don't think I actually had thought much about this before and yet I knew the name Caesar Cardini. Yeah, I did. Like it just came to mind immediately and we will discuss why. Alright, so this salad is usually said to have been created by Caesar Cardini. Yes. Okay. We go who was an Italian immigrant to the US who operated restaurants in the US and in Mexico. Apparently he lived in San Diego. But he he owned restaurants in Tijuana because he was able to avoid the restrictions of prohibition. That makes sense. He apparently invented this salad at his restaurant Caesars at the hotel Caesar in Tijuana. Nice. Yes, this is according to Wikipedia, when in 1924, on the fourth of July, there was like a real rush on the restaurant. And it depleted the kitchen supplies. So there has to

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:44

be an origin story. Or like the origin story for a dish can never can ever just be like, it sounded tasty. So we made it. It could be like there was an accident or there was a shortage or

Molly 12:56

right or like the chocolate chips just fell in the

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:01

explosion Splosion

Molly 13:02

or like, I just found it like the Fourth of July really? Like, is there a big Fourth of July tradition in another country? I don't know. I mean, maybe in Tijuana, they do a really big Fourth of July celebration.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:18

I went there for like, one day when I was a kid.

Molly 13:21

Yeah, I think I did, too. Maybe a couple times. Anyway. So yeah, apparently Cardini made do with what he had adding the dramatic flair of tableside preparation by the chef. I like it. Anyway, that said a number of his staff members after that said that they have to that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:41

Okay, that that makes sense. Question, though. You said like there was a rush and so they were they were like short, short on supplies. Is the implication here that they were like, well, we're out of steak, but but we've invented this new salad and that's all you get. Maybe and people are like, This salad is so good. I don't care that I'm still hungry.

Molly 14:02

It's unclear to me. Okay, but, but it did maybe help me understand why this salad is really like just Romaine and croutons. I mean, it does seem like you know, you could run out of avocado you could run out of

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:17

but you can't run out of lettuce for some reason.

Molly 14:20

Never. Okay, no, it's actually it's like Strega known as pasta pot.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:24

All right, that makes sense. I was wondering the other day do you know is Strega known as pasta pot like a real like old Italian fable? Or was it invented by Tony de Paola?

Molly 14:35

I want to say it was invented by Tony de Paola. But I'm not positive. No, it's a good story. It is a good story.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:41

Do you remember what are the magic words that make the pasta pot stop? Do you remember was it was that even in the book?

Molly 14:46

That was in the book? Yeah, but I don't know what they were. Alright. Okay. Anyway, but don't say those words because we need more Romaine for our Caesar salads. Oh, hey, Strega

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:56

Nona was published the same year I was 1975.

Molly 14:59

Oh, Wow, yeah, I love Strega Nona. Okay. Can I finish? Yes. So according to Caesar Cardini his daughter Rosa, the original Caesar salad did not have anchovy in it. I've heard this as well. Okay. The slight anchovy flavor or umami or whatever was said to come from Worcestershire sauce in the original Cardini was apparently opposed to using anchovies in his salad. Do you think there was a vote? And he was like the opposition? Yeah, some some people abstained. Yeah. Okay. The Rosa. The anchovies all voted yes. Please use us. So his daughter Rosa apparently said at some point in the 1970s. I mean, she i It seems like she spent her whole life talking about Caesar salad.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:46

I mean, it's probably that people kept coming to her and demanding for her take on Caesar salad. That's true. Like if you're if one of our parents like invented something that everybody knows, like people would be keep bugging us about it. Right?

Molly 16:02

Well, like how my dad invented Altoids. Right. Yeah. Was that right? Is that when he invented Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:08

in in the late 18th century?

Molly 16:11

Yeah. Everybody asks me about Altoids Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. Okay, wait, hang on. I'm not done. So Rosa said that the original recipe included whole lettuce leaves, which were meant to be lifted by the stem end and eaten with one's finger. Do you think Rosa was punky

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:28

Rosa was funky guys. I think it's a great I love her.

Molly 16:32

I know. I really mess with them. What

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:34

are they gonna do?

