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Oct 25, 2015

A Coddled Egg and an Anchovy Walk Into a Bar

The bartender says, this is a bar and we don't serve Caesar salads in here....yuck, yuck, yuck, or something like that. Yeah, I just made that up.

Anyhow...While I wouldn't exactly call myself an "anchovy hater", I'm not exactly a "lover" either. When asked if I want anchovies with that, I usually take a pass, but if they come on my salad, my pizza, or my bacon I don't pick them off. I just eat them.
When I saw a recipe on Food 52 for a salad with an anchovy dressing I decided I had to try it  ~ ONLY because it had a coddled egg in it and I had never coddled an egg before. I didn't even know how. Or that you could. Or why you would want to. I was asking myself, do you baby it, do you talk nice to it and tell it that it's a good egg and that it played a good game and that it deserves a trophy. I mean what the hell is a coddled egg anyway? Cranky eggs I know; I've been making them for years, but I have never even coddled my own kids (I'm more about an ass whoppin') let alone an egg; so I was all about finding out how. And why.
                                                  cranky eggs ↓

                             eggs begging to be coddled ↓

Now you know.
I had to try it and it turns out that I'm quite good at coddling eggs, and a happy coddled egg loving up on a few anchovies makes for a tasty dressing. 
A perfectly coddled egg ↓
So a coddled egg means that the yolk is still raw and the white is just barely set around the shell. It's still pretty much yucky* but don't let it bother you. (*yucky is a chef term for "gross, but tastes good.")

Put the coddled egg in time out, while you beat up the anchovies. To do that, start by mashing up some garlic; add the anchovies, and using a mortar and pestle, turn it into a paste.
It's gonna be a stinky paste, but just go with it...Trust me!

Add the paste to the coddled egg
Then add the remaining ingredients and whip the hell out of it for whining and this is what is looks like when you whisk it all together. No more coddleing.

This dressing will remind you of an old school Caesar dressing; raw egg, garlic, anchovy, Dijon, Worcestershire, and lemon juice. The twist is the creme fraiche, which I think is the secret ingredient that makes this dressing so genius and so wonderful.

As I said, it's been my favorite salad of the summer and since the grill is usually fired up I've been serving it with a salad of grilled romaine, grilled avocados, summer tomatoes, shaved Parm, and a big chewy, grilled sourdough crouton. If you have a fresh ear of corn on hand, grill that too and cut it off the cob and add it to the salad.
     With summer on it's way out, fire up the grill one last time, coddle an egg and make this salad. It's so worth it.
(Shitty picture, I computer and I haven't figured out the format to send pix from my phone.) Insert cranky egg face here.
(Note to egg coddlers: This dressing is best eaten within the first few turns out coddled eggs, like coddled kids, don't stay happy for too long. I've kept it for a week or so, but notice that the anchovy (smell and taste) gets stronger. It really is delish, so step out of your bottled Caesar comfort zone and don't be afraid to coddle then eggs.)

PRINT RECIPE:  Grilled Romaine Salad with Anchovy Dressing