We were driving home from somewhere and talking about stuff and such – which is to say that we were having a wide ranging conversation about nothing of any great import or significance – for example: jello molds were mentioned.
No, I have no idea HOW jello molds came in to the conversation (even if I HAVE decided that 2011 should be a ‘Say Something Jello Mold’ year), but they did – which got me to thinking of this strangely good horseradish and lime jello ring my Aunt Buzz would serve with her Fractured Taco Casserole (also strangely good – except for the part where she baked the lettuce) – which got me to saying ‘I should make that’ (ermmm, without the baking the lettuce bit) – which got RICH to saying ‘you always say that’ – which got ME to saying ‘oh, yeah?’ – and words to that effect…
Short story quickly in danger of becoming a mini-series; the minute we got home, I went to my old recipe card file and found Aunt Buzz’s Fractured Taco recipe!
Still haven’t made it, tho’.
Irregardless – while thumbing through all the old recipes, I came across a type-written card for this salad dressing from some old-line New England restaurant that I believe is long gone (or, as my pepé used to say: ‘with Barnum and Bailey’) – yet another riff on the classic French dressing – this one a good middle ground between the traditional recipe and my current favorite Catalina, which calls for ketchup (don’t hate – it’s REALLY good!). As with most of the salad dressing recipes I’ve tried; I cut the sugar called for in half, and tailored some of the other ingredients to suit the contents of my larder and spice rack. Check it out:
•1/4 cup sugar – the recipe called for 1/2 cup
•1 tsp celery salt – the recipe called for 1 tsp each of celery seed (none in my pantry) and salt – so I split the difference and just did the celery salt
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1 tsp paprika
•About 1/8 coarsely chopped medium onion – the recipe called for 1/4 tsp onion powder
•1/4 red wine vinegar – cider vinegar might be nice here too – really just about any vinegar would do – tho’ I think balsamic would be kind of heavy
•1 cup canola oil
Combine onion, vinegar, sugar, and spices in a blender and pulse to mince the onion and combine.
With the blender running, add the oil in a light, steady stream through the hole in the lid, until emulsified.
UPDATE: Mystery, I think, solved! Thanks to some correspondence from a very nice lady named Sara, it would seem that the Sanford House this salad dressing was featured at was the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House in Milledgeville, Georgia, known as the Sanford House Tea Room from 1951 to 1966.
Seems like a nice place with nice folk – I’d check it out.