Thursday, September 29, 2011

North Woods Dressing

As we try to eat healthier an deal with my husband's allergy to nightshade family foods, I make and more and more foods from scratch -- especially foods that you usually don't think of making from scrap, like ranch dressing.  My wonderful husband LOVES ranch dressing -- he puts it on everything, pizza, sandwiches, veggies, hot dish, chicken, get the picture.  Have you ever read the ingredients label on a bottle of ranch dressing?  It usually includes vegetable oil (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated) and the word "spices".  "Spices" can mean anything from garlic powder to paprika (a nightshade plant) to MSG.  I began making our ranch dressing about a year ago and it has evolved into something that only loosely resembles ranch -- we have now named it:

North Woods Dressing:

First, make homemade mayonnaise.
There are several good tutorials out there; here are a couple: Passionate Homemaking, Kitchen Stewardship.

I use 1 egg yolk (I save the whites and use them to make coconut macaroons)   I know, the FDA says that eating raw eggs will kill you; I'm not telling you to eat raw eggs; I'm just sharing what we do!
1 1/2 cups organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp real salt,
1 tsp mustard powder,
2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the wire whisk and I have no problem getting it to emulsify.

Add to your homemade mayonnaise:
1-2 Tbsp  fresh onion, finely chopped (or 1 tsp onion powder or 1-2 Tbsp dried minced onions)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix well and add:
1 1/2 c. plain yogurt
Mix well, pour into a quart-sized jar and store in the fridge.  It thickens a bit in the fridge.

I like using the fresh onion and garlic; I think it gives better flavor and raw garlic has such great immune boosting benefits.  But when I'm lazy or in a hurry I use the powders.

We currently eat about one quart of dressing each week and I make two quarts at a time.  This lasts at least two weeks in the fridge.
Please cut this recipe in half if your family doesn't eat dressing like we do!

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