I always equate the first month of a new year with guilt - usually because the media is abuzz with talk of detoxification, supplementing, fasting, dieting, exercising and the like - and I usually still haven't met my health goals from the year before! As a result, I feel guilt, and guilt usually drives me to cross my arms and pout; to rebel like a little kid and refuse to do anything at all. So, last year, in an effort to act like a mature and responsible adult instead of a pouting child, I determined to learn how to make the things that I usually buy, but without the added preservatives, chemicals and sugar. My repertoire is slowly growing, and this week I decided to tackle ranch dressing - again.
This is not the first time I've tried to make ranch, which we consume like water in this house - I've swung and missed a few times with various recipes. However, I've liked this recipe the best so far. It's adapted from a ranch dressing recipe that I found in my Dinosaur Bar B Que: An American Roadhouse cookbook. (Side note: If you are ever in the Rochester, Harlem or Syracuse, NY area, eating at the Dinosaur Bar B Que is an absolute must - best barbecue I have EVER had - and best pulled pork and fried green tomatoes in the world.) Now, I will warn you, my husband said, "It's too tangy," which is why "Tangy" is in the title. The great thing about this recipe is that if you want less tang, reduce (or completely omit) the amounts of fresh garlic, black pepper and cayenne. Add more dill if you like dill, or more mayo if you like that flavor. Enjoy the versatility (and your salad) without the mystery ingredients!
Tangy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1 cup Hellman's (or similar) mayonnaise
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (only because I ran out of Hellman's)
1 to 2 cups buttermilk (look for the kind that does not include preservatives and add up to 2 cups, or until you reach the desired flavor and consistency)
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1/2 tsp. dill weed
dash of cayenne pepper
Directions: Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Pour into a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate. Makes approximately 3 cups dressing.