There is a reason why most grocery stores do not stock gallon jugs of buttermilk and in multiple brands. Usually there is only a pint or quart size offering and just one brand. It is an acquired taste, clearly. It is also used sparingly in most recipes.
Of course, in the pockets of the country where soaking chicken overnight in buttermilk is pretty much a weekly Sunday ritual, buttermilk may very well be stocked in twin-packs in Sam’s Club or Costco. For the rest of us, we make do with a quick jaunt to the store when a recipe calls for it and its addition is critical.
But what do you do when you can’t make that quick jaunt or, even if you could, you don’t want to spend the time, money, and effort to run to the store for one ingredient?
You make your own “mock” buttermilk, that’s what you do.
This recipe uses everyday whole milk with the addition of white vinegar to create a buttermilk substitute that marries deliciously with ranch dressing ingredients.
I dare you not to lick the bowl.
HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
Makes approximately 1 cup of salad dressing
- ¼ cup plain whole milk
- ½ teaspoon De Nigris organic white wine vinegar
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8th teaspoon black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh flat parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
1. Mix milk and vinegar in small bowl and let sit for ten minutes until milk has a slightly curdled appearance.
2. Add remaining ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk until fully incorporated. Add milk/vinegar mixture and whisk.
3. Serve on salad, vegetables, or whatever your heart desires.
4. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Post by The Women Bloggers member and De Nigris friend Lyndi Fultz who writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie.
If you’re anything like me you are likely counting down the minutes until you can officially start grilling season. For those of us in the South that time is now – it’s not too hot, the breeze is cool, and it’s always a welcome treat to get outside and smell the unmistakable aroma of meat and vegetables cooked over an open flame.
I am of the mindset that if you have a really great ingredient to start with (i.e., a good cut of meat or fresh, seasonal produce) then preparation really shouldn’t take that long. I also think that the amount of condiments needed to enjoy perfectly cooked food should be minimal.
I’m a huge fan of a good barbecue sauce, and there really isn’t anything that compliments grilled or smoked food better than a thick, rich and sweet-tangy sauce. Even better? Knowing all of the ingredients going said sauce! This version is so simple and easy to make that you really can’t go wrong. I make mine in a blender and then just store it in the fridge until ready to use, keeping the mess to a minimum and making it hard to justify the bottled stuff at the store.
You’re only a few ingredients away from that perfect sauce!
BLENDER BARBECUE SAUCE
Makes about 1 quart
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup De Nigris Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
- Store in an airtight container with a fitted lid until ready to use or up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Recipe and post by De Nigris friend and food blogger Heather Disarro of Heathersdish.com.
Do you want to know a secret? Not everyone at the party is thrilled with the chips and salsa. Or the salty ranch dip with potato chips. They want something better. Tastier. Healthier. Yummier. Of course, you’ll still need to put those chips and dips out to please the crowd, because you’re a good host and that is what good hosts do. This grilled vegetable platter with creamy balsamic dip will please the rest of the crowd… and knock your good host status into spectacular status. You’re so good.
These vegetables were grilled simply because the charred bits and pieces are gorgeous to look at. If you’re feeling like it is a bit too cold to go outside and grill during the cool winter months, by all means, follow the instructions below and bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for thirty minutes instead of on the grill.
GRILLED VEGETABLE PLATTER WITH CREAMY BALSAMIC DIP
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
- ¼ red onion, quartered
- 1 zucchini, cut into rounds
- 1 squash, cut into rounds
- 8 colorful mini sweet peppers, tops removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon De Nigris Silver balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoon sour cream
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Boil water and add carrots for ten minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
- Preheat gas grill to 400 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix all the vegetables with olive oil and sea salt and toss until coated thoroughly. Pour vegetables on grill basket (or large sheet of aluminum foil if you do not have a grill basket).
- Grill for 20-30 minutes until slightly charred and remove from heat.
- To make sauce, combine the following ingredients in a Nutri bullet or food processor: cottage cheese, mayonnaise, De Nigris Silver balsamic vinegar, sour cream, and Italian Seasoning.
