Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

I’m trying to eat more veggies.  Who isn’t nowadays?  I definitely don’t get in the 5 cups a day or whatever they are recommending this week in the news.  I have figured out; however, the road to 5 cups of veggies a day is a lot easier to travel when it’s covered in Buttermilk Ranch.  I guess I never grew out of that phase as a kid where my parents would give us ranch with our veggies, all the while thinking we would eventually like them on their own. (love you Mom and Dad!)

I was talking to my Brother (who is also an amazing cook) recently about the challenges of Ranch dressing. Why it is that store bought Ranch tastes totally different from the kind you get when you go out to eat?  If you are a Ranch fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Hidden Valley just doesn’t cut it.  Even the refrigerated varieties aren’t as good.  What’s up with that?  I promised him I would share my coveted recipe.  This is my contribution to the religion that is Ranch Dressing.

My latest catch from the market

This is delicious, amazing Ranch.  Plain and simple.  Don’t be put off by the number of dried spices.  Once you have them in your pantry, you can make Ranch for 6 months!  Seems like a smart investment to me.  I also talk to a lot of people who are intimidated by homemade salad dressings.  Seriously, folks – it’s so easy.  If you can make Kool-Aid, you can make salad dressing.  And once you start making your own dressings, you won’t be able to go back!  You’ll be whipping them up and enjoying them all the time, I guarantee it. 

This is so easy; there is barely anything to show you.  Look how fast this comes together!  You just take all your beautiful spices and dump them in a bowl with some mayo, buttermilk, and a dab of white vinegar.  Stir.  Done.  Don’t skip the vinegar – even though there’s only ¼ t. in this recipe it is the secret to that tangy flavor in ranch – there is no substitute!

You want to let this chill for a few hours before enjoying.  All those dried herbs need time to mellow and hang out with everyone else in the pool.  If you want thicker dressing, you can increase the mayo and decrease the buttermilk.  Sometimes I do this if I want more of a dip-like consistency.  Some fun variations on this include adding some of your favorite salsa or chipotle in adobo.  Either way, it’s delicious.  You have to try this one!

Since I took the time and effort to illustrate a very PC type of food that goes great with Ranch, how about we review what else is out there?    (what we really want to eat with Ranch anyway)

Hot Wings
Pizza (you know you do this, too)
Chicken Fingers
French Fries
Potato Chips
Tater Tots
Quesadillas (you have to try it with the salsa variation!)
Jalepeno Poppers
Fried Pickles!

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 cup Mayo (no substitutions)
2/3 cup Buttermilk
1/4 t. white vinegar
pinch of kosher salt
1 t. dried parsley
1/8 t. dried dill
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. dried chives
1/8 t. black pepper
1/4 t. seasoned salt
1/8 t. dried mustard

Whisk mayo, buttermilk, and vinegar together until smooth.  Add spices and blend completely.  Refrigerate for 4 hours before enjoying - that's it! 

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