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Friday, March 14, 2014

Outrageous Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing

Outrageous Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing
We eat a number of lovely, homemade salad dressings at our house (such as this one and this one, to name just a couple). But this is the salad dressing I make if I want all of the salad to be eaten.

I realize that pouring a mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, and other goodies over a lovely green salad in some ways defeats the purpose. But hey, there are still vitamins under all that goodness, and if it gets them to eat more veggies, I'm up for it (did I mention that my children look like they have recently moved here from a prison camp? Fat really isn't an issue for them, although I realize that someday it will be, and that we need to keep their hearts healthy, etc.) But still. This stuff is really, really good.

The recipe makes quite a lot--maybe 3-4 cups. But it's also the only salad dressing that I don't think I've ever washed down the disposal because it didn't get used.

Outrageous Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons soy sauce (the original recipe called for tamari. I almost always have soy sauce; I almost never have tamari).
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons granulated garlic (the original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons, but I don't want my kids to have to sit by themselves at school lunch)
Cracked black pepper to taste

Whisk together the soy sauce vinegar and honey until the honey has dissolved. Then whisk in the garlic, sour cream, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, garlic powder and black pepper until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 hours before using. Use within a few days.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Creamy Parmesan Dressing
There's a Boston-style pizza place in our area that serves to-die-for Margharita pizza--tomato, basil and mozzarella. It's incredible how good such a simple pizza can be, but it's hands down our favorite local pizza.

But the other menu item that keeps us going back is the house salad dressing. It has a unique and incredible flavor. I've tried many times to replicate it at home and haven't even come close. I used to work in an office where we ordered food in from this place, and I tried more than  once to get the delivery guy to divulge the secrets to the dressing. He told me they sell it by the quart.

Then a few weeks ago, I was looking for a new dressing to try. I started searching on creamy italian dressings, and found one on that looked promising. I made up a batch and guess what? It was almost exactly like the stuff at the pizza place. The color wasn't quite right--I've figured out since then that the restaurant probably uses red onions, since the dressing has a pink color. And the Allrecipes version didn't include parmesan, which is essential to the taste. But with a little adaptation, we now have our favorite dressing whenever we want.

A couple of items of warning on the comments from Allrecipes reviewers: sweet onions work better than other onions, and don't overdo the onions or it will taste bitter. And the dressing isn't particularly thick, so watch the liquid-to-mayonnaise proportions, or you'll have consistency problems. I haven't tried it yet with red onions, but it's on my to-do list.

Creamy Parmesan Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 small onion (the original recipe called for 1/2 small onion, but I've cut that back and find it powerful enough)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine mayonnaise, onion, vinegar and sugar. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cheese. Blend until smooth.

This recipe makes enough for an average-size family; if we're feeding a crowd, I double this.