Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spicy buttermilk ranch dip

Friday, I'm having my wonderful neighbors over for dinner. When we chose our house, we really lucked out in the neighbor department. They're a supportive, interesting, fun bunch.

I love this part of planning a dinner party, the menu planning. It's like putting together a puzzle. A delectable, edible puzzle. I've been dying to use some of my Austin haul, and this dinner presented the perfect excuse. So the menu will lean Mexican. I'd hoped to find some achiote to make achiote and orange juice-marinated chicken, but no such luck. (Note to self. Buy achiote during next Austin trip.) So we'll do grilled chicken breasts and flank steaks with tomatillo salsa and a dried chile sauce on the side. Tortillas for those who want to go full-on Mexican. Rolls and potato salad for those who'd prefer to tread lightly with the spices.

For appetizers, of course we would have chips, guacamole, and salsa. And olives (just because I love Russo's pitted mixed country olives). And for something healthy, crudites and dip are always safe.

Now I have to admit. I used to buy premade dip. The kind in a plastic tub with the peelaway lid. Lately though, I've gotten on this homemade kick and fallen in love with homemade salad dressing. It's so incredibly easy and beats the pants off anything I've tried from the grocery store. (I haven't tried them all though. Maybe someday...nope, not even then.) So why not homemade dip? My girls' favorite ranch dressing is Annie's Natural Cowgirl Ranch (must appeal to the cowgirl in 'em). So I thought, why not make my own ranch dressing...and add a little kick to it? Deliciousness. And really, really easy. Who needs the plastic tub?

Spicy buttermilk ranch dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 jalapeño pepper, cored and seeded, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
tiny pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and let chill for an hour. Keeps for a week in the refrigerator.


  1. I agree, having good neighbors makes all the difference in loving where you live (or not). Hope you have a fun evening tonight. The dip looks creamy luscious, and not a calorie in sight. :-)

  2. Hubby loves ranch, and loves spicy. This sounds perfect, and especially appreciated as I don't like to buy the bottled stuff.

  3. I know! So bad for you, but so yummy. I bet we could slim this down by using some Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, etc. Rhome, you could amp up the jalapeños if your hubby likes spicy.


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