Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

I’ve never been to a Houston’s restaurant. Their food sure looks awesome. So though I can’t say this copycat of their buttermilk garlic salad dressing is a true copycat, I can say it is fantastic. Like slurp-slurp-I-love-salad-more-than-ever-now fantastic. This is Ranch dressing to the max. Thanks mostly to the garlic.

Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

Make sure you let the dressing ‘get happy’ in the fridge overnight before serving. It makes a huge difference. And make a double batch because this copycat Houston’s buttermilk garlic salad dressing isn’t just for salad. It’s great for dipping wings. And veggies.

Copycat Houston Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing

I can't say this copycat of Houston's buttermilk garlic salad dressing is a true copycat, I can say it is fantastic. Like slurp-slurp-I-love-salad-more-than-ever-now fantastic.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
8 hours
Servings 2 cups
Calories 1001kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic minced, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Alternatively, place all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk well.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 1001kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 101g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

When I first saw this recipe for a spicy Old Bay tartar sauce it took me all of about 2 seconds to figure out exactly what I was going to use it on. A fried shrimp po boy. The sauce is perfect on a po boy. It has a mild Dijon flavor. It has a good bit of kick. And it tastes of Old Bay. If that doesn’t scream shrimp po boy I don’t know what does.
Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Steven Raichlen’s massive book, BBQ USA. it is packed with over 400 dishes, almost all with a spicy side to them. BBQ USA sits on my bookshelf along Raichlen’s other great cookbooks.

Spicy Old Bay Tartar Sauce

When I first saw this recipe for a spicy Old Bay tartar sauce it took me all of about 2 seconds to figure out exactly what I was going to use it on. A fried shrimp po boy. 
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1555kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon cornichons chopped (or dill pickles)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dired)
  • 1 tablespoon basil chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to 1 week.

Notes

If I'm using this sauce as a tartar sauce I drain the capers. But I do not drain them if I'm using this as a dip for fried shrimp.

Nutrition

Calories: 1555kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 169g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1994mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 662IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad Dressing

I didn’t really know what to expect when I made this copycat of Carrabba’s creamy Parmesan salad dressing. The recipe ingredients looked like they were right up my alley, but I’d never been to the restaurant to try the real thing. Well, I made it, and this is anywhere near what you get at Carrabba’s, I’ve been missing out. Perfectly creamy, with plenty of nutty salty Parmesan, this dressing was perfect on a big dinner salad.

Copycat Carrabba's Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Make sure you let the dressing ‘get happy’ in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Give it one good last whisk or shake before serving. I wouldn’t change a thing about this copycat Carrabba’s creamy Parmesan salad dressing except to double it.

Copycat Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad Dressing

Perfectly creamy, with plenty of nutty salty Parmesan, this dressing was perfect on a big dinner salad.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
1 hour
Servings 1 cup
Calories 910kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon fresh, minced, or a few good pinches of dried
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 910kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1177mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 405mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing

Every once-in-a-while we have what we call “Salad Week” here. Before I started cooking Salad Week would not have been something I would have looked forward to. Now I do, thanks to fantastic salad ingredients and great homemade salad dressings, like Aunt Trish’s recipe. Now, I don’t have an Aunt Trish but if I did I’d tell her thanks for the recipe!

This is a great oil-based dressing that is packed with Parmesan and garlic flavors. It absolutely MUST sit in the fridge overnight to ‘get happy’ before serving. Trust me on that. Do no try and rush it. And it MUST be removed from the fridge well before you plan on using it to let the oil return to a liquid since it solidifies in the fridge.

Aunt Trish's Salad Dressing

If you like your dressing to have a bit of a kick, don’t hesitate to toss a pinch or two of red pepper flake into the mix before shaking. As it is, Aunt Trish’s salad dressing is perfectly balanced, though. I don’t like strong citrus-flavored dressings, and this one does not disappoint. Now, I am a big fan of garlic so I might have slipped a little extra in when no one was looking. Don’t tell.

Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing

Now I I know look forward to salad week, thanks to fantastic salad ingredients and great homemade salad dressings, like Aunt Trish's.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
12 hours
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1564kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt you might want a little more
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 dashes paprika
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced and smashed

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a pint-sized jar, seal and shake. Alternatively, place into a bowl and whisk until well combined then transfer to a sealable container.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Set out to come to room temperature for 1-2 hours before shaking/stirring and serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 1564kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 169g | Saturated Fat: 137g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 907mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 267IU | Vitamin C: 119mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

I am definitely not one of those that thinks everything needs to be made from scratch. But that being said, I do enjoy the challenge and reward of making something that is a good copycat of something I can buy in my grocery store. Like this copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I was making a big ole batch of smoked pork when I realized I didn’t have a sauce on hand. Well, in no time at all I whipped this great sauce together. It has the right consistency, just like the ‘real’ stuff. And it has that (nearly) same great flavor.
Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

The great thing about making your own copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce is that you can customize it for your tastes. Want it a bit more smokey? Add a tad bit (a very small tad bit) of liquid smoke. Maybe (like me) you want a bit of spiciness? Add more cayenne pepper or a few (long) shakes of hot sauce. Thinner? Stir in some water. Thicker? Don’t add as much water. Make it your own. I did.

Also try my copycat Dreamland BBQ sauce.

Copycat Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

 I was making a big ole batch of smoked pork when I realized I didn’t have a sauce on hand. Well, in no time at all I whipped this great sauce together. It has the right consistency, just like the ‘real’ stuff. 
Course BBQ Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Calories 385kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold water optional
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch optional

Instructions

  • Stir together all ingredients except for the water and corn starch in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  • If you want a thicker sauce, combine the water and corn starch in a small glass and slowly stir in to the sauce. Continue to simmer until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • If the sauce gets too thick add water, a very little bit at a time, and stir.

Nutrition

Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1620mg | Potassium: 719mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 88g | Vitamin A: 989IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Balsamic Smoked Honey Vinaigrette

Anita and I were grabbing lunch at one of our local favorite pizza joints not long ago. The lunch special comes with a small side salad. For the dressing Anita went with the balsamic smoked honey vinaigrette. I was intrigued. She was intrigued. Smoked honey? You know, that has to be good. Well, it was. It was “bring me a bottle of that dressing so I can drink it” good. Of course, that means I had to make a version of it when I got home.
Balsamic Smoked Honey Vinaigrette

This is a great, simple dressing without the smoked honey. With it, it becomes something a bit different. The smoke flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there. Depending on the honey that you use, I recommend adding just a bit at first and tasting to see if you want to add more. Me, I want that smokiness up front and center. You might now.

Also try my blue cheese vinaigrette.

Balsamic Smoked Honey Vinaigrette

Smoked honey? You know, that has to be good. Well, it was. It was “bring me a bottle of that dressing so I can drink it” good.
Course Salad Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1273kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup smoked honey or less, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Whisk together all ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 1273kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 108g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 2346mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 79g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.