Molly 16:35

She said that it also involved coddled eggs. So I guess the egg wasn't raw. It was coddled okay. And Italian olive oil. Okay, these are Carpe Diem, right Italian. Anyway, it's not clear to me if when Rosa gave these these three instructions if she was implying that this was the entirety of the recipe no

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:53

with no acid died. I

Molly 16:54

don't I don't think so. I don't think so. Julia Child ate Caesar salad at Caesars in Tijuana when she was a kid in the 1920s.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:03

Yeah, yeah. I saw when I was looking at at Caesar salad recipes. It seemed like a lot of the Caesar salad recipes that we see today are descendants of or copies of Julia Child's recipe.

Molly 17:15

Oh, interesting. Okay. So, you know, this started out in Southern California slash northern Mexico, right. So strangely on Wikipedia, I wish I could see the history of Wikipedia, the history of the Caesar salad page to see who put this on there. Yeah, yeah. So somebody took the trouble to insert on the Caesar salad Wikipedia page that a Pennsylvania newspaper reporter named Dorothy Kilgallen wrote in 1946 of a Caesar dressing that was the big food rage in Hollywood. I mean, that seems and that the version she mentioned included anchovies, which was a big deal because there weren't anchovies in the original. Okay, can we read from this? Yeah, okay. Yes. Okay, so I spent a long time puzzling over this. Now, keep in mind, this was published in a Pennsylvania newspaper in 1946. The column by Dorothy Kilgallen is called the voice of Broadway. Okay? All right. It begins jottings in pencil. Friends here that Mary Kirk Browns most unusable and most famous admirer phoned her frantically from Chicago when he heard of her quote, engagements, quote, to Dick stubby lay and begged her to call it off is where they say he promised. Right? I love it. All right. They say he promised to get a divorce and marry her if she joined him immediately. And intimates wouldn't be surprised if she did just that. No one is take maybe a troll to the bandleader very serious. Hold on. Okay, hold on. What I'm going to skip a couple pair.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:04

Wait, no. Can I read the next one? Because it's great. Yes. comedian Dick Wesson and his bride Winnie Walsh. The former Latin Quarter singer are knitting tiny garments. Somehow. Also,

Molly 19:17

wait, is this a euphemism for having a baby?

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:20

No, they just they just are really intended to Yes, yeah, they're like baby clothes.

Molly 19:25

Okay, I really like this one Leslie long, pretty vocalist.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:31

I want nothing more than for someone to describe me as pretty vocalist. Cards.

Molly 19:38

Pretty vocalist with Eddie stones orchestra at the glass hat is being wooed by Jack gage millionaire Texas rancher. He proposed over the long distance why?

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:49

Wow, I'm gonna I'm gonna read another we just have to read all this entire column because it's the best thing. Okay, yeah. Elaine Barry. John Barrymore's widow is making the rounds of the radio producers offices looking for Mike jobs I love the phrase of my Job's

Molly 20:12

friends of Humphrey Bogart and baby Bacall. Is that what they called Lauren because yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:17

I may have been knitting tiny garments

Molly 20:23

Okay friends have free Bogart and baby but call of word that the cinema pair will be on the East Coast soon for their summer stocks didn't does that in like, I'm just so confused. This was in Pennsylvania news, I don't know. And yet, I don't understand this is like, like gossip from all over the country. We've got a millionaire Texas rancher. We've got the Latin Quarter we've got the East Coast and then we've got the big food right and Hollywood got there. The Caesar salad will be introduced to new yorkers by Gilmore's Steakhouse, okay, it's an intricate concoction that takes ages to prepare and contains in parentheses Zawawi lots of garlic, raw and slightly, coddled eggs, croutons, romaine, anchovies, parmesean cheese, olive oil, vinegar and plenty of black pepper. Sally, Sally. But Matthew, would you read the last the last one

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:23

I would love to

Molly 21:25

snippet from this gossip call

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:26

Joan Gentry the cute little newcomer to the stork club bandstand got a check for $4,000 from her daddy to buy new frocks. She's the girl who spent 16 of her 20 years in a cast after a childhood fall.

Molly 21:40

Wow. Kind of. Oh my god. I mean, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:44

think you could get a lot of frocks in 1946 for $4,000 grand.

Molly 21:48

But if you've spent 16 of your 20 years in a body cast it we didn't it didn't say body cast. Oh, it just says Cast. Right. But that doesn't make a lot of sense. Does it? 16 of her 20 years.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:04

I mean, they would first of all, they would keep needing to make bigger casts.

