Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thousand Island - Homemade Dressings

Recently I realized that we had gone slightly overboard in the salad dressing department. We had an entire shelf on the door of our fridge filled with half finished dressings, some way out of date. It got me to thinking, I really like variety and choice in my dressings, but with only two of us in the house it is hard to finish them up quickly. Enter into this picture, Thousand Island dressing. I really like Thousand Island dressing, once in a while. It can be great on a seafood salad and is a necessary component in Reuben sandwiches. When Dan wanted to have Reubens this week, I realized that we had no dressing for them. The last time we bought Thousand Island, we used less than a quarter of the bottle, and it sat and sat in the fridge until it went bad and had to be thrown out. I decided this time that I did not want to waste money and food by buying a bottle that would never get finished. I decided to embark on my new food adventure of making my own dressings.

Thousand Island is a really interesting dressing when you make it yourself. You never really think about what is in dressing that you get from the bottle, but this one got me to thinking about it. I looked over several recipes from The Joy of Cooking to my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I have made the occasional vinaigrette or specialty dressing for a specific salad, but this was new territory. I have to say that this dressing is very interesting as it seems to throw in every condiment including the kitchen sink. It starts with a mayo or salad dressing (read as the trade marked Miracle Whip) and then adds to it chili sauce. From there you heap in Worcestershire sauce and horseradish and add in olives and finely chopped onions and green and red pepper. Then, for good measure, add in a hard cooked egg and you have Thousand Island. I cut the recipe in half, and it still seemed like too much for us to have. I think for this particular dressing I need to only make a fourth of the full amount. This first dressing was mostly a success. I have to say that it turned out a little too sweet when using the salad dressing rather than mayonnaise. While I am not making my own mayonnaise yet, I do have to say I think this is the end of the store bought salad dressing era. I am going to buy some glass bottles to store it in and make small batches so none goes to waste. It is an exciting new area to expand into for homemade, and I am looking forward to it. Some will have to stay as store bought as we really like them a lot, but others I am ready to experiment with and learn to make. Here's to new avenues of homemade!

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