Monday, June 4, 2018

Better Than Store Bought Ranch Dip from The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook

A bottle of dressing. So un-photogenic.
Sometimes I am such a dork. I saw this recipe for ranch DIP and made it and wondered why it was so thick because in my head I was making ranch DRESSING.

Such a dork.

But I digress.

A while back, I got and reviewed The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook by Mary Younkin and I loved it. The recipes were creative, but easy. I literally could make a really good dinner in a short time.

Yeah, I work from home and in theory I could start cooking at noon if I wanted to, but when I get wrapped up in work, I often don't think about dinner until hungry happens.

So when I realized that Mary had another cookbook coming (The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook), I pre-ordered it on Amazon because I couldn't wait to get my grubby paws on it. And then I got another copy from the publisher to review. Oh well. I have plans for that second copy, no problem.

My usual lunches are either leftovers from a previous dinner, or I'll make something simple, like a sandwich. So the idea of a cookbook devoted to lunches wasn't entirely in my wheelhouse. Except that pretty much anything that's deemed a lunch meal (or even a breakfast) is perfectly acceptable for me any time of the day.

Tortilla Eggs with a side of pickled spicy vegetables.
I dived into the cookbook and came up with Tortilla Eggs, which is basically an egg cooked on a tortilla with some cheese and ... well, yum. I made it a couple times because it was so freaking simple and so satisfying.

But then I saw the ranch recipe.

I love making home made salad dressings of all kinds, and I'm always looking for new variations. Can I make a little confession? I never really had ranch dressing until I was an adult. When I was growing up, we made all kinds of vinaigrettes as well as Thousand Island. At restaurants, I'd order creamy garlic. But ranch was never on the radar.

But once I tried it, I admitted it was pretty good. And home made versions are just so much better.

So, I saw ranch, thought it was a dressing, and combined the ingredients. And there it was, too thick. But I fixed that with the addition of some buttermilk that I had on hand, and it suddenly became a very tasty salad dressing.

The recipe notes that you should add the dill to taste, and I think that's a good caution. When first made, the dill wasn't very bold, but after the dressing had time to rest, the dill flavor came forward a bit more. It wasn't bad at all, and of course it depends on how you're serving it. And I guess it depends on how fresh your dried dill is. So anyway, you might want to start with a bit less and you can always add a bit more.

Better Than Store Bought Ranch Dip
From The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook by Mary Younkin

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, adjust to taste
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper, adjust to taste
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or plain white vinegar

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The flavors will intensify after the dried herbs hydrate, so it's a good idea to make this in advance.

Note: to turn this into a dressing like I did, just add buttermilk or even plain milk until it's the consistency you like.

I got a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost, but also bought my own.