Molly 22:07

Maybe she's just got a very small arm maybe. Yeah. Baby. They did say she's a cute little newcomer.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:16

So I mean, we need to we need to start knitting tiny garments for this cute newcomer. Tiny frocks. Anyway, that sounds made up even the part about the salad sounds fake somehow.

Molly 22:28

Isn't it amazing. So it sounds like she

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:31

was she was like reporting from New York, but still a lot of it doesn't make sense.

Molly 22:36

And a lot of it. Yes. Okay. Yeah. No, I think you're right. I think this makes sense. But then why was it anyway, a Pennsylvania newspaper? Everybody in Pennsylvania wants to know what's going on on Broadway. Absolutely. Okay. Wow. Well, anyway, so the bottom line here is that somebody put this on Wikipedia to show that at some point between 1924 When Caesar Cardini, apparently invented the Caesar salad in 1946, when Dorothy Kilgallen wrote this column, Caesar salad came to have anchovies in it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:10

And I mean, that feels like a very slow moving solution. Rand, right.

Molly 23:16

Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Anyway, so whatever the the status of anchovies in the original Modern Caesar salad recipes and bottled Caesar dressings typically include anchovies as a key ingredient, both flavor wise and sometimes like It's like emulsified in there as anchovy paste. So maybe, I don't know, texture to Yeah. Anyway, another thing that differed about the original recipe and sort of the typical Caesar now is that the original recipe used lime. That's an

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:46

interesting yeah, that would be good. Like, I feel like I am more likely to have limes that lemons on hand, although I try to usually have both. At any time I've substituted lime juice for lemon juice in something it's always been fine. Sometimes better.

Molly 24:03

Apparently, as the salad moved north from Tijuana through the US lemon juice, or at least the lime juice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:09

The implication there is like there was a time when lemons were common in non international US markets, but not limes. That does seem to be the implication I wonder when limes like joined joined the produce everywhere roster. We've done a lime episode Yeah, maybe we should go back and listen to our own damn episode.

Molly 24:29

We probably should.

You know, I was thinking about there are so many like every line of salad dressing now has a Caesar dress. Yeah. In fact, the term Caesar Cardini knees was trademarked there brands Cardini Caesar Cardini is the original caesar dressing. These are all trademarked and I believe attributed to Caesar Cardini.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:56

Why for the show, Laurie said that when she was growing up, they would always have I have a bottle dressing in the fridge called creamy Caesar that one that was the brand name, but it was like the name of the dress.

Molly 25:05

Sure. I think the only time I've ever used bottled caesar dressing that I was aware of, I mean, I've probably eaten a lot of bottled caesar dressing on shore salads out in the world, but the only time I've used it that I've been aware of is I think, you know, getting like a pre packaged salad or something somewhere or maybe even on an airplane. And maybe it's come with a little single serving us Easter dress bought

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:28

a Caesar salad kit because this is something I realized they sold at the supermarket. I was gonna get one and like make it before this episode, but I did just didn't work out grocery shopping wise,

Molly 25:38

I have never bought a Caesar salad kit as such, I've only bought like, pre packed one like at the airport. Okay, I don't know if that counts.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:46

Um, it's the same thing only smaller. So yeah,

Molly 25:49

that's true. That's true. I have to say, if you're gonna get a little like, you know, aluminum or little foil packet of of dressing. Caesar is a pretty good way to think so too. Yeah, you know, like if you were going through a cafeteria or something and the dressing was came in like little individual packets, and you got to choose one. I think I might lean toward Caesar we should. I don't think

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:12

we've ever done a bottled salad dressing episode because it's like one of the areas of the market, like skeeves me out the most like, which I know is like extremely elitist. But

Molly 26:25

no, but it is once you've made Vinagrette at home, then when you pour vinegar right out of a bottle. You notice how viscous it is? At least that's my feeling and I start to get like what is going on in here? No. Yeah, I think about even even like Newman's own original salad dressing which is quite delicious. Has a funny texture.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:46

Yeah, it's probably got some sort of gums what what keeps you out of Oh, it's just that like, you know, it goes back to my like fear of condiments that like it's like sauce that is like stable at room temperature in the bottle before you open it and I don't really know what's in there. But Matthew, You love steak sauce? I do. I do love steak sauce. But like we've talked about far more like sauce like these these are things that like somehow like God through my filter for reasons that I can't explain.

