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Saturday, March 10, 2012

I dress my salad in skinny jeans.

I deep-fried last weekend (does deep-fried have a hyphen? That's how little I know about it!). It was the first time I've ever done it, and I'm still reeling. We had my parents and their friends in town and Keith wanted to treat them to a traditional Southern meal of fried chicken and mashed "taters." Then his flight was delayed and I had to fry. Me! My saving grace was that this month's cover recipe on Bon Appetit magazine was fried chicken. It was meant to be! It turned out good, but was it worth the effort and fat? Not to me!

So anyway, this brings me to three points. One, I need to eat some salads now to make up for that meal. Two, I have leftover buttermilk in the fridge. And three, spring is coming -- which rounds out this plan nicely.

Spring makes me think of sitting at a sidewalk cafĂ© with a crisp green salad and a big glass of white wine. I love a good chicken Caesar or anything with goat cheese (as I’m sure you know by now). It also makes me think of the skimpier clothes I’ll have to put on in just another month or so. Yikes!

I got out the buttermilk and the camera (I know I’m weird) and got to mixing. I raided the fridge and the spice cabinet until I had a really nice, tangy, light dressing. With only 30 calories in 2 tablespoons, feel free to drizzle (dump!) it on. This is the skinny jeans of salad dressings. In fact, you could eat half a cup (8 tbsp!) for fewer calories than, say, a SINGLE serving (2 tbsp) of ranch or blue cheese.

Which brings me to another point. Restaurant salads. Just bowls of meat, cheese and way too much fatty dressing! I know I don’t need to say it again, do I? Just read here. Or here. Then make my salad dressing and save your calories for the wine!

Tangy Tarragon Buttermilk Dressing
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup light buttermilk (1.5% milkfat)
2 tbsp light sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dill weed
1 tbsp dried tarragon

I like to put this in a tall glass or mason jar and hit it a few times with the immersion blender to really get that garlic blended nicely. Enjoy!

Oh, and I won't be frying chicken again anytime soon. I tend to overdo it, so it took me an hour and a half to fry up roughly 30 pieces of chicken (for 8 of us...too much!). Frying needs tending. And turning. And the grease splatters. Way too high maintenance! Plus, we don't need to be eating that anyway. Not when we have delicious and healthy fare that won't have you missing the fat. Bon appetit!

The Svelte Gourmet: A Month of Main Courses cookbook is available on my website. (And by the way, most of the cookbook recipes are NOT available on the blog.)

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