Whether served with soup, sandwich or as a first course for dinner, salads have their special place on the menu. What makes them special are the dressings, and almost every restaurant has a “house” dressing.
Although the “house” dressing usually is considered a “secret” recipe, you might be surprised at how simple it can be. Years ago a group of ladies from my hometown went shopping in Birmingham and they told me about a great restaurant where we would eat lunch. What made the restaurant a favorite was their salad with “house” dressing.
Knowing that I had created recipes for the Pillsbury BakeOff and had competed six times, they wanted to know if I thought I could duplicate this “house” dressing. I started talking with the waitress and she told me all she could remember about the dressing, but she didn’t know how much of each ingredient. I told my friends that I might could make a dressing that was close in flavor.
After getting home, I started working on this delicious House Dressing. It turned out great and, as you can see, the ingredients are very simple.You probably will need someone to help you when you are adding the oil.
One of my favorites is Catalina Dressing. I found this in my miscellaneous recipe files, and I don’t know whose it is. If I did, I would give the cook recognition for it. I can’t remember if I made any changes to the original recipe, but it is wonderful.
If you need a good recipe for cole slaw dressing, you might like my Johnny Appleseed Dressing.
(Honey Dijon Dressing)
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons clover honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup oil
1/4 cup half and half
Combine yolks, mustard, honey, salt and lemon juice in medium bowl. Using a hand whisk, gradually add the oil, whisking continuously. Stir in half and half and blend well. Refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.
2/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cup oil (I use canola oil)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, onions, paprika and Worcestershire sauce in blender. Process just until onions are minced and mixture is blended. With blender running, slowly add oil until mixture is smooth. Taste and add salt and black pepper, if needed.
JOHNNY APPLESEED DRESSING
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoon apple juice
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Prudence Hilburn of Piedmont has won more than 30 national cooking awards and written several cookbooks, including, “Simply Southern and More.” Write her at email@example.com or visit www.prudencehilburn.com.