Texas has a long-standing love affair with ranch dressing.  Here are 3 great recipes to try at home.

Texas has a long-standing love affair with ranch dressing. Here are 3 great recipes to try at home.

Bunches of spinach, carrots, broccoli, and other roughage roll around the kitchens of Lone Star State as we all do our best to meet New Year’s resolution to eat more veggies. But you can bet Texans won’t be drinking all those dusty, dry greens naked.

Oh no. These vegetables will be nicely coated with ranch dressing – lots and lots of ranch dressing.

This state is notoriously addicted to the stuff. Not just a garnish for salads and raw vegetables, we eat it on pizza, hot wings and fried pickles. We dip fries in it, drizzle it with funky modern tacos, and dab it over fried chicken.

“It’s like the fabric of our society in liquid form,” said Chris Cullum, owner of Cullum’s Attagirl. He estimates that every week he serves up enough ranch dressing to match the weight of a healthy Cowboys fan.

There are good reasons for the state’s soaked ranch love affair, and it starts with the key dressing ingredient: buttermilk. By the turn of the 20th century, buttermilk was cheap and plentiful in this cattle country, and recipes dating as far back as 1937 detail a salad dressing made from this substance.

The first Texas buttermilk salad dressings were cooked and thickened with eggs instead of mayonnaise because the vegetable oils needed to make mayonnaise were too expensive in Texas at the time, and the mayonnaise commercial brands were not. still very widespread.

Powdered Ranch Dressing Mix is ​​an easy way to trick the ranch dressing flavor into any number of dishes. Here are five ways to do it.

Add ranch powder to your favorite fried chicken breadcrumbs.

Rim a Bloody Mary cocktail with a mixture of ranch powder and salt.

Sprinkle ranch powder on top of buns before baking.

Stir ranch powder into batch of mac and cheese.

Toss freshly made popcorn with ranch powder.

Modern ranch dressing was created in the 1940s by Alaskan plumber Steve Henson, who developed the recipe to make the limited food there more palatable to his team of plumbers, according to tradition. Henson then moved to Santa Barbara County, California, and in 1956 founded Hidden Valley Ranch, turning their ranch dressing into an industry goliath.

Today, ranch dressing has become the most popular salad dressing in the country. According to a 2017 report by industry group The Association for Dressings and Sauces, 40 percent of Americans named the ranch as their favorite dressing, followed by the Italian runner-up with a measly 10 percent.

Modern ranch dressings are typically made with a mixture of buttermilk and mayonnaise, and often sour cream, with a little spice added from the vinegar. Some low-calorie versions can replace yogurt with some or all of the fatty mayonnaise and sour cream. Many chefs advocate the inclusion of dried herbs and onion and garlic powders in place of or in addition to fresh herbs.

“The ranch is one of those times when the taste of dried herbs kicks in and gives you more bang for your buck,” said Southerleigh Hospitality Group chef and co-owner Jeff Balfour. “For ranch umami, you need that taste of onion powder, that taste of garlic powder, I think.”

While Houston-native Balfour offers ranch dressing in very few of his dishes, he still ends up serving up to 10 gallons each week at both Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery and Southerleigh High South. It is a frequent request as a condiment for fried items.

Cullum calls his bling-out version of the ubiquitous Gucci Ranch dressing. In addition to the necessary buttermilk, he adds homemade crème fraîche, a mixture of dried herbs, garlic and onion powders, and red pepper flakes. He serves it topped with a bunch of freshly chopped herbs for diners to stir. Before it was renamed Gucci Ranch, he called it Interactive Ranch.

Ranch is eaPublishsy to make from scratch and well worth the effort.

This week we have recipes for three variations. Classic Ranch Dressing delivers all the nostalgic flavors demanded by ranch fans with a powerful herbal kick from dried chives, parsley and dill. Low Fat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing eliminates quite a few calories by replacing fat-free yogurt and sour cream without compromising on flavor. And Texas Buttermilk Ranch sauce gives this timeless condiment a spicy touch of fresh Serrano peppers and cayenne pepper.

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