Have you ever stopped and thought about what components are needed to make a salad dressing? If you haven't, we'd like you to know that making a homemade dressing is much easier than you may have initially thought. The beautiful thing about a homemade vinaigrette is that you don’t really need a recipe or measuring spoons to create a great one. In fact, it’s ideal to add ingredients pinch by pinch or in small splashes until you’re happy with the result.
The most basic vinaigrette is made up of a base, acid, and seasoning. That's it! Once you've selected the oil and vinegar you want, you need to emulsify the mixture. This can be done with a bowl and whisk, but can also be made even easier with our Dressing Shaker. Just add all of the ingredients to the bottle, screw the cap back on, and give it a good shake! In no time, you'll have a fully emulsified vinaigrette that can also be stored if you have any leftovers.
Having just oil and vinegar is the basics of a vinaigrette, but have fun and add more flavors. Keep it simple with salt and pepper, or add garlic, herbs, dried seasonings, mustard, honey, or even maple syrup. Each new component adds a new layer that gets more fun to explore as you start to understand the basics. TIP! If you are adding new flavors, make sure to taste as you add. This helps you understand what each new ingredient adds and also allows you to know when your dressing is ready!
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Marinades are just as simple and easy to make as salad dressings. To marinate a food is to soak it in a flavorful, often acidic liquid over a period of time. The goal of a marinade is to add flavor and to tenderize.
Acids in marinades start to break down proteins and the cell structures of foods. By breaking down the proteins in this way, flavors from the marinade can more easily penetrate the food and the structural changes makes the food more tender. Fat in a marinade helps to carry and transfer flavors. It also helps keep the food moist. Generally, a good ratio of fat to acid in a marinade is 2:1 (two parts fat to one part acid). Lastly it's important to add seasonings and other flavoring ingredients. But keep in mind not to use too many ingredients as the flavors may become muddied and less prominent. Finally, salt can be added or ommitted. See the information below in the Marinade Basics information to figure out if you should or shouldn't add salt.
Staff Favorite Marinade