I love ranch dressing. I have always loved it, and still firmly believe that many foods are really just a tool for getting the ranch to your mouth. Many years ago I started noticing that when I ate appetizers or salad with it, I would start to feel crappy and lose my appetite before my main dish arrived.
Of course, it turned out that the store-bought ranch and mixes were loaded with MSG. I did eventually find some brands that do not have it, but after a while I get tired of them. I started making my own, but the results were hit and miss, and it was a lot of work. Finally I found a recipe
that looked good. I tweaked it a bit to suit my taste. It consistently turns out great, and it’s quick and easy.
You’ll notice that I reduced the mayonnaise and increased the sour cream. That’s one of the problems I have with the better stuff I have found in stores – it just tastes and feels too heavy on the mayonnaise. I also reduced the dill and increased the onion powder. When I made it with the full portion of dill I found it overpowered the flavors.
I prefer to use my homemade sour cream
, which is made the same way as crème fraîche and crema Mexicana. From what I have found so far, they are one in the same. I’m still trying to find more on that and figure out if there is supposed to be some subtle difference that I’m missing in my reading or what. I plan to write a post on that in the near future.
1 cup homemade sour cream (or crème fraîche, crema Mexicana, or half store-bought sour cream and half buttermilk)
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon dried chives
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients. I like to do this in the container I am going to store the dressing in. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it’s nice and chilled and the flavors are well blended.
I absolutely love Hollandaise sauce, but I do not have the patience for all that whisking and praying that it will turn out right. I am so glad I discovered the blender method! This is quick and easy and the end result is just the same, except it leaves me in a better mood.
6 egg yolks
1 stick butter
¼ cup lemon juice
Separate your eggs and put the yolks in the blender. Add lemon juice to blender. Add cayenne and salt. Melt butter in a sauce pan and heat until bubbling. With the lid on the blender, but the center thing removed, turn on the blender. While the blender is running slowly drizzle the hot butter in. Put center thing back in blender and keep blending for a minute or so.
The hot butter cooks the egg yolks a bit, for the sake of the squeamish. However, if the blender isn’t running when you start drizzling it in or if your pour it in too fast, it can really cook the yolks and ruin the texture of the sauce.
Serve with asparagus, steamed artichokes, eggs benedict, or as a tasty dip. The possibilities are endless.
So, now what to do with all those egg whites? If you’ve got any suggestions I would love to hear them!
2 medium tomatoes
½ large sweet yellow onions
3 cloves garlic
1 large jalapeno
¼ – ½ cup fresh parsley
1 tsp lime juice
Cut tomatoes and onions into large chunks. Deseed jalapeno and cut into large chunks. Peel garlic. Place everything in food processor and process until it reaches the consistency you like.
I put the onions and garlic in first and process a little, then the jalapeno, process a little more, and then the tomatoes. That helps get the consistency right without completely obliterating the tomatoes. Most recipes call for cilantro instead of parsley. I don’t like cilantro. Fresh parsley is very flavorful and good for you.
This makes a great topping for just about any dish, or a great dip. It is not really different to my salsa, but as a topping you can get away with making it even when the tomatoes aren’t at their best.
I made this last night to go with tortilla-less burrito bowls. I will post that recipe very soon.
This makes a great dip or sandwich spread. Sometimes I make it with falafel, but that always seems like a lot of work. Everything should be adjusted to your personal taste. The chickpeas are the main ingredient. Everything else is for flavor. You can substitute peanut butter for the tahini if you have to. Plain, unsweetened is closest. The last time I made this I used garlic and garlic scapes.
Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked or canned, reserve juice
Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Olive oil (optional)
Put everything except the bean juice in the food processor and process until smooth. Add bean juice if needed to get the right consistency. You may want to taste it a few times and adjust your ingredients.
You can get really creative with this and add other stuff for a different effect. Some people like it with jalapenos or olives mixed in.