Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ranch dressing or how to make your salad say "Howdy Partner!"

I never really thought about how easy and simple this salad dressing is to make and now that I figured it out, I whip it up in a few minutes whenever needed and without the added “stuff” in it. It keeps for a few weeks in the fridge (if it doesn't get used before then) and the added benefit of the beneficial bacterial cultures from the buttermilk are good for your body. You will find the flavor to be fresher than anything you can get from a jar, with a texture that more resembles what it is supposed to be. I usually make a quart jar of this and you can adjust the seasoning to your taste.

2-3 cups mayonnaise

4 ounces +/- cultured buttermilk

to taste salt and pepper

1 t granulated garlic or garlic powder (NOT garlic SALT)

1T dried chives OR dill

Combine all ingredients in jar. Shake very well until all ingredients have mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings and consistency (depending on how thin you want it to be- remember too thin and it won't stick to the lettuce)

Added tips:

I recommend using dried herbs in this and not fresh herbs, unless you will use all of the dressing ASAP. The fresh herbs will make the dressing go bad after a few days of sitting because of the bacteria that are naturally on them.

Be careful about what buttermilk you buy. If you read the ingredient label on the various buttermilks, you will see that many of them have such ingredients as gums and stabilizers added to it to give it a thicker consistency. Locally here in NC, I buy either Maola or Aldi brand buttermilk. Both of them use only cultured milk, as buttermilk is supposed to be. I believe that not only are you getting the added benefit of the cultures, but by not ingesting the gums and stabilizers, you are freeing your body of added junk.

Add different flavors to it to make your own dressing- bacon bits, horseradish, fresh cracked pepper, ketchup (to make a kinda creamy french?-not sure on that one),.

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