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Thursday, 15 June 2017 09:00

Dress it up: Sauces cover more than salad

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Garlic and ginger combine in an Asian dressing that can be used for salads  or as a marinade. Using fresh is best:?Keep garlic bulbs in a mesh or wire basket, a small bowl with ventilation holes or even a paper bag. Store whole, unpeeled ginger root in a resealable plastic bag with the air pushed out and place it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Garlic and ginger combine in an Asian dressing that can be used for salads or as a marinade. Using fresh is best:?Keep garlic bulbs in a mesh or wire basket, a small bowl with ventilation holes or even a paper bag. Store whole, unpeeled ginger root in a resealable plastic bag with the air pushed out and place it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. File photo

Salad dressings are not just for salads. Some varieties will double as marinades for meats on the grill, while others make a fine dipping sauce for everything from carrot sticks to chicken drummies. Making your own will save you money; that’s one benefit to be sure, but many times, it also can save on calories.

 

You also avoid many of the chemical additives and artificial ingredients found in commercial products if you learn a few good recipes.

Did you know that many bottled dressings contain the following: Xanthan gum, calcium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, carrageenan, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, propylene glycol, MSG, disodium inosinate. I’m not saying these all are bad, but if I don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce it, I’d rather not eat it.

All of these recipes will keep at least one week and up to two in the refrigerator.

Asian ginger dressing

— Excellent for cabbage or bok choy salads. Use this dressing as a marinade for duck or pork.

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsps. minced fresh ginger root

3/4 cup sesame oil

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 Tbsps. honey

1/4 cup water

In a 1-pint glass or larger jar, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and water. Cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Remove lid and heat jar in the microwave for one minute to dissolve the honey. Let cool and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

 

Green goddess dressing

— A good dressing for chicken or turkey salad. Also try it over leftover salmon or on top of salmon patties.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

1 chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 Tbsp. vinegar

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

2 Tbsps. chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Variation: Avocado green goddess dressing: Add one avocado, peeled and pitted, and five anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped. Blend with the other listed ingredients.

 

Russian-style dressing

— This is not the thick red Russian dressing you remember; it is a creamier version that is excellent for vegetable trays. It’s also good for a tomato and sliced-egg salad.

Or use it as a marinade for chicken breasts. Cover skinless and boneless breasts with the dressing and marinate overnight, turning once to cover both sides. Grill, basting with additional dressing.

Serve over lamb or game meats.

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

2/3 cup ketchup

2 Tbsps. grated onion

1/2 tsp. ground dry mustard

4 drops hot sauce

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsps. heavy cream

2 Tbsps. minced fresh parsley

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Chill overnight.

 

Raspberry wine vinaigrette

— This is an excellent marinade and basting sauce for grilling chicken, turkey, Cornish hen or game birds, such as pheasant, duck and goose.

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Pour through a wire mesh strainer and discard solids. Pour into jars or bottles. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Variation: Use equal amounts of strawberries, blueberries or currants instead of the raspberries.

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