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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.  Heat the berries over low heat to release juices,then strain. Keep the berry mash, its good for a few more batches of low heating to release more.
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 teaspoons 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

6 Comments:

Blogger Tina said...

These sound delicious! Thank you - I'll try them. Esp the balsamic vinagrette - I have trouble getting that right, so maybe your recipe will be the answer. Really only one tablespoon of the vinegar to half a cup of oil?

I do happen to have xanthan gum on hand, from some project or other, but for those that don't, here's one of my secret substitutions: a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (dijon, even plain old yellow mustard) will emulsify the oil and vinegar nicely, and won't affect the flavor.

My husband taught me that, so it still fits the "Real Men Cook" theme LOL

4:41 PM, June 15, 2017  
Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

Hmmm yeah those proportions do seem odd, I'll check back with him.

I had to so some modifying because they were large batch recipes for a restaurant and might not have gotten that one quite right

10:43 AM, June 16, 2017  
Blogger Tina said...

Oh ok, thanks! I'll check back before I try the recipe :-)

3:33 PM, June 16, 2017  
Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

One thing I missed was the Balsamic Vinegar, its supposed to be in there, the red wine is a small amount for flavor to cut the sweetness.

9:45 PM, June 16, 2017  
Blogger Tina said...

That makes sense. I bet that is what is wrong with other recipes I've tried - my husband always says it is to sweet. How much balsamic? I will try this soon.

1:06 PM, June 17, 2017  
Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

OK 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, I'll get it on the post when I can

8:26 PM, June 20, 2017  

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