Ranch dressing is a staple condiment in the American cuisine birthing many classic varieties among which the Peppercorn is included.
The peppercorn ranch is a type of ranch dressing that has a slightly spicy undertone from the addition of crushed black peppercorn. Aside from the slight heat, it tastes reminiscent of the classical ranch dressing which means that it has a creamy consistency and a tangy flavor.
If you’re looking to add some new flavors into your culinary repertoire, then Peppercorn Ranch is surely the hit you’re looking for.
This article explains what peppercorn ranch is, what it tastes like, the ingredients that make up its composition, the two main variations and the best ways to serve it.
What Is Peppercorn Ranch Made Of?
Like every ranch dressing out there, the base for the peppercorn ranch constituite the three main elements of flavor which hold the signature to its identity.
The cream which constitutes ingredients such a cream, mayonnaise and sour cream that not only add tanginess to the ranch but also help to add thickness to it.
The herbal components which includes all varieties of herbs but popularly dill, parsley and chives which add a bit of boldness to the flavor.
And lastly, the allium which include members from the onion family that make up a good chunk of the flavor you taste in ranch dressing.
Now with peppercorn, there’s more to the formulation — black peppercorns!
These are crushed to varying degrees of coarseness and added to the mixture to give it a thick consistency, a tiny bit of crunchiness, and most importantly, a mild layer of heat during taste as well as in the aftertaste.
The above, however, is as basic as any peppercorn recipe can ever get (homemade versions).
In store bought varieties, there are a lot more ingredients added in order to affect look, smell and taste.
Colourants are added to improve the colouring of the ranch dressing while natural or artificial flavors are added to improve on the taste of the ranch while still preserving its uniqueness.
Stabilisers, emulsifiers, thickening agents as well as pH balancing ingredients are also added to perform the various functions that they serve in food. And then everything is held together with preservatives that ensure the product keeps quality for a long time during transit and storage.
Is Peppercorn Ranch Good?
If you enjoy the taste of the regular ranch dressing, then you’d also like the Peppercorn version because it only builds on the former with extra peppercorns for added heat.
Many people claim they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two ranch dressings if they were given the peppercorn ranch (in a bread or sandwich) to eat in a blind fold test.
Others claim that it’s just slightly spicy while a good population think it has some degree of heat to it that can easily be detected.
I guess it all boils down to the varied sensitivity (and even flavor detection levels) of our taste buds which makes different people taste foods differently.
How To Use Peppercorn Ranch
Peppercorn ranch goes with a variety of things and is added to meals in different ways. Let’s check out some of the ways you can eat peppercorn ranch to utilise its heat.
Salad dressing: Traditionally, ranch dressing is meant to serve as a coat for salad ingredients, and peppercorn ranch is no exception. Feel free to pull out a bottle from your pantry or fridge and bath those greens in the heat of black peppercorn.
As a dip: Peppercorn ranch has a bit of volume and thickness to it which means it can easily serve as the perfect dip for veggies, chips and even bread. Simply pour a small quantity in a bowl to get started.
As a marinade: You can dip meat such as chicken or steak in peppercorn ranch and let them sit for time so as to really absorb the flavors and become tender. Then grill or bake them. You can also toss black radishes in peppercorn ranch prior to roasting them in the oven.
As a topping: Whenever you don’t feel like dipping, you can always top food items with peppercorn ranch and we bet that it would never disappoint. As for the foods you can top, try burgers, sandwiches, bread, and other baked goods.
As a sauce: Another exciting way to use peppercorn ranch is as a substitute for another sauce in foods such as pasta, rice, pizza or baked potatoes.
And one last thing you can do with peppercorn ranch is to personalise it to create explosive flavors. Mix it with lime or lemon juice, add some hot sauce into it or even mix in some fresh herbs and spices for a unique experience.
What Brands Produce Peppercorn Ranch?
There are many food brands that produce “peppercorn ranch” in various forms. The popular brands includes:
- Hidden Valley
- Bolthouse Farms
You can find and purchase peppercorns made by these brands on their websites or in local supermarkets or online retails stores.
What Forms Do Peppercorn Ranch Come In?
Popularly, peppercorn ranch is offered in pasty form that we’re all used to, which can be used as a replacement for sauce in some applications like pasta or lettuce wraps, or even as a dip or topping for eating chips, baked potatoes and corn.
However, it can also come in powdered form meant to be sprinkled over salad or rice, or even as a dry mix which can be reconstituted into a paste by the addition of mayonnaise or sour cream.
Additionally, peppercorn ranch can come in two varieties which are the cheese and cheeseless varieties. The cheese varieties have various kinds of cheeses or blends of cheese added to them in order to affect flavor and consistency of the product.
Can You Make Peppercorn Ranch At Home?
It’s possible to make peppercorn ranch dressing at home. But it can be difficult to mimic the taste of store bought peppercorn ranch using at home techniques and ingredients. The closest you can get is to use dried alliums and herbs such as garlic powder, onion powder and dried herbs.
Then use crushed black pepper and fresh cream plus mayonnaise.
The Youtube Short below will teach you how to make a quick peppercorn ranch dressing that’ll go with almost everything at home.
Be sure to refrigerate for an hour first before serving they way you like it as to allow room for the flavors to come together.
How To Store Homemade Peppercorn Ranch
When you make a fresh batch of peppercorn ranch, it’s only wise for you to want to know how to store it so you have a go to ranch whenever you crave one.
Storing homemade peppercorn ranch is quite easy.
First, transfer the mixture into a mason jar and make sure to shake it well to remove any air bubbles. Seal the lid tightly and put the jar in the coldest part of the refrigerator which is at the back of the middle shelf.
Peppercorn ranch stored in this way will keep for more than one week. If you begin to notice signs of spoilage such as mold growth, sliminess or an offensive odor oozing out from the container, discard it promptly and make a fresh one.
Whenever you want to use your refrigerated peppercorn ranch, be sure to shake the bottle well to reincorporate the ingredients as some may separate during storage.