FINALLY YOU GUYS YES.
I’ve replicated something from a chain restaurant that tons of other people have also replicated on the internet!
It’s inspired, is my point.
Ok so what’s your stance on chain restaurants? We are kind of…in the middle. Some fast food is fine (Subway + Chick fil A), some medium fast (Panera duh), and then we kind of have a gap where we are really snobby (no Applebees ever no no no no) and then there are some …higher end? chains that we like. That I like. Like Chuy’s! The Mexican joint that is really consistent and delicious and everything always tastes the same as last time but it’s FRESH and reliable if you need to eat in one while travelling for work. Family rules for chain restaurant eating, right there.
Another reason I’m super into Chuy’s is that there is a local delivery service that will bring it to. your. door, and we used it a ton when Beck was super teeny, so I have these kind of happy far-away memories of Chuy’s and my tiny baby.
The best part about Chuy’s, as many of you know, is their mother effing Jalapeno Ranch. Or Jalapeno Dip. Or Creamy Jalapeno Dip? It’s listed different places as different things. This is a salad dressing that you can order with your chips + salsa or over a burrito or as an addition to any other part of your meal. We always get it with our chips and then usually eat salads for our meal with this dressing on top.
THEN it turns out that the best thing to come out of our garden this year (after basil, which is like a tree) was jalapenos. We have a gazillion, and I think they’re going to keep on keepin’ on for a little while longer if the caterpillars will leave them alone. We’ve been putting jalapenos in everything, multiple times per day, and finally I was all CHUY’S WHY HAVEN’T WE MADE THE DIP YET. So I did. And we ate it. And it was SO good.
This dip is, like the name implies, pretty close to a regular homemade ranch with jalapeno and cilantro to infuse that Mexican flavor. I’ve seen different versions, some that include a straight up ranch packet (don’t knock it, no shame there), but I had some fresh parsley to use up so I threw that in there with some other ranch heavy-hitters. Here goes: the base is mayo, sour cream (crema because I had it), half and half, and lime juice. Then flavor comes from garlic powder, onion powder, a green onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and a fresh jalapeno. Note that I doubled up on the onion + garlic flavor, if you don’t have all of those ingredients you could use one of each; something that tastes like onion and something that tastes like garlic. No worries!
So for “prep,” you just need to whack the lime into wedges, peel the garlic, and cut the jalapeno and scallion into chunks small enough for the blender or food processor to grab onto. No rhyme or reason to it. I left all the seeds in the jalapeno because we’re into spice, but you could take out the seeds in half or the whole thing if you want a milder dip.
Everything goes into the blender.
It’s basically a green smoothie, you guys. Now, just taste and adjust. I like a super creamy flavor, but you could do more lime juice for brightness, or extra salt if you think it tastes bland.
Then, serve! I made oven chips from extra tortillas for this, and we’ve served it on salads, with grilled chicken, on MOTHER EFFING BLT’S. It’s been on everything in our house lately and I don’t have anything bad to say about any of the things we’ve tried this with.
Chuy’s wins. And this copycat wins too. Try it asap!
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican c
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley (leaves and stems)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 scallion, cut into large pieces
- 1 jalapeno, cut into chunks (seeds removed if you don't like too much spice)
- 1 teaspoon onions powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste, and add more salt or lime juice if you'd like.
- Serve as a dip, salad dressing, or anyway you like.