Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Classic Dressings - Made At Home

Check out Sheryl's introduction to classic salad dressings and another writer's recipe for blue cheese dressing!

Thousand Island dressing
By Karoline Boehm Goodnick | June 30, 2010

Makes 2 cups

The origins of Thousand Island dressing are disputed. Some tales stem from the Waldorf Astoria in New York; others from Chicago’s Blackstone hotel. The most common version of the story credits Sophia LaLonde, a fisherman’s wife native to the Thousand Island region between New York and Canada. In the first decades of the 20th century, LaLonde reportedly served a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, and chopped pickles over a salad for shore lunch. The names Russian dressing and Thousand Island are often used interchangeably. They start with the same ingredients, although foodlore has it that Russian dressing once contained caviar and aspic (jellied consomme). While Thousand Island commonly partners with iceberg, Russian dressing is schmeared on rye as part of the famed Reuben sandwich. Put it on a double stacked burger, and it becomes a condiment not unlike Special Sauce.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1. In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir in the onion, green pepper, capers, and relish.

2. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

Ranch dressing

Makes 2 cups

A Santa Barbara couple started their own dude ranch in the 1950s, where visitors could take home a sample of the proprietary sauce. The combination of herbs and spices with mayonnaise and buttermilk became so popular that the consumer products giant Clorox purchased the rights to what is now known as Hidden Valley Ranch.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of sweet paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.

2. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

French dressing

Makes 1 cup

In the 1920s, many hotels had their own version of this dressing, often adding ketchup, sugar, and paprika to commonplace oil and vinegar. Kraft made the sauce mainstream in 1938 by offering two bottled versions as a part of its dressings line.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar or other white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup vegetable oil

1. In a bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, honey, ketchup, paprika, salt, and pepper.

2. Slowly whisk in the oil a tablespoon at a time. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

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