From Sweet Treats and More
'Ranch' on Serious Eats
Settling into bed last Sunday, I couldn't wait to let the warm glow of the television deliver the much anticipated meth-filled hijinks of Walt and Jesse (of Breaking Bad, but you knew that already, right?). Now I'm all for the blue stuff, but imagine my surprise when it opened with something I could actually relate to—sauce! As the doomed Herr Schuler depressingly dipped his tots in one sauce after another devised by the scientists of the Madrigal super foodlab, there was one that really intrigued—Franch. I was all over that like Walt on ricin.
Half French dressing, half ranch equals Franch. Respect the chemistry.
I'll be honest: I didn't grow up eating ranch dressing outside of the occasional bag of Cool Ranch Doritos (this was back before they were "Cooler"), and I've personally never developed much of a taste for it. That said, there's a reason why it's the number one selling flavor of bottled dressing in America. Creamy, fatty, and tangy, it coats even the dullest-tasting leaf of iceberg lettuce or the most underdeveloped pizza crust with a salty, herbal tang. Instant flavor, just shake, squeeze, eat, and repeat. So which bottled dressing is the best?
[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Update your fried chicken with these no-cook dipping sauces in under 7 minutes » About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home...
The grilled lettuce added a nice contrast between the lightly charred, soft leaves and the cool, crunchy ones that stayed raw. Just a little spicy Ranch went a long way, adding an excellent tang and kick.
It would be remiss of me to leave Ranch out of Sauced any longer. Ranch has always been a little heavy-handed for me. Unless I had a reason to drown the flavor of whatever I was eating, I rarely dipped into it. This homemade version, on the other hand, strikes a mellower tone with creamy, rich buttermilk and fresh parsley, chives, and dill.