When you mix up a Caesar, what types of foods do you like to pair with it?
There are few drinks out there as satisfying as a Caesar. With all of the possible garnishes, this drink can almost act like a meal! But what if you’re at a restaurant? Or serving Caesars to party guests? What kind of food pairs well with a Caesar cocktail? Here are a few ideas and recipes that should both hit the spot and compliment the delicious flavour of the Caesar.
The Caesar was created by Walter Chell in Calgary way back in 1969. As the story goes, he was asked to create a new cocktail for the opening of Marco’s Italian Restaurant. Inspired by the pasta dish, “Spaghetti alla Vongole”, which is essentially spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams (often with a bit of heat), he perfected the original Caesar cocktail recipe... and the rest is history.
Caesars are delicious with all kinds of tomato or olive oil-based pasta dishes (but not quite as delicious with alfredos and pasta dishes with cream sauces). Taking a little inspiration from Walter’s inspiration, and in his honour, here’s our take on Spaghetti alla Vongole. Whip this one up if you’re at home and craving something filling to go with your Caesar!
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds small hard shell clams
1 cup clam juice
1 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
1 lb spaghetti
Fresh Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped, as a garnish
In a medium saucepan that also has a lid, warm the garlic and red pepper flakes at medium heat in the olive oil until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute.
Add the clams, clam juice, and wine.
Cover the saucepan, still on medium heat, and simmer. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until all the clams open.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stirring frequently, and when it’s al dente, drain (never rinse the pasta).
Add the spaghetti to the saucepan and it into the sauce.
Garnish with parsley and serve with a Caesar!
Continuing down the Italian path, dishes that include or pair well with tomatoes are always great accompaniments to a Caesar. Whether you like your meatballs with your spaghetti, or you like a good-sized meatball as the main focus of your meal, hearty Italian Meatballs pair wonderfully with a Caesar.
Serving Caesars at your next dinner party? Consider this recipe for Italian Meatballs:
1 lbs ground beef
1 lbs ground pork
1 diced onion
½ cup milk
⅓ cup white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 diced garlic cloves
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp italian seasoning
3 tbsp grated parmesan
Soak the bread crumbs in milk for 15 minutes.
Heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil over medium heat.
Cook the onions in skillet until translucent, then let them cool.
In a big bowl, mix the ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumb mixture, cooked onions, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese.
Once combined, cover the mixture and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200° C (about 400° F).
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and oil lightly with olive oil.
Form the meatball mixture into 4cm balls in diameter (about 1½ inches).
Place the meatballs on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 74° C (165° F).
Remove the meatballs from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes.
Serve as is, or with a favourite tomato sauce and pasta… and a Caesar!
BACON WRAPPED SCALLOPS
When you think of the flavour of a Caesar, you may think salty, sweet, spicy, and savoury. That’s one of the reasons why a slice of crispy bacon is often served as a garnish for a Caesar. So, let’s take some inspiration from that and, as we’re already enjoying clamato juice, double-down on the seafood with scrumptious bacon-wrapped scallops! Ingredients
10 slices of bacon
20 large sea scallops
Fresh ground pepper
Put the rack in the middle of your oven.
Preheat the oven to 200° C (about 400° F).
Lay the bacon on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake the bacon for 6 minutes or until partially cooked but still very flexible.
Remove baking pan from the oven.
Move the rack to the top of oven and turn on the broiler.
Remove bacon from pan, pat dry with paper towels.
Slice each slice of bacon crossways into two long strips.
Season the scallops with freshly ground black pepper.
Wrap the halved bacon strips around the scallops, and secure each with a toothpick.
Remove the tinfoil from the baking pan (but wait until bacon grease has cooled).
Place the bacon-wrapped scallops on the baking pan.
Put the baking pan in the oven, on the top rack (they should be 4 to 5 inches away from broiler).
Cook for between 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the scallops every couple of minutes.
Remove the scallops from the oven, let cool slightly.
Serve with a Caesar and enjoy!
Few things go better together than cheese and tomatoes. So, if you’re drinking a Caesar and want a snack-sized meal rather than a full entree, you really can’t beat some kind of a cheese dish. We’re going to keep it super informal here and suggest one of Canada’s favourite sandwiches: the grilled cheese! Ingredients
2 slices of ½ inch high quality white bread (try sourdough!)
2 slices of strong cheddar cheese
1 tbsp salted butter
Put a non-stick skillet on medium-low heat.
Place the slices of cheese between the slices of bread.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in skillet.
Once melted, plate the sandwich in the skillet, pressing down to compress the sandwich slightly.
Cook the first side of bread until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Flip the sandwich and cook the other side of sandwich until also golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove sandwich from skillet.
Serve with a Caesar and enjoy!
TOMATO AND CHEDDAR FRITTATA
We can’t suggest food pairings for a Caesar without including something for brunch! Caesars and eggs are one of the most perfect ways to celebrate the weekend, and this frittata made with gooey cheddar cheese and wilted cherry tomatoes is a wonderful dish to serve alongside a Caesar at your next brunch. Consider serving it with a side spinach salad or your favourite roasted potatoes. Ingredients
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons (45 ml) butter
Salt and pepper
Put your oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 180 °C. (350 °F) Butter a 20cm (8 inch) square baking dish and set it aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk.
Add the cheddar cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place the bowl of the mixture aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, brown the onion in butter over medium heat.
Add the tomato halves and continue cooking for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes start to wilt.
Pour the onion and tomato into the egg mixture. Stir well and pour into the baking dish.
Bake the frittata for about 25 minutes or until it’s puffed up and lightly browned.
Cut the frittata into four squares. Use a spatula to remove from the baking dish.
Serve with a Caesar and enjoy!