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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Thursday, June 15, 2017

REAL MEN COOK XXX: Secret Recipes

I'll let you in on a secret.  My older brother is head chef at a theater pub, where they serve meals while you watch second run films and classics on the big screen.  He works up the recipes the kitchen serves, and the place has been getting rave reviews as a result.  So I wanted to share a few of them here, for you to try at home.
First on the block are a few dressings for salads and such.  These are built for fairly large quantities so I had to break them down into smaller measurements for home use rather than restaurant production.  Note: many of these recipes use weight rather than spoon measurement, so you'll want a scale.
Ranch Dressing
this one is a bit more complicated than my mom's excellent ranch recipe but it will taste more like the bottled stuff.
Combine:
1¼ lb mayo
½ lb sour cream
½ pint buttermilk
¼ cup spice mix (see below)
Spice Mix:
4 oz Granulated garlic
4 oz dried minced onions
1 oz dill weed
pinch of thyme
Whip until smooth, then store
Honey Mustard Dressing
This is a bit trickier than you might think to get right, but at the same time is actually quite simple.  Like the ranch its also an excellent dip.

Combine:
½ lb honey
½ lb deli mustard
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Whip until smooth, then heat for 1 minute in the microwave (varies by machine, you'll have to experiment), and cool.
Marion Berry Vinaigrette
A fancier sort of dressing, using local Wilamette Valley berries.  If you can't find any, use blackberries or raspberries.  All recipes that call for olive oil are extra virgin for the flavor.
Blend:
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ cup marion berry juice
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
small pinch xanthan gum*
Blend on high until consistent smooth product
*You can find this in cooking supply stores.  It is incredibly powerful so be extremely sparing with it, or you'll end up with glue or molding clay.  What it does is makes the oil and vinegar and berry juice mix and not separate.  You can do with out this and just shake it up every time.
Balsamic Vinagrette
Also fancier.  It is hard to find real balsamic vinegar, its going to cost you a little more.  Look for ingredients that do not list coloring or flavoring agents like caramel.  The real thing gets its flavor and color from very long aging in casks.
Blend:
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
small pinch xanthan gum
Blend on high until consistent, smooth product.  Refrigerate.
Garlic Aoli
And finally, a non-dressing fancified product that sounds impressive but really isn't.  Aoli is just flavored mayo.
Roast ¼ cup chopped garlic
Liquefy 4 ounces of roasted red peppers and roasted garlic in blender
Combine:
12 ounces of mayonnaise
4 teaspones of red wine vinegar
pepper/garlic mix
Whip thoroughly, pose and preen as if you have something both hoity and toity in the kitchen.
That's it for now, I'll share more of his kitchen secrets in the future
*This is part of the Real Men Cook series