August 13, 2010

Mayfair Dressing

St. Louis is famous for inventing several foods. Ice cream cones & hot dogs in buns were first served at the 1904 World's Fair, which also introduced people to hamburgers, cotton candy, iced tea, & Dr. Pepper. Other St. Louis originals include toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, concretes, peanut butter, Provel cheese, slingers, & 7-Up. 

One of my favorite local recipes is Mayfair salad dressing. It was created at the Mayfair-Lennox Hotel in downtown St. Louis. This dressing is similar to Caesar dressing but has more of a "bite" to it. 

I was planning on making Mayfair dressing a couple weeks ago for my cousins who were visiting from California, but I didn't get to it. Instead, I put together a "midwestern" dinner for them of barbecued pork steaks, baked macaroni & cheese, tomato & basil salad, & peach crumble. I didn't want to do anything too fancy, since they were traveling with their picky 6-year-old son. Plus, I wanted to feed them something they probably don't get too much of on the west coast and some fresh summer produce.

But, you know, I think they got the wrong impression from my meal and from their trip. They seemed to have left with the impression that Illinois/St. Louis was "the country" full of intolerant & simple-minded conservatives. Or, maybe they just arrived here with that impression already. Either way, I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to show them what I love about St. Louis...beyond its food!

Anyway, I ended up making this dressing just for us later in the week. It brought back memories of going out to eat with my family when I was younger...I'd always order the Mayfair dressing on my salads and thought I was being super fancy.

Mayfair Dressing
Recipe by Chef Angelo Rossini, Executive Chef of the Lennox Hotel

makes about 1 quart

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 onion, peeled
1 stalk celery
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
4 ounces anchovy fillets *
1/2 cup champagne

3 whole large eggs
1 cup canola or corn oil

* Kelly's Note: I used the entire little tin, including the oil.

Grind the pepper well in blender.  Then, add the garlic, onion, celery, mustard, anchovies, & champagne and blend well. Add one egg at a time & blend until incorporated. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil to emulsify the dressing.

No comments: