Yup, ranch. As in, that valley that nobody can seem to find. That particular combination of savory, creamy, and tart that turns every one of us into dipper. Yes, you too. Don’t pretend you’re too good for it.
I’m here to tell you that you can make it. And that it’s dead simple. 1 And that it’s (at least by Paleo/Feral standards) healthy.
First of all, WHAT THE HELL IS IT? ‘Ranch’ is such an ingrained taste now that dividing it up into its component flavors seems a meaningless exercise. The ranch flavor is complete and whole in the same way that Worchestershire (however the heck you spell it) or a perfect marinara sauce can be: balanced and indivisible. It must be an old recipe, discovered by the old West settlers in…1954?? This can’t be right. I call shenanigans.
Regardless of its lack of history and (IMO) undeserved white-trash connotations, ranch is a kickass flavor combo to have ready when you’re sick of Indian food. Homemade spice mixes are an easy way to add deep and varied flavor to your cooking repertoire. Expect more spice mixes to appear on the blog as I concoct them. 2 But THIS one, this PURELY AMERICAN RANCH spice blend, consists of:
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1 tsp salt
That’s it! Just stick it in a jar and shake it up, and you’re good to go! I use it in a chicken and artichoke heart casserole 3, or to jazz up mashed potatoes like I did with the beef stew, or… well… to make ranch dressing. Which is probably the only thing you had in mind from the first.
But that part is easy, too. All you need is equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk. I’d go with about a quarter cup each of the mayo and the dairy. Then toss in some of your spice mix; start with tablespoon, mix it up, taste, and add another teaspoon at a time until it tastes good to you.
Let me know if you find any magic flavor combinations with this spice mix; I’ve heard of paprika and mustard seed being used. Experiment, and tell me of your concoctions… 4