Foodie Friday: RANCH DRESSING

I am a big junk food junkie. It’s true. I wish it weren’t but it is. Give me a bag of wise crunchy cheez doodles and watch me smile. Chocolate soothes whatever ails me and ice cream is my comfort food.

So I did a little happy dance when I spotted these in the grocery store the other day.IMG_2375.jpg

But I didn’t buy them. Nope. I did not, because I had just spent an hour in the store trying to find a suitable Ranch Dressing for my son. I deemed them all horribly full of chemicals. I felt like a hypocrite or a confused nutter buying the oreo cones. So I left them on the shelf (for another time).

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I used to like Ken’s, but I couldn’t even pronounce most of the ingredients on their list. The picture on the left is Brianna’s which is supposed to be pretty good and the ingredients aren’t so bad other than Xanthan Gum. I’m not sure about the Canola oil. Hidden Valley Ranch (pic on the right) has soy, phosphoric acid, modified food starch, msg and the list goes on with other chemicals. But it’s Gluten-Free isn’t that nice? Gluten-Free is the new fad like Fat-Free a decade or so ago. I’m not buying into that again. I no longer listen to anyone but my stomache these days.

I determined to try and make my own Ranch dressing. Feeling inspired I decided to try my hand at mayo too. I’ve been wanting to try that for some time.

First attempt at mayonaisse: Failure. I atttempted to beat it by hand. I am not my mother, I am a weakling.

IMG_2459Second attempt: worked well. I used the electric mixer as Marcella Hazan suggests.

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I put the mayonaisse into my carafe, added some milk and vinegar to make buttermilk, 3 tbsp of sour cream, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, black pepper, a little dill – not too much since the boy doesn’t like strong flavors.

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I cut the recipe from chowhound in half since my carafe was just 1 cup. I added a blendy ball and shook it all up. In the fridge it went.

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Then I used the oil-egg mixture from the first failed mayo attempt to coat the chicken legs, dredged them through a mixture of almond meal and rice flour and placed in the oven at 425. I gave each leg a little pat of butter before putting in the oven.

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I still had some leftover oil mixture so I went to my other go-to recipe book and made a six-minute chocolate cake which is a bit like a chemistry experiment with baking soda and vinegar. The cake doesn’t take six-minutes to bake. It is six-minutes of prep time and then 25-30 minutes in the oven. You mix the ingredients right in the pan so there is less to clean up!

The boy gave the Ranch Dressing a thumbs up. I did mix it into the leftover sour cream to make it a dip for him rather than a dressing.

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He also liked the cake.

@momtheobscure


sources:

http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/basic-ranch-dressing-28753

http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/basic-mayonnaise-11053

Mayonaisse recipe from The Essentials fo Classic Italian Cooking, Marcella Hazan, Knopf, 1992, pp. 40-41

Six-minute Chocolate Cake from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, The Moosewood Collective, Simon & Schuster, 1994 p. 322

Here is the ingredient list for the Oreo Cones –

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