Smoky Ranch Dressing

just missed a bolt of lightning when I snapped this or should I say it missed me

Do you have smoked paprika gently aging in your spice rack? It was quite the darling of haute cuisine a few years back. I like paprika and I like smoked paprika. I like the fact you can get the nice smoky woodsy flavor without much heat. Here is your chance to use that paprika

This makes an excellent dip for fresh vegetables, use for any leftover roast, sauteed soft shell crabs, easy pasta or potato salad. Anything you can do with Hellmans, Hidden Valley or Green Goddess can be done with this.

Once again I will advocate for you to make your own mayo. It's called a "Mother Sauce" for a reason. It is a base for so many other dishes. Some will argue Mayonnaise is just a derivative of Hollandaise. Argue away. Don't fear your Mother. Embrace her and make her your own.

You will need a food processor and small bowl, makes about 1 cup.

Homemade Mayonnaise

  • 2 egg yolks room temp local is better
  • 1 teaspoon good mustard, no cheap yellow hotdog mustard*
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon good vinegar like white wine or cider, no distilled vinegar* yuck!
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or you can mix it half and half with olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • few turns of the pepper mill

*When making a simple dish good ingredients will really stand out, the converse is also true

In a food processor add the egg yolks and mustard.

With the blade running slowly add the oil, then the lemon juice and vinegar.

Add salt and pepper, taste.

Smoky Ranch Dressing

  • 1 shallot thinly sliced or a small piece of an onion fine dice
  • 1 small clove garlic smashed
  • 2Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed parsley, not chopped, as few stems as possible
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed spinach, not chopped, as few stems as possible
  • 1Tablespoon caper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 big pieces of fresh tarragon about 3 inches each, no stems
  • fresh chives to taste, I add about 3 or 4 Tablespoons
  • 1 batch of homemade mayo, about a cup
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until soft

Add paprika and cook one minute

In food processor add parsley, spinach and capers chop as fine as possible

Add paprika mixture and chop an addtional 30 seconds

Mix parsley mixture in a bowl with mayo, sour cream and remaining ingredients. taste and adjust

If too thick add hot water, I usually thin it out (1/4 to 1/2 a cup should do) if I will be a salad dressing but thicker if it's a dip