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Give Your Ranch Dressing a Lift with Jalapeños and Goat Cheese

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Who doesn't love ranch dressing? On a trip to the Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch in Comfort a few months back, one of my favorite tastes in an evening of fine food was chef Joseph Brantley's Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing, which was used on a salad and as a dipping sauce alongside an order of fried avocado.
A salad dressed with Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch.

A salad dressed with Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch.

I've since made my own version of the dressing, which I vary slightly depending on how I plan on using it. For salads, I cut the amount of goat cheese in half. The dipping sauce is richer and thicker, perfect for dipping anything from carrots and celery stick to fried zucchini strips. It's also a chance to use ingredients fresh from the garden. I flavored my last version with a red serrano instead of the jalapeño as well as the chives and parsley. Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing 1 cup buttermilk 1/4 cup mayonnaise 3-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, depending on use 1 jalapeño, minced, or less, to taste 2 tablespoons chives, minced 3 tablespoons celery leaves or flat-leaf parsley, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 3 tablespoons vinegar
Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing

Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing

In a jar with a secure lid, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, goat cheese, jalapeño, chives, celery leaves, salt, pepper, garlic and vinegar. Shake thoroughly and check flavor, adjusting to taste. If dressing is too thick, add a splash more buttermilk. If dressing is too thin, add more goat cheese. Refrigerate leftovers. The dressing will keep up to 3 days. Makes about 2 cups dressing. From John Griffin  
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