Molly 27:14

Yeah, okay, you know, this, this talk. I'm imagining like a wicker basket with a whole bunch of single serving packets of dressing in it now. Makes me long for a time when I could like safely feel like I could go to Subway, the salad

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:31

bar and yeah, I know they exist anymore. But

Molly 27:35

remember when they had a big potato on the menu, too? Those were the days all this to say I have never bought caesar dressing. But I think that it's a really good bet. If you're dealing with packaged

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:48

dress. Yeah, it sure seems that way. So do you make Caesar's Caesar salad from scratch at home then?

Molly 27:55

I have only done it a couple of times. I have made Julia tertians recipe in small victories, which is the title just really does it for me. It's called Julius Caesar. Now that was a very polite laugh. But anyway, I really

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:13

like Julius Caesar. I was I was still thinking about Julia Child. No, no. Okay, very funny.

Molly 28:21

Now that I get Julia tertians family also seems quite funny. She says in the head notes that this was a recipe that she developed when she worked regularly as a private chef. And she was often asked to like leave containers of it in her clients refrigerators or she says my master plan is to one day put it in a bottle my mother is convinced that it will sell well and then my whole family can live in the house that Julius Caesar Bill

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:46

nice yeah, be like like a whole Colosseum type of deal.

Molly 28:49

I really enjoy this punny family. Her recipe is pretty classic up to a point it uses garlic. It uses oil packed anchovy filets, lemon juice, a little bit of red wine vinegar, olive oil, parmesan, kosher salt, black pepper, and then instead of egg, it uses two tablespoons of mayonnaise. Okay, so what's nice about it is I think some so a lot of Caesar dressing recipes call for mayonnaise instead of the egg. And there's a wide variety I think of textures that people think of a slight dressing, right? I don't want it to be like as thick as man. Yeah, but sometimes it's like heading almost in that direction. I think it should be like a slightly thicker vinaigrette. So Julia's recipe is kind of on the thinner end. I think the texture is actually pretty ideal. And it's super easy and super delicious.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:46

Okay, well I think so. Try that time because I made Caesar salad on Saturday and it came out okay, but not great. And I feel like I kind of know what I did wrong.

Molly 29:57

What do you think you did wrong? So

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:58

okay, I used kinda like a fairly basic recipe that has all the things that you said in it all the No mustard. And the things that I did wrong where it gave a range for how many anchovies to use, and I used the smallest amount because I was afraid of overdoing it, which was silly. Okay. I did not dry the lettuce leaves well enough, which was definitely the biggest mistake I made.

Molly 30:22

Oh, so okay, hold on. I think we need to remind our listeners that you don't have a salad spinner. Yeah, for religious reasons. I need to be reminded why you don't have a salad spinner. A salad spinner? Seriously, I've had one. Since my first apartment. I'll

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:39

tell you why. It's because I don't make salad very often. And it takes up space. This is true, but this is true. No, no. Maybe I should try it. Maybe I would make salad more often. But would that make me a better person? Yeah, probably.

Molly 30:51

I don't know. I mean, salad is like one of those weird foods that like a good salad tastes delicious. But it's like not particularly filling. And not particularly like nutritious. Like, it's just yeah, lettuce and something like, I don't go out of your way to make salad unless you genuinely just enjoy the flavor of it. Because it's not like it's gonna fill you up or nourish. Okay, we'll

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:17

check back with me in a few years and see if I've gotten a salad. Oh, this will be a segment we'll do one of the websites like, you know, like, like, is that ship still stuck in the Suez Canal and just says yes or no. It will register? Does Matthew have a salad? spinner.com and just I'm gonna I'm gonna, like make a way out to do that. I can't wait. How much am I willing to spend on this joke?

Molly 31:37

Uh, hopefully nothing. Well, it's gonna

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:41

it's gonna cost something to register this domain name.

Molly 31:43

God. Hold on Matthew. Wow. You're you really think, Hmm, interesting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:48

I resist the lettuce thing.

