Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old Fashioned Southern Boiled Dressing

Old Fashioned Southern Boiled Dressing from Deep South Dish blog. This old fashioned, creamy, boiled dressing has a unique, tangy flavor that is excellent on coleslaw, potato salads and vegetable salads, like Old Fashioned Broccoli Salad.
This old fashioned, creamy, boiled dressing has a unique, tangy flavor that is excellent on coleslaw, potato salads and vegetable salads, like Old Fashioned Broccoli Salad.

Old Fashioned Southern Boiled Dressing

Another one of those classic heritage recipes, old fashioned boiled dressing has sort of fallen out of favor with the convenience of commercially bottled dressings. It's history was one of the common folk, dating back to the the time prior to the late 19th century, when only the wealthy were able to afford the finer cooking oils for fancy vinaigrettes and creamy dressings.

I guess you could say that it sort of falls somewhere between a hollandaise sauce and homemade mayonnaise, but with the familiar tangy, sweet and sour flavor we southerners love. It's one of my favorites and it really takes next to nothing to whip it together either. Despite the name, just like Boiled Drinking Custard, it should never actually be boiled, but only simmered slowly in a saucepan or in the top of a double boiler until thickened.

Most commonly used as dressing for pasta salads, potato salads or plain boiled potatoes, in coleslaw, in deviled eggs, drizzled over meats, or tossed in vegetable salads, like Broccoli Salad. It can also be thinned down with milk to make a fabulous salad dressing for lettuce wedges.

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Recipe: Old Fashioned Southern Boiled Dressing

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Prep time: 15 min |Yield: 1-1/4 cups
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon of all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning or cayenne
  • Pinch of kosher salt

In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour, sugar and dry mustard until there are no lumps. Add the egg yolks, hot sauce, butter, milk, and lemon juice or vinegar; whisk in well. Place over a medium to medium high heat, and whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and thick like a custard. Do not allow mixture to actually boil. Remove from heat, whisk in a pinch of Cajun seasoning and salt, and set aside to cool, then store in refrigerator. Makes about 1-1/4 cups. Excellent for coleslaw, vegetable and potato salads.

Cook's Note: I used Colman's spicy dry mustard. Can use pretty much any vinegar to your liking - red wine, champagne, apple cider or regular white vinegar, and adjust to taste, using more or less. Use 1-1/4 or more cups of milk to thin for use as a salad dressing. Whisk in until it reaches desired consistency. Depending on the use, fresh herbs or other seasonings can also be added, such as celery seed for coleslaw, or parsley for potatoes.


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  1. Thanks, Mary for sharing! I HATE commercial dressings and I've always wanted to try this one and now I will,it sounds so good.Homemade dressings are the best.At least you know what's going into them.

  2. What an excellent base recipe. I could see this making an super creamy coleslaw.

  3. I think I just found my friend, T's granny's secret to the best cole slaw ever. She wouldn't give me the recipe. I over heard that the it was a special cooked salad dressing. I detected a hint of bacon, so I might use some drippings in place of the butter.

  4. LOL! Happy to help. ;) Let me know if it is indeed the secret!!

  5. I have my Mom's recipe from the 1920's and when they were first married this is the only salad dressing my Dad would eat. It's yummy!

    1. It really is isn't it? It's been around a long, long time though folks don't make it much anymore. I do love it myself!

  6. How long does this keep in the refrigerator

    1. I am no expert on food preservation, so this is only an educated guess, but ideally, due to the eggs, I would try to use it by 3 days for the best quality and flavor; 5 days at the most. Any longer would be pushing it in my opinion.


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