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091I mentioned a couple of things in yesterday’s Classically Good Potato Salad post—boiled dressing and Hard-boiled Eggs.  Neither of those things sound very sexy, do they?  But, these are both things you should know how to prepare well….first, boiled dressing….  Boiled dressing…just what the hell is that, anyway?  That’s what most of you are wondering, isn’t it?  The Goddess knows; she understands.  Let me ‘splain this to you!  Boiled dressing is what was used before mayonnaise was so popular.  It could and should be made ahead and it was used as a dressing for potato salad and cole slaw (see the picture above).  It is sharp and sweet and it’s cooked.

087First you mix the dry ingredients together, 088then you add the wet ingredients, whisk them up well and place, in a saucepan over medium heat.  092Cook until the mixture thickens 093and coats the back of a spoon.  This is how you can tell if anything that’s thickened using heat, is ready.  Swipe your finger across the spoon.  If is leaves a clear path, it’s done.

In the recipe you will notice there is a range given on both the sugar and cider vinegar.  Start with the lesser amount and adjust to you personal taste.  You may use a mixture of vinegars (NEVER white vinegar!).  I used different vinegars, citrus juices or combinations of vinegars and citrus juice, depending on what I want the forward flavors to be.  Remember that red wine vinegar will also color the finished product…it isn’t as pretty as you might think it would be!

Boiled Salad Dressing

  • Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or all-purpose flour or potato starch)
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • Pinch turmeric
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2-3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the wet ingredients, except the butter and sour cream.

Cook over lower heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 5-6 minutes; whisk in the butter. Let cool, stirring often; whisk in the sour cream. Dressing will thicken when cooling. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 1 month.)

COOK’S NOTE:  I usually mix this about half-and-half with mayonnaise or Greek-style yogurt for a dressing.

Boiled Salad Dressing Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015.  All rights reserved.

097I love this for creamy slaws.  The dressing will keep for weeks in the fridge, so you can always have some on hand when you need it.