Molly 31:50

I'm back to the lettuce. You really? I mean, I think you're right that No, I know. I'm right. And here's how I know that lettuce that has just the tiniest bit too much water will ruin your salad. You're

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01

absolutely right, because I tasted the dressing and I was like, Okay, this tastes really intense. Like it's way too strong for me to to like drank. And so that's what I want my salad. I did. You know I washed the lettuce leaves. And then I did I put them out on a kitchen towel. And then like, you know, use paper towels to like block the water off, but clearly not enough. Because as soon as I dressed the lettuce like it was like this has very little flavor. And all I can taste is the lots of parmesan that I put on. And I made bad croutons because I got like the cheap like supermarket French bread, which is not a terrible thing. But it's great for garlic bread is not good for croutons.

Molly 32:34

You know, it's interesting. So I think we probably talked about this on a croutons episode back when we met Mrs. Covington. But I don't your back. Yes. Would you like some tea? We've got a we've got a tempest in a teapot here. That sounds quite violent. But okay, anyway, the Statue of Liberty. I'd

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:54

love one of those.

Molly 32:57

Anyway, I don't like croutons. I don't understand crude. What? I don't understand croutons. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:03

I know what this feeling is in my heart. It's like everybody forgetting about how I don't like catcha because they've got a new a new person date.

Molly 33:17

Okay, don't like croutons. They're like they're either, like the texture is all wrong. Like they're too. They're too crunchy. If they're small, they're like too crunchy. If they're big, like I can't fit them in my mouth in one bite. And that's like super weird. They send shards everywhere. You can't stab them with a fork. I mean, listeners, please. Back me up on this. Like, does everybody love croutons? I don't think so. I think you guys are just all sitting there quietly waiting for me to do your dirty work. And out croutons as the latest food that should be kept. I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:58

a fool to do your dirty work. Okay, it's so when I make

Molly 34:02

Wait a minute, you're just gonna let that stand. No, no, no, I just did. No, I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:06

still talking about croutons. So here's here's how I agree. I don't want my croutons to be like so crispy that I can't bite into them. I think a GrandCentral como love like a rustic non sourdough loaf, I think is ideal for croutons. I like shave off the the crust. I cut the crumb into like maybe three quarter inch cubes. Toss them with quite a bit of olive oil and salt and bake them until they are crispy but not crispy all the way through. That's a perfect question. What

Molly 34:37

temperature do you use?

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:39

I like 400

Molly 34:40

I just I don't know man. I have never wanted a croutons. Well, like I will leave them on the plate.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:45

I mean, everybody wants your croutons. Oh I got you know,

Molly 34:52

in high school or college or any time since anyway, so this is interesting. Okay, so yeah, I never met croutons. I have never bought croutons. I have never put croutons in a salad. Like intentionally and if a recipe calls for croutons,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:09

unintentionally, like well, I just did a new thing.

Molly 35:14

So I made Caesar salad recently using so my mom. My mom has been going so Tony Negroni she have the crackling cold Slovenia

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:26

season it's it's Negroni. Oh, that's,

Molly 35:28

that's right. She has that straight. It's winter. It's her winter drink. She has been going through a real I know Garten phase. I mean, she's been going through an Iowa garden phase for like the past four years. But my mom, my mom's very good, good. But anyway, she stopped by the house a couple of weeks ago, and ash and I were doing something outside. And she was like, Hey, do you want to come over? I made a really good Caesar salad dressing. I'm Yeah, I know. So anyway, she had she had us over to dinner. She had made Aina gardens Caesar salad dressing, I think from the Barefoot Contessa. Although I think Mom found it online. And she served it with Skagit River Ranch, Italian sausage. That's so good and bread and it was so good. Anyway, I know cartons recipe is, you know, there's nothing unusual about any of this. It's made in the food processor. So it's very well emulsified. It uses an extra large egg yolk although I think that's the thing with I know Garten, she's always calling for extra long. Sounds like a branding sort of thing. Yeah. So anyway, egg yolk, she uses a fair amount of mustard whereas Julia tertians doesn't use any you

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:40

know, the El fudge cookies. Do you think it stands for extra large fudge? I think we have some fudge that someone gave us for as a as a Christmas gift that I haven't cracked into yet. I'm curious to try. Are you done? Yeah, I think so.

Molly 36:53

Okay, great. I'm sorry, I was just being mean to you. And we had a listener once say that they felt like I was too mean to you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:00

And I was I was literally interrupting to talk about something totally boring. That had nothing to do with what you were talking about, which was the subject of the show.

