Monday, October 29, 2012

“Ultimate” Ranch Dressing – The Ultimate “Ultimate”

After five years, and a few thousand requests, I’m finally posting my “ultimate” ranch dressing recipe. What makes it the “ultimate?” Nothing, except that’s what I’m calling it, and in the world of dips and dressings, that makes it so. By the way, ignore those other roughly 65,000 “ultimate” recipes; this one is the actual “ultimate” ranch dressing.

It’s been ages since I made homemade ranch dressing, and I’d forgotten how much better it is than the bottled stuff. Don’t get me wrong; I like high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavorings, and preservatives as much as the next low-information voter, but this really is significantly more delicious.

As you’ll see, I used some crème fraiche (which we showed you how to make in this video), but relax, sour cream will work perfectly. However, I do believe the buttermilk is crucial. That some of my peers are calling their ranch dressings “ultimate” without using buttermilk, really makes me question their grasp of the word “ultimate.”

Anyway, hyperbole aside, this really is the best ranch dressing I’ve ever had, and I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 2 cups Ranch Dressing:
1 1/3 cup real mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 teaspoons sliced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
2 drops Worcestershire sauce

View the complete recipe

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another great recipe chef John. Any idea how long we can store this for in the fridge?

Three Pipe Problem said...

It took me years to figure out that I needed to combine mayo, sour cream *and* buttermilk to approximate the ranch dressing at The Black Eyed Pea.

Orum said...

You always crack me up. The explanation of the name "ranch dressing" is worthy of a hot for words episode. I would actually pay to watch your videos...

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this! How long does it keep for in the fridge?

Orum said...

I'm actually serious about paying. Most of your audience won't want to pay (look at the most liked comment on YouTube for this video). However, in your case, a common business model would be to offer paid content tailored for the niche of fanatical followers you have that value what you do greatly, without charging what you were offering for free before.

For instance, you could do paid more technical videos teaching knife skills, wine pairing and culinary techniques that you don't have time to talk about in your recipe videos because you keep them fairly general. Those videos could be accompanied with notes, references, etc. All the best.

Stefano Bart said...

Can I use it as a dipping sauce (with chicken fingers and other stuff)?

Emil Svensson said...

I really like these really basic recepies! I just have one question! I live in sweden, and here we have nothing called buttermilk. Is there something one can use to substitute this or is it easy to make for yourself?

Emil Svensson said...

I really like these basic recepies. It's the staples and the core that makes a fine chef, being able to sous vidé a duck whilst not being able to make simple mashed potatoes makes cooking a real hassle! =).
Quick question, here in sweden, buttermilk doesnt exist as a product, to my knowledge atleast. Can I substitute it with something else or even better, make my own?
Thanks Chef John!

Chef John said...

You can just use more sour cream and/or plain yogurt. Or milk and a little vinegar for tang.

Anonymous said...

Emil,

use Filmjölk or Aloka.

susan clancy said...

i feel inspired, i love ranch dressing, this sounds just right. I'll have to use the leftover buttermilk in some scones too; bonus prize. Thanks!

Chibby said...

Yeah,I think Hubby and I would pay too:)He loves what I've been doing in the kitchen lately.Thanks CJ!!

Ed Adams said...

Chef, thank you for the entertaining Ranch Dressing story and great recipe. Blue Cheese is my favorite dressing, I'd love to see a video for Blue Cheese equal in excellence to your one for ranch...please.

Kitty said...

Hey Emil!
Det heter Kärnmjölk och det går inte att köpa den längre i äffarer. Men! a-fil smakar narmast det, lite tjockare men jag har använt den i olika recept och det funkar jättebra.

Chef John! don't you get cash from ads on the youtube vids? if not mebbe you should look into thaaat.

Anonymous said...

just say "wooster" (as in wooster sauce) dude.

easy x

Chef John said...

How can "Worcestershire" be pronounced "wooster"??? There's not even and "r" at the end!

Shelly Anderson said...

Will you try to make Creamy Cilantro dressing like the stuff they have at El Pollo Loco restaurants. It is kind of similar to ranch, but the flavors are less intense, so I like it better. I can't figure out what's in it.

