Two Things I Did Not Apologize for & Alton Brown’s Hail Casesar Salad

We had a wonderful time. I love it when friends come over, the music is playing, there’s a lot of laughter and yummy smells in the house. If you’d walk in, you’d know immediately you were in for a good time.

If you’ve been reading RE for long, you’ll know that I’m always encouraging delegation. So one of our guests brought bread and wine, and Myrna brought her amazing HAIL CAESAR SALAD (from Alton Brown).

There were two things that I was NOT thrilled with when it came to the dinner, but I KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT. One was that I forgot to add Meyer’s lemon to the asparagus when it came out of the oven.

Rats! It would have given the extra “punch” that was lacking!

The other thing was that I cooked my pasta too far in advance. It was over-done and deflinitlely lacking. Oh well!

But we enjoyed the meal anyway; no one really knew. Or if they did, so what?

Dinner parties can never be perfect. They can come close, but there is always something that goes wrong. And the best thing to do is to learn to keep your mouth shut and NOT draw attention to the meal or yourself.

I love how Myrna wasn’t afraid to get her hands in there and toss the salad!

It was my favorite part of the dinner (well, along with the dessert).

Myrna’s HAIL CAESAR SALAD recipe by Alton Brown
6-8 servings and it only takes about 15 minutes to make

1 loaf day old Italian bread
3 garlic cloves, mashed
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
2 eggs
2 heads romaine lettuce, inner leaves only
7 grinds black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
6 drops Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut 1/2 to 3/4-inch croutons from the loaf of bread and place on a baking sheet and put into the oven until dry but not browned.

Use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic with 4 tablespoons of oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Strain the oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the dried croutons and fry, tossing constantly until all of the oil is absorbed and the croutons turn gold. Set aside.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the eggs and cook for 1 minute. Chill in ice water to halt cooking. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, tear lettuce and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with the remaining kosher salt and the black pepper. Add the remaining olive oil. Toss well. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Break in the eggs. Toss until a creamydressing forms. Toss in Parmesan cheese and serve with croutons.

I love the Worcestershire sauce touch!

Do you have a secret ingredient that you add to your Caesar salad? Or, do you worry about the food not turning out for your guests?

Winners from Nesting Place’s giveaway! Congrats, Ladies!

The winner of all 3 items: Seriously a Homemaker
-Signed Copy of The Reluctant Entertainer
Balcony Girls E-Book
-Sheath Style Black a la Mode apron from The Hip Hostess

Our Southern Table and Renee (no blog), each a signed copy of The Reluctant Entertainer

Thank you, Nester, for hosting this fabulous SPRING Giveaway!

20 comments on “Two Things I Did Not Apologize for & Alton Brown’s Hail Casesar Salad”

  1. Pingback: Ways to Cook Caesar Salads - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  2. I try not to apologize if something goes wrong. However, one time I FORGOT TO PUT THE MEAT ON THE TABLE:):):) Someone had to say….Pink, did you forget somethinhg????:):) That was pretty funny. Thanks so much for the recipe! I will be trying this version. Glad to had a great dinner party! XO, Pinky

  3. Oh Sandy! What a sweet post. You always make me feel better about entertaining when you remind me not to focus on myself and my own shortcomings. Last week I had a group of ladies over for some fun time cooking together. We do it quarterly. It was my time to host. Everyone had a great time…even though I FORGOT to serve the salad when I served the soup. But I didn’t say anything after I realized what I had done (and we were done eating)…and no one noticed! We were all just happy be together. Thank you for reminding me that things don’t need to be perfect!