Molly 37:09

Okay. Okay. Anyway, I know Garten uses a lot of anchovies.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:14

How like how much is a lot like in terms of like number of anchovies too? amount of oil, I guess.

Molly 37:22

Okay, so, so this recipe, it's a big yield. So it's one and a half cups of oil to a half cup of lemon juice. So that we got a we got a a three to one ratio there. And then eight to 10 anche Okay, lays that what do you think about that sounds like

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:37

like, not quite the top of the range, but close to the top of the range of the recipe that I used. So that that seems legit. I think I also tried to make too small and amount like I tried to do like blender, but it was just like, you know, like sitting at the bottom of the stick blender jar. It wasn't a great day in the kitchen. I do

Molly 37:56

think that in general salad dressing or maybe sauces in general are the kind of thing where you shouldn't like scale it down. I think you're right because there's some like alchemy that happens with these ingredients. And that was good with all the cold weather that we've been having. I've been spending a lot of time outside doing things like sledding with my child and my skin has been feeling super dry. And now it's my turn to go way out you're gonna hear about this my mother in law gave me a like a Target gift card which I have to say I think is one of the greatest gifts you can give as a Target gift card it's delightful and I was like you know what I got some money to spend at Target I'm gonna see if they have any under eye masks okay that make that like have a have good reviews. I wound up buying some we went to Target and picked them up yesterday the ingredients like the active ingredients as listed on the side of the box. Are you no caffeine, which is all the rage? Oh, I didn't know that thing in their skin products. Cucumber and gold. It said the goal of like, fortifies my under eye skin and I was like I'm rich. I just bought I am putting gold on

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:15

Japan it you have to pan the the lotion and the mask juice. The mask

Molly 39:20

juice. Yeah. Anyway, but uh yeah, so what I was gonna say is I what I one thing I really like about China cartons recipe is it has you take all the ingredients except the olive oil and the Parmesan. You put all those ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. And then with the food processor running you slowly pour in the olive oil like your as though you were making mayonnaise. Okay, yeah, that's and then you add that make sense? Yeah, the parmesan at the end and pulse it so you do still wind up with a little texture from the Parmesan. Okay, I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:50

gonna try this again. Or buy some Caesar salad dressing or both.

Molly 39:56

Okay, Matthew, hold on. How did you prepare your Romeo? Okay.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:00

Question. So I removed like the floppy just like greenest outer. Yes, go ahead.

Molly 40:06

I just raised my hand. Did you buy hearts of romaine or I

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:10

bought a whole head of romaine and really, I think what you want for this recipe is the hearts. Yeah. Okay, so go on you did. So I removed I removed some of the non heart leaves. And then I cut it into into like, two inch lengths maybe so pretty big hearty chunks, but not whole leaves. I didn't dip the whole leaves into dressing like a maniac. My

Molly 40:31

mom when she served it to us and I have to say I think that the best Caesar salad is one that is served to Yeah, we're learning that for sure. She kept the romaine leaves, maybe half length, she bought hearts of Romaine. And I feel like she probably just lopped off the like the the root end is lop and then and then just cut it in half across the waistline. And that made a really nice length. It was like long enough that you would spear up a leaf, and you would need to bite it in half. But there was something about it that made it feel I think I don't want a Caesar salad to be fully chopped into bite sized piece.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:11

Yeah, I can I agree. I don't really know why. Let's wait to go back to the thing about how you can't stick your fork into a croutons. Salads are meant to be eaten with chopsticks. That's the best way to eat a salad.

Molly 41:22

You know, a lot of people would say salads are meant to be eaten with fingers. Okay, yeah, that could work too. I think a lot of people particularly I don't know, like I've read a lot of food writing where people insist. It says that, like it's a Sheffy thing to eat salad with your fingers. Really? Yes. I have seen people insist upon this in writing and I think maybe it's dumb, but it is tasty. I know. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:49

like the idea. I like I think I think life should be more sensual.

