BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
Ranch dressing and iceberg lettuce are as much a part of the Southwest
as barbecue and have been around a long, long time. This is a mild
dressing that gets its refreshing taste from buttermilk It goes quite
well with some of the spicy foods and sauces that often come before or
after a salad. Use it on salads, cole slaw (to be served with
barbecued meats) or as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken wings.
1 tablespoon safflower oil
white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon dried thyme
teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
cup heavy cream
Minced fresh parsley
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 8 to 10
minutes. Stir in the thyme and celery salt and lower the heat to
medium-low. Stir the cornstarch into the cream, then whisk into the
onion and spice mixture and stir constantly to make a paste. Remove
from heat and whisk in the buttermilk Cool, then strain and press to
extract all the juices. Whisk in the mayonnaise and season to taste
with salt, pepper and minced parsley.
You can make this with a créme
fraiche base, omitting the heavy cream and the cornstarch, which is
needed to keep the buttermilk dressing from becoming too watery. Créme
fraiche makes a much richer dressing. Prepare 1 1/2 cups créme
fraiche (page 112); add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk to it. Stir in
the garlic and onion mixture, let stand for 1 hour, then strain and
add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and parsley.