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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Farwell Kenny!

Mr. Ken Kostic
June 1, 1953 - April 21, 2011

I was really sad when I found out the Ken Kostic passed away earlier this week.  For those of you unfamiliar with Kenny* , he was the co-host of the first cooking show I ever watched, What's for Dinner? I used to watch this show not only to learn how to cook, but also because I loved the chemistry he had with Mary Jo, his co-host.  Kenny was great for so many reasons.  First of all, the way he cooked: he always just made it look like he was throwing it all together...and he was!  His truly was a 30 minute cooking show; no pre-cut veggies or pre-cooked food on this show!  I also loved how he wasn't a chef or even a cook but just a guy who loved to cook.  I also loved how (without actually saying so) Kenny shared that he was proudly and flamboyantly gay before it was the "in thing" to do... or even the acceptable thing to do.  But most of all, I loved Kenny's Caesar Salad dressing recipe (ok not really, but a good segue into his recipe, eh?)  I could've retyped it for you but I took a photo of my well-worn cookbook page so you could see how much I really used it.  Also, this is one of the very few recipes that I have not altered at all, thus showing you the actual page from the book seemed like the right thing to do.  Disclaimer: in no way is this an "authentic" Caesar dressing recipe but who cares, especially when you consider that Caesar salad is in no way "authentically" Italian yet it still finds its way onto just about every Italian restaurant's menu.  Authentic, aushmetic.  It tastes great and that's all that counts.
This is the recipe I credit for getting me over my fear of using anchovy paste.
It consist of blending the following:
1/4 cup each low fat plain yogurt & grated Parmesan, 1 tsp each lemon juice, balsamic, and anchovy paste, 1 tbsp Worcestershire, s & p to taste

I like to serve it with a combo of romaine, arugula, and spinach. The dressing is so good, the kiddies don't detect the healthier greens.
Make a full meal out of this one by grilling up some chicken, cutting it into strips, and, along with tortillas, make chicken Caesar wraps.  

Caesar Salad a la Kenny
Now, I'm sure you've seen Caesar salad before, but if you are the kind of person who likes to look at the finished product, here it is.
Knock yourself out!

Adieu, Kenny.  I'll miss you!

*Only his friends called him Kenny and even though I'm technically not his friend, after years of watching his shows and cooking from his book, I feel like we were friends.  Did you ever have that before with a famous person, how you feel so connected to them that if and when you ever had the opportunity to meet them, you would be genuinely surprised that they didn't know you? Or is that just me...

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