Together, mayonnaise and buttermilk form the base of ranch dressing. After that, there are many options to kick up the essential formula: Vinegar, for a bit of extra tang. I like to use rice vinegar, which is more delicate, although white wine or cider vinegar would be more traditional. Garlic powder (like mayonnaise, I only keep this around for ranch dressing). Fresh herbs, if you're so inclined.
Just remember the base formula: 1 part mayo to 2 parts buttermilk, with a dash of salt and pepper, and build from there.
I kept the proportions in this recipe small, since I think this is one dressing that's best when it is made fresh. I do make it a little ahead and stick it back in the fridge, since this helps it thicken up before dressing the salad (which I do an instant before bringing it to the table). But it will last a few days in the fridge, so feel free to double it and stash away a jar.
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
Sift dry ingredients.
Add water and mix well.
Use to coat fish or chicken filets.
Cover the fish completely.
Deep fry until a nice golden brown
⅓ cup neutral oil, like canola or grape seed
1 medium onion, minced, about 1/2 cup
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 cup sour cream
Place oil in an 8-inch skillet, and turn heat to medium-high. When it's hot, a minute or two later, add onion, salt and sugar. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until onion browns, about 10 minutes.
Pour onion and oil into a fine strainer; reserve oil in refrigerator for another use. Stir onion into sour cream. If time allows, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve with potato chips or raw vegetables.