The Gourmet Touch: Forget the take-out with restaurant fake-outs
by Prudence Hilburn
The Gourmet Touch
Aug 21, 2013 | 2186 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
How often do you return to a restaurant for a favorite condiment, salad dressing or special sauce? No need to bothering asking for those “secret” recipes — they are carefully guarded.

From time to time, readers ask if I can duplicate certain recipes that they’ve tasted while dining out. There are a few I have yet to master, but sometimes I can come close.

For instance, my grandson likes a certain fast-food chicken finger dip. I tasted it and decided to see how close I could come. After he tasted my new Cajun dip, he said it was almost the same flavor — in fact, he said my version, which is also good on french fries, was even a little better. He certainly knows how to thrill a grandmother’s heart.

Years ago, I was asked to see if I could duplicate a dressing served at a restaurant in the Birmingham area. The only information I could get from the waitress was that it had honey, mustard and lemon in it. I was very pleased with my experiment and still use the recipe as Honey Dijon Dressing.

Heavenly Cream Sauce is my version of a sauce a friend tasted at a pancake restaurant in the Smoky Mountains. As I remember, it was served over peach-filled crepes or pancakes.

After my husband and I tasted a coleslaw dressing we liked at a seafood restaurant, I, of course, had to see what I could come up with. I seemed to detect a hint of fruit flavor in the dressing, so I added just a little apple juice and it worked great. I call it my Johnny Appleseed Dressing.

But after the coleslaw dressing — as well as a recipe for potato soup, another of my husband’s favorites — I decided to slow down on the replications. It seemed that once I was able to recreate our favorite dishes at home, we didn’t go out to eat as often.

CAJUN DIP
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1 tablespoon hot wing sauce (I use Texas Pete)
1 to 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (not Creole seasoning)

Combine all ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.

HONEY DIJON DRESSING
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup oil
¼ cup half-and-half

Combine the yolks, mustard, honey, salt and lemon juice in a blender or in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well blended. Add oil gradually until mixture emulsifies. Stir in half-and-half and blend well. Refrigerate.

HEAVENLY CREAM SAUCE
1 cup ricotta cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup fruit juice (peach, apple, pineapple, etc.)
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup whipping cream

Combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, juice and confectioners’ sugar in food processor or blender. Process until well blended. Add whipping cream and process just until blended.

JOHNNY APPLESEED DRESSING
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoon apple juice

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate.
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The Gourmet Touch: Forget the take-out with restaurant fake-outs by Prudence Hilburn
The Gourmet Touch

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