Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Orange Cumin Vinaigrette featuring the Old "Make-n-Shake" Salad Dressing Method

One of the first things you’re taught at culinary school is how to make an emulsified salad dressing. Of course, we were no longer allowed to call them “dressings,” and had to refer to them by the proper French name, “vinaigrette,” but I knew deep down they were the same thing.

After learning how to spell “vinaigrette,” which I’m still working on to this day, we were set up with bowls and whisks, and shown how to properly achieve the celebrated emulsification. The chefs demonstrated that by slowly dripping oil into vinegar while whisking like crazy, one could magically bond the two elements together.

It took quite a while, and despite a burning shoulder, and cramping forearm, the method did work beautifully. The dressing was perfectly emulsified, and stayed that way. I was impressed. Of course, the next day they showed us how to do the same thing in a blender in 10 seconds, which really annoyed everybody. Why not show us the easy way first?

Well, little did I know there was even an easier way, than the easier way. That’s right, I’m talking about the old “make-n-shake” salad dressing method. By simply shaking vigorously in a small jar, you can create a temporary emulsification that should stay blended more than long enough to dress a salad.

Now let’s be clear, this method should only be used if you are going to eat your salad right away. The good news is, this accounts for roughly 95% of salad-related scenarios. For the rest of the time, when you need the dressing to stay perfectly blended for hours, like on a buffet, you should use the classic method instead.

Anyway, I'd promised to show you the very tasty orange and cumin vinaigrette that we used on our raw kale salad, and I figured it was the perfect excuse to demo this simple salad dressing trick. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):
1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard           
1 rounded teaspoon orange zest
1 tsp cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or white wine or sherry vinegar)
1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

View the complete recipe

13 comments:

Eric Eligator said...

Looks delicious. I'll use this to marinate the boneless chicken breasts sitting my refrigerator. I think I'll use white wine vinegar in place of the rice vinegar, and figure out the cooking method when dinner time approaches. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Sounds like a hell of a plan!

Candice said...

I just found you and I'm already in love!! Thank you so much for posting all these amazing video recipes! I feel like I finally found someone who can help me take my cooking to a higher level.

Chris K. said...

Psssh. You just didn't want to spend ten minutes of whisking for a dressing demo. What, you got other plans for that elbow?

I rely on the stick blender way too much.

Adam said...

Weren't we told earlier that the addition of Dijon voids the other emulsification rules and having dijon in it, it will just emulsify quickly?

821efeea-8f7f-11e2-a7bb-000bcdcb471e said...

Which one is it, Rice Vinegar as you wrote, or Rice WINE Vinegar as you spoke?

Chef John said...

They are the same thing!

Amy said...

long time lurker- first time commenter. i have to say, i was so eager to love this, but the flavor of the raw cumin was really overpowering for me. i even cut it back to 3/4 of a teaspoon, but it was still a lot! maybe my cumin is just too fresh =)

NetKerveros said...

Awesome!!! Thank you! I even put some slices of oranges and it became instant hit at dinner tonight!

Sausage said...

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Vijay Nagrecha said...

Was it roasted cumin or the regular ?

DannyWatt said...

Hi chef John, besides salad, what would this vinaigrette be nice with?

DannyWatt said...

Hi chef John, besides salad what would it be delicious with?