Thursday, January 30, 2014

Homemade Ranch Dressing for Your Game Day Buffalo Wings!

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Excerpted from The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook by Erin Coopey
I’m really picky about ranch dressing. The bottled brands just taste synthetic to me. Once you taste this tangy, herby dressing you’ll feel the same.
Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups (295 ml)

1/3 cup (77 g) sour cream or crème fraîche (see below)
1/3 cup (75 g) homemade mayonnaise (see below) or store-bought
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons grated onion
or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic purée or pinch of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, and buttermilk together until smooth and fully blended. Stir in the lemon juice, onion, garlic, chives, parsley, thyme, and paprika. Season with salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: The flavors of this dressing improve with a little time. If you can, try to make the recipe at least 1 hour before you plan to serve it. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Get a little culture - Crème Fraîche
If you left a glass of milk on the counter overnight, you probably wouldn’t want to drink it in the morning, right? We have a tendency to get a little freaked out about bacteria—rightly so in some cases, but in others a little bit of bacteria is a good thing.

Crème fraîche (French for “fresh cream”) is cultured cream, not just because it has a fancy French name, but rather because it’s thickened by bacterial cultures. It can range in thickness from heavy whipping cream to sour cream.

It’s very simple to make. In a small nonreactive mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) buttermilk to 1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream. Stir to combine. Cover and let rest for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature. The longer you wait, the thicker it will become. When the crème fraîche reaches the desired thickness, refrigerate it for at least 24 hours before using. The finished crème fraîche can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Crème fraîche is slightly less sour than sour cream, so it can be used for all sorts of dressings, sauces, and desserts. It’s delicious plain, but you can add fresh herbs and lemon juice for an herbed cream sauce. Or add a little sugar and vanilla and spoon it over fresh berries.

Watching eggs and oil swirl together into mayonnaise seems almost like a magic trick, and it’s ready in flash!
Yield: Makes 1 cup (225 g)

2 raw egg yolks, from the freshest eggs you can find, at room temperature
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 cup (235 ml) oil
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Place the egg yolks in a blender or mini food processor. (Because this recipe only makes 1 cup [225 g], a full-size food processor may be too big to aerate the eggs properly. I find the bowl size of my mini prep to be perfect.) You can also whisk the mixture by hand. Process or whisk the egg yolks until they are light yellow and frothy. Add the salt, mustard powder, lemon juice, and vinegar and process/whisk until blended.
With the motor running (or whisking vigorously), slowly drizzle in the oil in a very light, steady stream. Don’t stop until you have added the entire cup. When all the oil is blended, stop the motor (or take a breath), open the bowl, and taste. Add more salt and sugar, if desired. Serve after 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Tastier, Healthier, Homemade
You work hard to make dinner—choosing the best food, mastering preparation techniques, and picking the perfect recipes. But what about the unsung staples, the ingredients and condiments that build and accompany your meal? Too often, the store-bought versions are loaded with extra salt, sugar, allergens, and preservatives, and they end up bland and uninspiring. But you don’t have to limit yourself to the same tastes and the same plastic bottles. With Kitchen Pantry Cookbook you can create your own staples—fresh, delicious, and just the way you like them. Chef Erin Coopey shows you 90+ recipes and variations to personalize your pantry. You’ll never go back to the bottles.Stock your kitchen pantry with:
  • Condiments: Everything you need—Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard, Ketchup, Steak Sauce, and more
  • Nut butters and spreads: The classics and the creative—Homemade Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Vanilla Chai Pear Butter, and more
  • Salad dressings: All your favorites, from Balsamic Vinaigrette to Honey Mustard to Sesame Tahini
  • Stocks: The basics to have on hand, including Chicken Stock, Vegetable Stock, and Court Bouillon
  • Relishes and refrigerator pickles: Delicious and easy—Bread and Butter Pickles, Pickled Peppers, Sauerkraut, and more
  • Chips, dips, and dunks: Snacks that hit the spot, from Homemade Potato Chips with French Onion Dip to Tortilla Chips with Tomatillo Salsa

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