Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Fashioned Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

An Updated American Sensation....


Once you try homemade ranch, there's no turning back. The stuff in the bottle tastes like school lunch food, something to tolerate in seventh grade but to unilaterally shun as an adult. I admit the little packets of Hidden Valley have a pleasant flavor and tang, but the really authentic real buttermilk dressing is vastly superior. For my favorite version, I've updated the flavor of traditional Ranch by adding a pinch of hot pepper, lots of fresh lemon juice and some fresh cilantro.


Plus this Ranch o' my heart is just better for you. It has some mayonnaise, that's a given, but really not that much in the grand scheme of things. My dressing is less than 1/3 fat, compared to almost 100 percent fat for the bottled stuff. (Less than 4 grams of fat per tablespoon for my version, compared to up to 13 grams of fat for some bottled versions-not to mention all of the icky additives, etc.) You can make it even lighter by using light mayo or whole milk yogurt, but for the best quality, stick with good old mayo-preferably Hellman's or Best Food's.


But here you are at Prudence Pennywise, not just for good health and good eats, but also to save a buck. Check out the tips below to be see substitutions and money saving ideas. Any way you do it, making homemade dressing will put some girth in your pocketbook, right where you want it. Stay tuned-tomorrow I'm showcasing a chicken and cornbread salad, smothered in this ranch dressing.

Make it Cheap Tips: If you can't find a cheap lemon, use limes, or even cider vinegar (about 3 tablespoons.) Grated onion can replace the scallions. You can also make some "fake" buttermilk by placing 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Pour in milk to the top and let stand for five minutes.
New Fashioned Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Estimated Cost: $1.75
Notes: You'll love this crowd pleasing dressing on plain greens, for dipping with vegetables, or even chicken strips or fries.
2 small cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or whole milk yogurt
1 cup low fat or fat free buttermilk
juice of one whole lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (parsley, basil, or dill also work well)
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash of cayenne or chipotle chili powder, or other spicy chili powder
You can make this in the blender by processing all ingredients until smooth, or follow the directions below.
In a small bowl, mash garlic and salt to form paste. Stir in mayonnaise and buttermilk, whisking until smooth. Add in lemon juice, cilantro, scallions, pepper, and chili powder. Taste dressing and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Dressing will keep for two weeks in the fridge, if you are careful not to dip in a finger-good luck with that!
Coming Tomorrow:
Chicken and Cheddar Cornbread Salad with New Fashioned Buttermilk Ranch

34 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

This dressing looks so good! I just made your Creamy Tomatillo Cilantro dressing and posted about it with links to you off course. I had it on nachos and it was great. Can't wait to try this one too!

Jeena said...

This looks lovely, just like everything else on your blog it is something I can well imagine eating truly delicious.

gigi said...

I love ranch on most anything. My favorite is on my scrambled eggs! I offered it to Shelby the other morning on her eggs and she just licked it off, never eating her eggs. Oh well, this looks wonderful and I love the helpful hints.

Jenny said...

I love to dip everything in Ranch dressing. Your recipe looks great!

Lisa said...

I have to try making this dressing. Looks delicious and my daughter will prefer this over oil and vinegar which we use a lot.

EAT! said...

I have started making my own dressings - there is no turning back now!!

Mary Ann said...

Great idea- My family loves ranch and I love making salad dressing from scratch. I am also loving the fact that you can sub yogurt since I am not a mayo fan. Can't wait to see the salad tomorrow that goes with it!

1freshstart said...

Sometimes I think we share a brain. I started making homemade ranch a few years ago, The Husband loves ANYTHING with ranch on it. I have never been able to stand bottled. Ick! It's why I never ate ranch. Very tasty. I put lots of dill and parsley in mine. You didn't make the Barefoot Panzanella... I figured that would be right up your alley.
~The Cat's Pajamas

Catherine said...

I love homemade ranch. I can't abide that bottle stuff. I can't wait to make this one. We had your cowboy beans and cornbread last night. What a hit! It was delicious and the whole family loved it! Super Prudy Saved the Dinner!

Katherine Aucoin said...

