Sunday, October 12, 2008

Buttermilk Ranch

I am slowly working on a collection of salad dressings beyond the impromptu vinaigrette. This version of Ranch still has all the recognizable flavors but it's a little fresher, cleaner and healthier than your bottled variety. It's quick and easy and makes a great dressing for potato salad.

Buttermilk Ranch (makes about 1 cup)

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream (can use low fat) or mayonnaise (also can use low fat)
1 TBS chives, chopped fine
1 TBS dill, chopped fine
1 TBS oregano, chopped fine
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Put all ingredients into a blender or blend with a hand held immersion blender*, or for a little rougher texture, you can just whisk everything together. Will keep well for a week.

*I have found my immersion blender one of the most helpful tools in the kitchen. There all sorts of models you can buy with a varying price range to go with it, but you'll find even a basic $25 model very helpful for blending dressings, sauces, soups or basically anything you could put into a blender. If you are thinking of investing in one, I think the blenders with a stainless steel bottom (as opposed to plastic) are worth the extra money. The plastic bottoms can melt if you are often pureeing hot soups or liquids as the bottom has a tendency to soften and become a little misshapen. They usually will come with several other attachments like a whisk that works for small jobs (like whipping a few egg whites or a small amount of cream), and a small container with a blade that acts much like a food processor. There are many times I have pureed dips or pesto in there with great success. Out of all the kitchen gadgets out there this is definitely one I recommend!

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