Molly 41:53

I agree. I hate math. You okay, and after you eat your Caesar salad with your fingers, then you have your significant other massage the dressing that remains on your fingers into your cuticles? Yes. And all over. That is the way to do it. Mm hmm. Wow. Chopsticks though. You may be on to something there. Yeah, it's really it's really really satisfying because a chopstick is an ideal way to pick up a croutons if you want to eat a croutons.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:22

So what I have a question this is croutons related so I think that you know there are certain things that if you like if you like prepare them as an ingredient like someone in your house like you'll snack on them and other people in your house will like walk by a notice and snack on them like like if you if you like crisp some bake and that's going to be used later in the recipe like dangerous to put on the counter right? Yes, yeah, for me in our house. I think croutons are like the the item like bar none that is most likely to get ravaged. If you're not careful. What is your house?

Molly 42:54

I think bacon is a big one. Because I often will crisp bacon at the beginning of making fried rice and then I'll use the bacon fat to cook the fried rice. Same thing with making yaki soba. Yep. So here's the thing, Matthew, like I don't cook.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:10

i To be fair, I can't think of any besides the

Molly 43:13

to cook things to put in other things. Yeah, what I think it

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:19

sort of counts. If you measure out some chocolate chips for a cookie recipe and just leave them in they're going to go into the mixer or get stirred in soon. Like I'll always like snack a few of those.

Molly 43:28

I will tell you that whenever I cook, so my households favorite green vegetables are roasted broccoli and green beans. Yeah, and I usually just like kind of like I boil the green beans till they're like bright green. If those are done before the rest of the meal is done. Like look out. June will absolutely me to green. Or the broccoli. Yeah, no, I'll

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:49

just do that myself in the kitchen.

Molly 43:51

Yeah, I usually have to say to her, like, please leave some green beans for everybody else, which is like a I'm aware a very special problem to have with a child. I feel very grateful. Oh, you know, Matthew, we haven't talked yet about grilled chicken Caesar. Yes. Which I think is the thing that many people think of first.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:10

Yeah. Like what decade do you associate that with? I mean, I know. I know. It's still popular, but I feel like it early 90. Yeah, that sounds right to me, too. I think it's great. I think it's delicious. I think it's like yeah, but food writers would complain about for some reason, like in a purist sort of way.

Molly 44:27

There is no reason not to love. Yeah, chicken. Oh, good. It's so good. It makes a lot of sense. It takes something that is delicious, but not very filling and makes it more filling. Yeah, you wind up with a whole meal. Right? You got your bread from your croutons, assuming you eat your croutons, Romaine. And you got you got your your chicken. Yeah, more. Could you want Matthew? Let's get together and lunch

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:51

on. Grilled Chicken. Yeah, neither of us grills much right? Your pan.

Molly 44:58

Okay pan.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:58

Yeah. All right. Let's grow panda.

Molly 45:00

Do you ever feel like so I actually really liked this grill pan and I've never used a grill pan. So my this one was my mom's and she never used it. And she gave it to me. And I have to say I've used it for actually a number of Julia tertian recipes she gets like, you know, she'll have you like, marinate strips of chicken breast in a just a delicious marinate and then grill them. Sure. And it's like super tasty. Or shrimp. I've also done flank steak in it a whole flank steak. I have to say, I don't really understand the point of a grill pan other like, is it just designed to leave the grill marks on something because obviously, it's not going to create a grill flavor.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:40

Oh, you don't put a layer of charcoal briquettes in yours.

Molly 45:44

But I do often wonder like, Wait, is this just all about the appearance? I mean, Appearance is important. Yeah, yeah. No, I mean it. It really makes things look really nice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:56

I mean, I think there's a flavor associated with like getting that level of char, like concentrating the heat into that particular spot.

Molly 46:04

There is something really nice to about I mean, like picture a chicken thigh, right, that has been grilled. There is something really special about the way that between the grill marks. There's just kind of this like unctuous like glistening marinate, you

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:21

know, and like rotate so you get the cross hatched grill marks I

Molly 46:26

flank steak. Like steak. It's like too fiddly with chicken.

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:30

Yeah, I was afraid we wouldn't have much to say about Caesar salad. But this is turning into one of our longer episodes. Yeah, let's finish this thing. Hurry by the segments. Yes. Very hungry.

Molly 46:41

Okay, so listener Ellie has sent us some spilled mail

listener Ellie asks, what are some of your favorite food films Eat Pray Love. Julie and Julia and shockula are some of my personal favorites. This is listener Ellie saying this, but I'd love to hear your suggestions on which food film to watch next, Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:08

Okay, so I appreciate that listener. Ellie mentioned a couple of films that came out later than the year 2000s Because I feel like for a while we were kind of stuck with like whenever you mentioned food movies, people would always say big night eat drink man woman which I am going to talk about what are the other ones that bats feast? shockula I feel like there's at least one out there that you just had to say

Molly 47:29

I don't think of any so I have not seen any of the movies that listener le mentioned okay with no I haven't made into a movie.