Shelly Anderson said...

Oh, and http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Worcestershire?s=t

Click on the little sound symbol and it gives the correct pronunciation out loud. :) Some people leave the last syllable off and just call it "wooster sauce" for short. It's not the correct, full pronunciation, though.

Denise said...

Hey Chef,

I am glad you posted this as I often want to make up a batch of ranch to slather over wings, dip pizza in or enjoy with a good ole fashioned salad. Just have not found a recipe that was worthy ... going to give your version a try!

Chef John said...

Glad I was able to help! BTW, where I'm from we don't recognize ranch as a legal dip for wings, but that's our problem. ;) Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef John!

Love the recipes. This is a little point of constructive criticism though -

Pronounce "Worcestershire" like this: "Woostersheer".

I think it is a totally stupid place name anyway, but I thought I would throw that one out there seeing as what I live very near the place itself.

X

Jean said...

Hello Chef John

I just want to know if you will do an original recipie of «cake pop» i know that i see a lot of blog doing this cake pop but i know that your are «the one» who can realize a unique recipie whit that topic. I hope to see that.
Have a good day

John Hallee

Chef John said...

Im sorry to report there are no cake pops in the works.

Chef John said...

Im sorry to report there are no cake pops in the works.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worcestershire_sauce

"woorsestershire", "woostershire" or "wooster" - which would you prefer? :)

Jeff said...

It's already been asked but I didn't see an answer, how long will this keep for? Thanks Chef!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
I love your recipes and humor, it's refreshing! If I were to leave out dill what would you recommend putting in the dressing if anything? I just can't stand the flavor of dill in anything :) Thanks again!

Daisy said...

Just made this...took a small taste..WONDERFUL! its going to be crazy good after it sits in frig..you can eat it now! thank you for recipe John!

Chef John said...

Not sure how long this lasts, but at least a week!

Tammy said...

This ranch dressing sounds so simple to make and absolutely delicious. I eat salad everyday but it is still good to know it would last up to a week in the refrigerator. I am wondering how it would taste in a macaroni salad?

cookinmom said...

Can't I be lazy and just stick all ingredience in a jar and shake???

Margo said...

Worcestershire is a county in England.
Worcester is a name, like Jones - pronounced wuss-tuh. Shire is the English word for county - pronounced sheer. As in many English words, the "r" is nearly silent. So full pronunciation is WUSS-tah-sheer.

Margo said...

Thank you, Chef John! I actually came here looking for only the DRY ingredients, but discovered that I'd been missing tarragon and Worcestershire. Thank you!

About a year ago, I bought a container of dry ranch powder for mixing with the wet ingredients. I found myself using the dry stuff for sprinkling on all sorts of stuff like cream soups, into a hollandaise, and even on popcorn.

The dry version was also very handy for experimenting with proportions. Sometimes I'd want a stiffer sauce for salmon, and other times I'd want a milkier broth-like version over cooked veggies. For a fabulous bagel schmear, I've mixed the dry ingredients into cream cheese and adding chopped fresh veggies from my garden - onions, chives, parsley, jalapenos, Thai or globe basil, etc. Better than you can buy anywhere and far cheaper than the pre-mixed cream cheese cartons.

For pork chops, I made a ranch sauce with dill and rosemary. Yum!

Thanks for the ingredients list so I can make my own ranch powder. I'm going to be looking for dried buttermilk, but in the meantime, I've used a couple drops of lemon juice to add back the snap that was missing. Any other ideas to add the tang without anything wet?

Samantha said...

In my experience if you culture your own cream (with live cultures, just like making homemade yoghurt) it will last a much longer period of time (I get about a month).

I make my creme fraische with farm or "raw" cream, but you could start with store bought cream as well. The recipe I have been using however uses 2/3 creme fraische and 1/3 mayo, so i am sure that ratio helps the "shelf life." I may flip that ratio to use more mayo, and add buttermilk, after seeing Chef John's recipe! I'm excited to try his herb combination as well.