Friday, January 9, 2015

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

So, I'm in love with this dressing. 

I found several variations, most of them somewhat similar, for a cilantro lime dressing. Some were a ranch type dressing like this, some were vinaigrette, some had lots of other ingredients like avocado (which does sound good), and some just sounded weird. I decided I'd make one of the ranch dressings because I already had some Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix. I took a recipe I found on Pinterest (I'll link to it later when I'm not on my phone) and made a few changes and voila! Cilantro lime ranch dressing goodness. 

1 packet dry ranch dressing mix 
1 cup mayo 
½ cup half n half
1-2 tbsp lime juice
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped cilantro (I used extra) 
¼ cup salsa verde
½ tsp sugar (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste (optional) 

Combine all these delicious ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend it up until it's smooth and creamy. It should turn out like a pale greenish white color, and in my opinion, it's gorgeous. I tasted mine after I blended it all up, and to me, it needed another splash or two of lime juice, a few more cilantro leaves, and some salt and pepper. I also added just a tiny bit of sugar because it still had that slight fatty-mayo taste. Next time I might try a bit of honey instead of sugar and see how that turns out. You might also consider adding a little hot sauce if you want it spicy, but I didn't. 

Oh, also, you can totally use milk instead of half and half, I just had some left from another recipe and wanted to use it before it went bad.

Anyway, once it's how you like it, pour it into a jar or whatever the hell you want, cover and chill. I let mine sit in the fridge for about 4 hours before eating it. 

I should mention here that when I first finished blending it and tasted it, I wasn't too sure about this dressing. But I thought, well it's room temperature, I bet it'll be awesome when it's cold. Then when I tasted it after letting it chill for a few hours, I STILL wasn't 100% sure about it, but I went ahead and made a chicken taco salad with it anyway. I said to myself, "Self, all these ingredients are delicious, and anything with cilantro is delicious. It's gonna be perfect, I'm sure."

Well, let me tell you something. 

It WAS. 

I don't know if it was simply the dressing or the dressing and tasty chicken combo over all that lettuce but it was the best taco salad I've ever made in my life, and it might even be in the top five taco salads I've ever tasted at all. And I didn't even make a complicated or fancy salad. I'd baked some chicken breasts with melted butter, taco seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder earlier in the day, sliced up about half a breast, and put it on top of a salad made of spinach AND iceberg lettuce, with some tomatoes and shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. Then I poured the dressing on top, and that was it. That dressing was simply amazing. Seriously. It was delicious. 

Now, I personally like a LOT of cilantro. And a strong cilantro flavor. Some people don't. So when I said that I used more than a cup of cilantro in this recipe, that's how I like it--anyone else might not. Like my mother. She probably wouldn't like the way I made it because it would probably be too strong for her tastes. So, for the cilantro, just use how much you think you'll want and you can always add more if you decide it's not cilantro-y enough, like I did. 

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