There are a few dressings I make and wouldn't have them any other way. My tween would love to have a ranch IV drip attached...I'm going to try this, it sounds so yummy.

1freshstart said...

UGH! I am such a moron! You know. I'm just going to pull the post and redo it next week. I was thinking earlier- I should write about my ADD and LACK OF ATTENTION today. Geez. Sorry Prudy!
~The Cat's Pajamas

Dawn said...

Mmmm. I love homemade buttermilk dressing; I like it really cold. Did you use the yogurt or mayo on this? Which did you prefer?

Prudy said...

Dawn:
I've used yogurt and mayo in the past, depending on my commitment to diet at the time. I prefer the mayo.

Sharon said...

I cannot wait to make this! My husband likes to dip everything in ranch so I'd love to make something homemade. Bottled dressing is blech!

Amy said...

I am going to try this right away!!

Carmen said...

It looks so good! I haven't had ranch dressing since I was a kid. I usually make a simple honey mustard vinaigrette for my salads and my husband is hooked on the bottled Catalina dressing - but I am definitely going to make this sometime!

Beth said...

Loving the money saving tips - very handy in current economic climate! I love ranch dressing but have never made my own - might just be persuaded now

Anna M. said...

Ranch is my absolute favorite dressing...I'm excited to make it from scratch and forget about the bottled kind! Thanks! =)

The Blonde Duck said...

I can't wait for the dish tommorow! I'm drooling in anticipation!

The DeL Sisters said...

Mmm. I'll have to try this sometime!

Sara said...

Now I am kicking myself for buying Ranch dressing in a bottle today. Blast...this looks great!

Emiline said...

I didn't know you could make ranch! I thought it came from a bottle! Ha ha.

We go through so much friggin' ranch at the restaurant...seriously.

This looks good!

Debbie said...

The dressing looks delicious. I will have to try it.

kittymama said...

This looks yummy! Can't wait to try it. I tend to make vinaigrettes mostly, but could use a change. I have never really understood why people buy dressing when it's so easy to make - not to mention, tastier & healthier! Looks like you are on the road to changing a lot of people's minds about buying it.

Nickki said...

That looks really delicious. I'm a big fan of creamy salad dressings and I've always wondered how to make creamy ranch dressing, so thank you! :)

taffi said...

Score! My sister used to make the ranch dressing at her restaurant, but would never tell me how. I can't wait to make this, we love ranch at our house.

Silly question, though. I use powdered buttermilk for baked goods that call for buttermilk... I'm assuming I should go for fresh buttermilk for the dressing? Cuz that would necessitate a trip to the store, whereas the powdered is already in my fridge...

Prudy said...

Taffi:
Honestly, if it were me, I'd use the powdered. I don't make extra trips to the store if it can be helped. It will still be really good-just be sure to chill it completely before you dig in.

Usha said...

This looks delicious,just yesterday I picked up a ranch dressing at the grocery and put it back when I read the fat content in it,thanks for this recipe will definitely try this:)

Leslie said...

GAG..I cant stand bottled ranch..but I have never made my own..I guess I should start w/ your yummy New Fashioned Ranch!

Becky said...

Hopefully, you might still see this comment even though it's several days after you posted this. I made this dressing and LOVED the flavor, but mine turned out runny. I re-checked the recipe and I'm pretty sure that I used all the correct ingredients and amounts. I used a grapeseed oil mayonnaise (which has the same consistency as normal mayo) from the health food store and powdered buttermilk (recontstituted of course) and I used a blender to blend it all together. I'm wondering if I missed something because in your pictures, yours looks thick and creamy. Any help? I used it on the chicken, cheddar, and cornbread salad and it was heavenly!! Thank you so much for this blog! I adore it.

Prudy said...

Becky:
The thickness of the dressing depends a lot on the buttermilk. Sometimes you can get a thick buttermilk and other times it is as thin as milk. If you refrigerate the dressing it will help it set, otherwise you can always add more mayonnaise or yogurt. I'm glad you liked the dressing and I hope next time it will be a little thicker for you.

Becky said...

Thanks, Prudy! I tried it again with Meadow Gold buttermilk and it turned out perfect and the flavor was better, too--and I thought it tasted awesome the first time.

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