Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trying New Recipes

One of my favorite casual dining restaurants is called Mimi's Cafe.  When we lived in Topeka, it was only an hour's drive to go to KC to enjoy this Louisiana-style cafe.  Since I'm a creature of habit, I always order the same thing whenever I go out.

Mimi's has the most amazing French onion soup ~ it's to die for!  (They have the recipe online, so I make it frequently!)  What's best, is that you can get a small cup to go with a half salad.  The best salad is their Chopped Cobb.  They pile a mountain of baby spring mix into a large bowl, and then top it with bacon crumbles, blue cheese nuggets, avocado slices, roasted turkey breast, and hard-boiled eggs in neat, symmetrical little piles on top.

I'm sad that KC is further away, even though we live in the Ozarks.  I had to come up with my own Chopped Cobb!  It was very easy to mimic, but I insist on taking the time to roast up turkey cutlets instead of buying "carving board" style.  It tastes just like deli meat.  I want the real McCoy!

I love blue cheese dressing, but since it has the blue cheese nuggets, I decided to steal the hamburger joint Wendy's idea of an Avocado Ranch that comes with their Cobb salad.

Since the brand was T Marzetti's (LOVE it, btw) I bought the Marzetti's jarred Ranch and pulsed an avocado into it with the blender.  Good, but not great.

Today I decided to make my own Ranch dressing and add avocado to it.  The end result was well worth it!  I can't remember where I first found this recipe (I've had it on file for a LONG time!) but it's awesome!  It tends to be a little thin, but you can thicken it with more mayo or sour cream.
Here it is!

Ranch Dressing

1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
3 T chopped chives
2 T finely minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 t  chopped dill
1 t kosher salt
1 t cracked black pepper
1 T white vinegar
1 T garlic paste

(You mince 5 garlic cloves, and then use 1/2 t of kosher salt, smashing them with the flat side of your knife blade until it becomes a paste.) 

Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise and buttermilk together.  Add in herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, and garlic paste. Add in more mayo or sour cream to thicken.  Season to taste. 

I divided this recipe and dumped half into the blender.  I then added 1/2 of an avocado to the mix and pulsed until it was thickened and creamy.  Delicious!  I'll slice the other half to put on my salad tonight!

NOTE:  5 garlic cloves = TOO strong!  I was tasting garlic all night ~ yuck!  I think 2 or 3 cloves would have worked better.