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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mini-Post: Peppercorn Ranch Dressing (AKA Creamy Sauce from the Heavens)

Good Morrow, Food-Eaters!

So, I have a full post in the works, but this should hold you over until then. 

My roommate and I have decided to pretend to be healthy (which actually means we now eat well whenever we feel guilty, which is significantly more often than our previous amount: not at all), so we've taken a liking to one particular guilt-eliminator: The Salad

Here's the thing about salads... You can eat whatever you want and call it healthy, just as long as you serve it on a bed of lettuce. Long story short, we are now the world's leading experts on the 3000 calorie salad. Suck it, Paula Deen. 

These pancakes are healthier than our salads.
So, the goal here is to eat everything we like, and still get eight to ten servings of vegetables so we can call it healthy. I would like to clarify something: the lettuce is not an ingredient. It is an excuse. A sort of scapegoat for health, if you will. Since it doesn't count, I won't even discuss the salad itself. You can pretty much add the following to any salad and make it worth eating:

STEAK!
Get yourself a flank steak. 

Take a gallon zip top bag, and add 2oz. of balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic this time as an experiment... got it for $1.99 and wanted to see if it could sub in when I don't want to use the 20 year aged VSOP top shelf vinegar. It can.), 1oz. of liquid smoke, 2-3 generous shakes of chipotle powder, 1 moderate shake each of garlic powder and onion powder, some sea salt to taste, and a few oz. of olive oil (based on how big your flank steak is). Put your flank steak in its rightful place - the bag of deliciousness. Let this bad boy marinate for about an hour on your counter (because then it will be at room temp. when you go to cook it. Place cast iron grill pan in oven. Set to broil. When sufficiently hot, add flank steak. 

Take a moment to savor the sizzle...

Cook it to medium/medium-rare. I know you don't think you like meat pink in the middle, but you do. Trust me. If you cook this beyond that level, I'm not responsible for your misery. You'll flip it once some time in the middle. Use your brain to know when. When it's done, use your badass slicer to cut it against the grain in thin slices. Then cut the slices in half so they'll fit on salads. In the meantime, you'll be making...

CREAMY PEPPERCORN DRESSING!
You will need the following:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (but seriously, more.)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (I used half of a really juicy lemon.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper (I used way more of this. It was intense... in a good way)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (I broke this down and used garlic powder and sea salt.)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Here's the tricky part: Combine all the ingredients and mix until it looks like dressing. Congratulations, you've now won at salad dressing.

CONCLUSION:
Put these things on a salad and eat it. We also added smokehouse blue cheese. While it was awesome, I'll probably go with regular blue next time. You'll get about four non-salads out of this. Eat it all.

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