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:38

Oh yeah, for sure. Starring. Diane Lane,

Molly 47:44

Julie and Julia shockula was Like Water for Chocolate made into a movie

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:48

Julia Roberts starred in Eat Pray Love. Diane Lane was was under the Tuscan Sun. Maybe, huh? Okay. Okay, so I tried to think of like what is the most recent movie that I've seen that I would say is a great food movie. And the the movie that I thought of is called arm and in Japanese. And in English, I believe it's gone under a couple of different names. I think sweet bean, you can find it on street streaming services. And one thing that I found so interesting about this movie is that it centers around a food that I don't particularly like although I have like learn to get along with it, which is sweet red bean paste. And there are these scenes so that the premise is like this, this guy has a Dorayaki stand which is like a little Japanese confection that's like two small pancakes with a scoop of red bean paste in between Okay, and his food is not very good. And in particular, he uses like low quality commercial bean paste and this woman comes this old woman shows up and says Can I have a job I make really good bean paste and he's like, You know I don't I don't know if I want to hire like an old woman to work at my shop but let's see what you can do. And there are these scenes of her like making like huge quantities of these handmade bean paste and like the steps that it goes through and the stirring and and the reducing and the the spooning get into these delicate little pancakes. And it's it's an incredibly like, Did I already say sensual enough? In this episode? Say again, it's a sensual, vivid film that also like gets into some, like real issues about like, treatment of people people with Hansen's Disease, aka leprosy. Hopefully that's not a spoiler, but it's a really good movie and the the food shots are incredible. Focusing around a food that you might not have thought of as being like, I think even even like people who grew up eating it and enjoy it like probably don't think of it as like a photogenic food, but this film proves otherwise Oh, eat drink, man woman is also good.

Molly 49:53

The film that I thought of was bow Have you seen it? No. BA is this short? It's a short film. Okay. It's a short film, I believe it one and Academy Award.

Matthew Amster-Burton 50:03

I don't think I saw it.

Molly 50:04

Oh my gosh. So I believe it was produced by Pixar. But it's it's basically about so it's animated. It's about, like a lonely Chinese Canadian mother who is basically suffering from empty nest syndrome. And she makes a steamed bun bow. That SPOILER ALERT becomes sentient it comes to life. And anyway, what happens is unexpected, delightful. needs it. The animation is so cute. And the movie is just delightful and weird and I highly recommend it's called bow ba Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 50:53

okay, great. And now it's time for now but wow

Molly 51:03

take it away Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 51:05

Okay, my now but wow, this week, I just got this book for Christmas. And I read it in one day it is called Silent parade by Keigo Higashino. I've read several of his other mysteries. He's a best selling mystery and other genre writer in Japan who more and more is being translated into English and writes like really taught procedural mysteries and this one is loosely inspired by Murder on the Orient Express but it will it'll keep you guessing as they say because it is very clear from the beginning like who committed the murder and what the motive was and yet there is still so much mystery to be had it's really well done silent

Molly 51:46

that sounds really really great. Would you say the title again?

Matthew Amster-Burton 51:49

Silent parade

Molly 51:51

Okay, great. Wow, Matthew Well, hey, this Caesar salad episode turned out to be a real a real marriage real central experience a really sensual experience in which we we we covered so much ground we made it all the way covered

Matthew Amster-Burton 52:06

with with a with an oil. Yep. Anything else we

Molly 52:11

need to say?

Matthew Amster-Burton 52:12

Our producer is Abby circuit tele Please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. You can catch up with other people who listen on Reddit at Reddit comm slash are slash everything spilled milk. And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. Maybe something about babies who launched because everyone was like knitting tiny clothes for their babies.

Molly 52:33

Like knitting tiny garments.

Matthew Amster-Burton 52:35

Yeah. So next, we're knitting tiny earmuffs to keep your ears warm between episodes and your baby's ears.

Molly 52:43

And Molly wise,

Matthew Amster-Burton 52:44

and I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Unknown Speaker 52:46