- Serve and enjoy!
I was driving home from work the other day, catching up on a few missed podcast episodes from Bon Appetit. The hosts were interviewing Alton Brown, the Good Eats and all-around-nice-guy. Several years ago, he and wife were staying at the same hotel in Chicago where I happened to be. One night as I went downstairs to catch a cab, I chanced into him and he did the funniest little twirl and half-bowed opened the door for me. It was spontaneous and it cracked me up. And I immediately thought, “That guy looks familiar,” as I thanked him and went on my way.
Anyway, back to the podcast. The hosts were interviewing Alton Brown about his Thanksgiving traditions (I told you I had some catching up to do) and he revealed a tradition of saving the turkey breast meat for chopped turkey sandwiches, slathered with mayonnaise. His brand of choice? Duke’s. He explained the reason why he liked Duke’s so much was that it has apple cider vinegar in it.
Which got me to thinking… why not make my own mayonnaise and add apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice? Duke’s mayonnaise is heavy on the yolky creaminess so this recipe adds an extra egg yolk and some paprika for a twist.
Make this mayo and you’ll have your own good eats.
MAYONNAISE WITH A HINT OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Makes 1 cup
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon De Nigris Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/8th teaspoon paprika
1.Combine all ingredients into a pint jar and insert immersion blender and blend until silky smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, a regular blender will work just find (but will have a bit more clean up). Keep refrigerated.
2. Use as a condiment on your favorite foods and enjoy!
When we are smack dab in the middle of summer I’m always excited for the incredible bounty that comes from farmer’s markets and straight out of our own garden. Gorgeous vegetables are all over the place, in every color imaginable, and I love enjoying them raw or just steamed to preserve every delicious flavor. Admittedly this can get a bit boring after a while, but since evenings are still busy for us in the summer it’s hard to get out of a routine with new cooking techniques.
That’s where compound butters come it. Compound butters are packed full of flavor and can be anything from super savory to incredibly sweet. They work well on just about anything, depending on the flavors used in the butter, and are a great way to finish a dish with flair. The great news is that they take little to no time to make as well!
I like to mix herbs and garlic into mine, then pipe them into a silicon ice cube tray to have perfectly portioned little pats of amazing compound butter ready to go. Just let them harden up in the fridge and pop one cube out onto some steamed beans or broccoli, freshly grilled meat or corn, or into the middle of a steaming hot potato. With virtually no work at all you’ve made an amazing meal in seconds that can’t be beat!
I loved the challenge of making a compound butter with balsamic vinegar in it. The flavor of balsamic vinegar with garlic and fresh thyme is heavenly, and I just knew that if I could make the compound butter work it would be magical. I’m happy to report I was right! The key to the whole thing is to have everything at room temperature. If the butter is even remotely cold it won’t allow the balsamic to mix into it. Conversely if the balsamic isn’t completely cool it will melt the butter and turn into a big buttery mess. When all of the ingredients are at the same temperature they can be whipped into submission for a beautiful and delicious condiment you’ll love to eat.
The only other note is that a mixer of some kind is key to making this butter work – hand mixers or stand mixers are great choices to keep the butter creamy while mixing in the balsamic vinegar!
BALSAMIC HERB COMPOUND BUTTER
Makes 8 servings
• 3/4 cup De Nigris balsamic vinegar, we chose Silver Eagle for this recipe
• 2 teaspoons honey
• 8 tablespoons unsalted sweet cream butter at room temperature
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
1. Stir together the balsamic vinegar and honey until the honey is completely dissolved.
2. Set aside.
3. In a bowl cream together the butter, salt, fresh thyme and garlic until combined.
4. Add the balsamic mixture and start to mix on low speed to begin incorporating the vinegar into the butter.
5. Increase the speed as the mixture comes together more, finally mixing on high speed until combined and creamy.
6. Immediately put the compound butter into a piping bag or gallon plastic bag.
7. Snip off the corner and pipe into a silicon ice cube tray.
8. Tap the tray on the counter, then place in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours to harden.