Posted by: CCT | March 18, 2010

Salad Dressing Base [77]

[#77] An important part of healthy cooking involves reassessing conventional “bases”.  Salad dressings typically use either oil (olive, canola, soybean, etc.) or mayonnaise, or something with similar caloric density as their base.  Our goal here is to make a base that has the look and feel of one of these conventional bases, but without the calories.  So here’s one we’ll be using in a variety of salad dressing recipes that fits the mold.

Dressing Base:  Courtesy of Bryanna Clark Grogan’s: The (Almost) No-Fat Cookbook:

  • 1-cup of cold water
  • 2-tsp organic corn starch

1. Mix the cold water and corn starch together in a small saucepan.

2. Cook, stirring constantly, over high heat until thickening and clear.  This will thicken even more when chilled, which is perfectly normal.

3. You’re done.  It’s that simple… and you know exactly what’s in it… which is something that we can’t usually say about any of the dressings we’ll get in a restaurant… especially when it comes to fast food.

Thoughts & Recommendations:

1.  It should thicken up pretty quickly as it gets hot and clears.  If it doesn’t – I had this happen with an organic corn starch I was using – add an extra teaspoon of corn starch. You’ll need to mix the extra with a bit of cold water in order for it to disburse properly.  Then pour this mixture into the pan along with the rest.  If you put the dry teaspoon of starch directly into the pan with the hot mixture (without disbursing in a bit of cold water first) it will ball up rather than distributing evenly.  And then you’ll have a big clump that can’t be unclumped easily or at all.

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