riggity ranch / midwest catsup

the goal:

Well it is hard to find a good ranch. T has tried about every one she can find, they are to tangy or just plain suck. She really loves the ranch at Misty’s and other restaurants. I wanted to make a chicken pita or something like that. So we decided to make our own.

syren over at SCS gave me some pointers.

Okay so the basic recipe for any cream based dressing is 1 C Mayonnaise, 1/2 C sour cream, and 1/4-3/4 C buttermilk (depends on the consistency you’re looking for.) If you have the extra 20 minutes to make your own mayo, do it. The quality, texture, and taste if the final product is worth it especially if you use a peanut or sesame oil. If you’d like a good mayo recipe I can get you that too.

So once you get your base put together you can add whatever herbs suit your meal. For a ranch you’re going to have to play a lot. But there is a secret to ranch… Premade cheap as hell lemon pepper. I don’t know why but usually the ones that are $1 work better than the ones that are $3.50. Maybe if you’re willing to go beyond that mark for a bottle of spices it gets better again, I don’t know. So a basic list of herbs for a ranch would be parsley, oregano, dried chives, a little paprika, garlic and onion powder, lemon pepper, and dill but only if you like it. Dill can be overpowering and if you hate it you can leave it out. Let stand overnight to get the best effect and to avoid eating the dried herbs before they absorb the moisture from the cream base.

we were gonna go all out. First the mayo:

Mayo is a little tricky. You start with 2 egg yolks and turn on the mixer. Add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, 1/4 salt, and pinch of white pepper (I add garlic powder and dry mustard but I like tangy). Then add 1 C of oil one tsp at a time allowing each one to mix for about 20 seconds before adding the next. Most recipes say that after the first 1/2 C you can start adding the oil in a thin stream but I like to add it all teaspoon by teaspoon for added thickness. I’ll also add my herbs and seasonings to the mayo instead of the dressing and then just add the seasoned mixture to the buttermilk and sour cream. This way I have good mayo for tuna salad and bagel sandwiches.

then the base:

testing out different variations:

we ended up with 7 different mixes:

the results:
well that was a good bit of work. Came down to liking the hidden valley buttermilk seasoning pack the best. Still was it like the delicious ranch dressings T loves at Crane River or Misty’s? Nope. But it was not too bad. The others we made from herbs were interesting, not real ranchy though. The chicken pita’s were kind of a let down as well. But gosh darnit at least we tried.

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