In my youth I worked in many restaurants and in the process, I ate a lot of restaurant food. I can’t tell you just how many BAD Caesar salads I’ve eaten in my day, but there were a lot. And it certainly wasn’t easy to find a good one.
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Then everything changed when my little brother got a job working at a now defunct restaurant called Clancy’s, in Winnipeg in the early 1990’s. That was how we discovered this amazing Caesar salad dressing recipe!
However, my very first job was a “salad girl” at Bonanza. I was 14 years old.
I recall my parents having to sign some special form to say I could work; I had begged them. I wanted to have my own money and a real job so badly; not just the chump change I was earning from babysitting at the time.
Surprisingly, for a restaurant that had the biggest salad bar around at the time, (so big that they needed 2 ‘salad girls’ stocking it during the dinner shift) Bonanza had one of the worst Caesar salads I ever tasted!
But they did have an amazing Monterey Chicken (copycat recipe coming soon!)
There are very few restaurant recipes that I want to recreate, but that chicken is definitely one of them! So, I am on a mission to recreate it. I actually contacted a couple of people who worked there with me back in the 80’s, but even based on their memories, I haven’t been able to get it right.
So, I’ll will keep plugging away at it….
And although I personally never actually worked at Moxie’s, I have eaten there a lot over the years and adore Moxie’s Steak Salad with Clamato Dressing ! And I happen to think I’ve done a pretty darn good job of recreating it (in a healthy Weight Watchers Way, of course!) And my IHOP Grain & Nut Pancake Copycat recipe is also a delicious rendition of the original!
But this Caesar salad dressing… Oh man, I’m soo lucky that I don’t even have to try to recreate it because my brother got the actual recipe many years ago. It’s no copycat -it’s the real deal! It is tangy, creamy and oh so delicious!
My Mom started making this salad dressing back then and it has become a cherished family classic. If this Caesar salad is not served at a special meal or gathering in our family, it is very unusual. I moved away from Winnipeg many years ago, but I still serve this salad at every special meal I make. And whenever I bring it to a dinner or potluck I always get asked for the recipe.
When I took that job at Bonanza at the age of 14 my parents told me I’d have plenty of time to work and instead, I should just enjoy being a kid. I wish I listened to them because I’ve been working ever since.
And by the age of 30 I was pretty much ready to retire. Several years later, I am still ready to retire, but that won’t be for a while yet. Fortunately, I’m not working in the restaurant business, as I had my fill of that for a lifetime. And although my parents were right, one thing I have no regrets over is being introduced to Bonanza’s Chicken Monterey. But I’m especially thankful that my brother did his own stint in restaurants and was able to score this amazing Caesar salad dressing recipe!
What to do with leftover Caesar Salad Dressing
I always end up with a little extra dressing (or make sure I do now that I created these) So if you have leftover Caesar salad dressing, then give these Caesar Twice Baked Potatoes a try! They are soooo tasty!
I loved this Caesar salad dressing recipe so much that it inspired me to create this Fried Caesar Chicken!
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
Caesar Salad Dressing:
- parmesan cheese for sprinkling
- lemon wedges (optional)
- Generously sprinkle garlic powder and Cajun seasoning on both sides of chicken breast. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle
- Wash and cut lettuce into bite sized pieces. Add croutons, parmeasan cheese and cooked chicken.
Caesar Salad Dressing
- Add eggs, garlic, anchovies, wine vinegar, worcestershire and lemon juice to blender and mix until smooth. Then slowly add olive oil and blend for another minute or so, until combined
- Mix dressing into lettuce mixture until combined. Sprinkle on a little more parmesan cheese and add lemon wedges, if desired
This recipe is part of The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck