Sunday, January 31, 2010

Partial Wannabe (Breaded Pepper Strips with Homemade Ranch!)

So WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY before she was uber popular . . .way before she had numerous shows . . .and before she built her empire . . . back in the day when it was just her and her one little Food Network show . . . I LOVED . . .

Rachael Ray and 30 Minute Meals. I know, I know, people either love her or are annoyed by her . . .but I LOVE 30 Minute Meals. I think she's brilliant. I don't actually want to be RR, but I do admire the empire she's built and love her recipes . . . and I think she's adorable . . .and think it'd be cool to have a food show . . . and would love to travel around the world and get paid for it . . . but I'm not at all attracted her husband and don't envy her insanely busy life . . . so yeah, maybe I'm just a partial Wannabe :)

So this morning I was watching her and she made "Fresh Baked Chile Fries with Fresh Ranch Dipping Sauce" and they were so different from what I was expecting . . .and looked yummy and kinda healthy . . . so that's my weekend food blog. You can watch that episode or go to her site to see it done well :) or you can read this blog post with TONS of photos. Tigger even got involved for a bit :)

You'll Need:
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
fresh herbs (chives, dill, parsley)
Salt & Pepper
Peppers (Poblano and Bell)
Parmesan Cheese
Spicy Brown Mustard

Work It:

Da Ranch:
You'll need Buttermilk, Sour Cream, garlic, herbs and salt. That's it! I had no idea how easy making ranch at home would be--plus buttermilk is low fat and you can do a lowfat sour cream a and it's pretty darned healthy! Ama-za-zing! RR's recipe called for 3/4cup each of buttermilk and sour cream, but for dipping sauce I recommend a full cup of sour cream and a little less buttermilk.
Here are my herbs all layed out like a cute heart! I've got Italian Parsey, Chives, Dill, and Garlic in there.

You want to use a garlic press or really mash up the garlic so you don't get huge chunks in your ranch.




Plus Salt . . taste and then a few grinds of salt and then taste again before you add more . . .
Look at that pathetic whisk! It's all mangled . . . no idea how it got that way . . . wierd. Anyway . . .
Then put it in a container and into the fridge for a bit while you make the breaded peppers (a.k.a. "vehicles for dip")
Da Peppers: RR used Poblano and Jalepeno. I'm not a fan of heat, so I used the oh-so-exciting Bell and Poblano (which was living on the edge for me! but Poblano's are sweet and mild but do have just a HINT of heat; and for this non-heat lover it was perfect! I use RED bell's because Red are supposed to be better for you because they contain Lycopene, a cancer fighting carotene)

Slice up the peppers: You want them to be in strips you can hold and dip (not too small)
I just slice down the sides until you're left holding the stem and seeds.
Tigger wandered into the kitchen about this time and wanted to show me his sweet knife skills:

Also, cut with the skin side down, easier to slice through.
That's Tigger in the back ground throwing out his hands and saying "Whoa! Check it!".

You can slice a little ring around the stem . . .and then cut the membrane attaching the stem from the sides and pull out the entire seed pod. The heat is in the seeds! Trust me, I got one seed stuck under my thumb nail and then accidentally licked ranch off that thumb later . . . it burned!

throw that nasty thing away!
Remove the membrane and the rest of the seends and slice away. Plus then you'll have cool rings. You COULD do ALL rings I suppose . . . but my peppers were a little on the limp side and I wasn't sure the rings would hold up as well as strips.
Da Breading:
You'll need 3 stations: 1) Flour 2) Egg, mustard, a little buttermilk, a little flour 3) breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and any seasoning you want to add

here you can see 3 eggs, about 1-2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard a spash of buttermilk and a Tbsp of flour.

It makes a much thicker egg wash than I'm used to and it turned out GREAT cuz it was more like a batter than breading!

there you go! for being "Unkept" I love the look of a nice organized breading station! Before you start breading, get two cookie sheets sprayed with oil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees!

Tigger jumped back in to help--he manned the flour station. If you look in the background you can see an "Unkept" pile of stuff still from Christmas on an end table . . . waiting to find a permanent home. Shhh . . . don't tell the pile of stuff but that probably IS its permanent home!
Okay, back to breading!

I like to use a fork for the egg batter--lots less gunk on your fingers!
Then dip in the breading--I apparently forgot to take a photo of this.
Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 400, then flip and bake for another 6-7.

Dip them in your homemade ranch and you're good to go! They are VERY yummy! Like even better than I imagined. Oh, and the ranch is SO tasty and refreshing! I'll never buy Ranch again!
This would be a GREAT SuperBowl snack! I'm not a huge football person so I ate them for dinner.

I think RR would be proud . . . :)


  1. Wait...wha'...for REAL? A heart? YOU made a heart? And then...and then...pointed it out?

    You, the hater of all things heart, made an herbal heart and photograph it.

    I never thought I'd see the day...


  2. I know, I know . . . I'm thawing out and softening up and stuff. kinda gross. but I kinda like it :)

  3. Wow! That looks yummy. I may have to steal that batter recipe for some chicken or something.

  4. Yum-O! ;-) The ranch looks and sounds amazing! Actually it all does. I LOVE fresh herbs when cooking, but confess that I'm often too cheap/lazy to splurge/pick 'em up. This dip sounds ALL about the fresh stuff - and I would so spring for/take the time to pick up fresh for this!


  5. Oh! yumm! It all looks to hunt around my cupboards and see about trying this out!

    Blessings & Aloha!