  4. I love to try new recipes but since it’s just my husband and me now days, I invite family and friends over with the understanding that if all else fails we order in pizza. My sister has had so many good meals that she has added that she will pay for any pizza we may need to order. So far she hasn’t had to pay up! :o)

  5. Don’t invite them back ;o)

  6. I’ve been reading your book and love it! I’m still learning not to apologize for things about my house or dinner but I’m working on it;-)

  7. The only time I might apologize for some part of a meal is if it is just my hubby & I. He doesn’t do any of the cooking & would never complain; but sometimes if something isn’t quite right, I can bounce some suggestions off him on how to improve it. The thing I think is worse than apologizing, is not being able to accept a compliment. That annoys the heck out of me to give someone a compliment & they find every excuse possible not to accept it. What they don’t realize is that their friends & family will stop giving them compliments because they make it so uncomfortable.

    I may be strange here, but I really don’t like the idea of someone using their bare hands to toss a salad. I always have the disposable restaurant gloves for doing that & a myriad of other kitchen chores. Just saying, because you never know!

    • Hey Carol, no, that’s not a strange thought. Fortunately I saw my friend scrub her hands first. So no worries and it worked out fine. :)

  8. This is the best and most encouraging entertaining/hospitality advice I’ve ever read. Really.

  9. I am curious…what do you do if people complain? I always like to hear how others handle an unkind comment?

  10. I want to apologize, but I can always hear my mom saying, “dont’ say anything and nobody will even notice.” It’s true! If they do notice, rarely will they say something!

  11. Thanks for cyber hugs and stopping by. I was reading over the reviews of your book. Congratulations!!! I am so thrilled for you and your message to women everywhere. I am afraid I do make a bit of a fuss when I make a mistake. Your right thought the connections and the people trump everything. We had some guest just get back from Lyon France the other night and we had to see them. I have been pretty sick with my first ever sinus infection. Didn’t want to cook, didn’t want to go out. So we ordered Olive Garden take out. I have seen people do that in movies, but never have I tried that for dinner guests. It was great!!! I set the table opened up one of our favorite bottles of wine, sliced some cheese, had a toast and then sat down to a nice relaxing meal. For dessert, (I am kind of proud of myself on this one) I opened up a fresh box of strawberries and set them in the middle of the table on a nice dish. I heated up some chocolate chips in the micro wave, touch of cream (stir, stir ) and set two small bowls of chocolate sauce down and gave everyone some extra napkins and some appetizer forks and had a little impromptu fondue dessert along with some great coffee. We enjoyed ourselves so much better than at loud noisy restaurant that evening :)

  12. I’m kicking myself for apologizing! I went to a potluck last night and my food was just off…the ice cream had gotten melty on the way over, and the pasta salad just wasn’t as good as it normally is. I spent the whole evening apologizing for the food…bad me!

  13. Good for you! It is rather annoying when you visit someone’s home for food and all the hostess does is apologize for what’s wrong with it. I have a tendency to do that, but I’m working on it. ;)

  14. Oh I feel that way all the time…need to follow your advice and just swallow my pride! I hate that feeling though, ugh!

    I want to try that salad! Your friend looks so cute using her hands…that’s how I love to cook! :) (clean hands of course :) )

    Congrats to your winners!

  15. The salad looks delicious! I have this bad habit of seeing a recipe and wanting to make it the same day. I don’t quite have all the ingredients for this, so I bookmarked it and will be patient. The reminder not to apologize is so helpful. I don’t entertain often, but my husband has to remind me not to apologize for the daily dinner meal. It is good practice, I suppose!

  16. That recipe sounds amazing…so is the egg still really soft so you actually break it like a raw egg?

    Great post Sandy. One thing I find is that certain veggies are always hard to time just right. Not long enough, they get too cold….too long and they turn to mush! I’ve learned to not really apologize for either, but also am willing to let people know we can nuke anything that has cooled off too much.

    • I’m hoping I put the correct e-mail on my original post. I noticed it was the wrong one after I hit send, but changed it before the send completed…so if it did and someone else got it…sorry )C:

  17. That sounds delicious! And thanks for the concrete example of some things not to apologize for. And I like your reasoning behind it–it puts the attention on the food and/or yourself, and that’s not the point of hospitality! I know I needed to hear this reminder again.

  18. Thank you for the Caesar recipe and Congrats to the winners!!

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