Caesar Salad Fit For A Caz

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - July 27, 2011
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Robert Cazimero with Chai’s Caesar salad. Leah Friel photo .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Hula is in the air and on the airwaves. Award winning singer, songwriter and kumu hula Robert Cazimero has just released a new CD, simply titled Hula. In this release, he compiled his favorite hula songs from across time.

For Robert, dance is universal. He’s the founder of Halau Na Kamalei, an allmale hula school. While this isn’t remarkable in itself, what is truly extraordinary is that he did it in 1975 at a time when men weren’t in the hula spotlight, so to speak. It was also an incredible time for Hawaiian music. Robert, together with his brother Roland, made more than just waves as part of The Brothers Cazimero.

According to Robert: “In my life, I’ve been lucky enough to learn from the best; to dance on stage; to teach this remarkable art form and to be rewarded in both tangible and intangible ways for dedicating a big part of my life to hula. I’ve been all the more lucky in that my career has been in music and I’ve been able to sing some of the most beautiful music that hula is danced to, as well as compose some hula mele (songs) that have been danced by many.”

In celebration of Robert’s new CD and all he has brought to our lives I am honored to dedicate this column to the music of hula.

When asked for a recipe, he laughed rousingly, and offered one of his favorite dishes from Chai’s Island Bistro, where he can be found performing weekly. Of the Caesar salad, he says, “It’s healthy for the body, delicious to the senses, ignites the imagination, settles gently on the soul.”

The Worcestershire variety of a fermented fish sauce became popular in the 1840s in England, but speculation concerning its discovery or invention varies. The ingredients of a traditional bottle of Original & Genuine Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce include malt vinegar (from barley), spirit vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, onions, garlic, spice and flavoring.


Courtesy Chai’s Island Bistro

* 1 pound baby romaine lettuce
* 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
* 2 tablespoons croutons
* 1/2 cup Caesar dressing (see recipe below)

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together and toss until the dressing is on the lettuce evenly. Arrange like a bouquet of lettuce.

Makes four servings.

For Caesar Dressing:

* 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 egg yolks ( use pasteurized shell eggs or coddled egg to reduce risk of salmonella)
* 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 2 anchovies
* 1 teaspoon Chinese Thin Soy Sauce
* 4 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 3/4 cup olive oil
* salt and pepper, to taste

Roast the garlic in a 350 degree oven for about 3040 minutes.

Next, gather all remaining ingredients except olive oil, add to a blender and slowly process all ingredients until smooth. Slowly add olive oil while the blender is on until the dressing is emulsified.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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