If you live in Texas or have ever visited Texas, chances are you’ve been to Chuy’s Mexican restaurant. If so, then you know of the crack that is their Jalapeno Ranch Dip. I shamelessly devour the stuff, hoarding the too-tiny bowl near my plate lest someone swipe in a chip when I’m not looking, depriving me of one incredible bite. It may sound to some like I’m exaggerating. In fact, this is actually a bit of an understatement. The stuff is transcendent.
I had not, however, set out to replicate Chuy’s dip today. Attempting the impossible seemed a bit out of my league for a normal Tuesday afternoon. Instead, I was making a Cilantro Dressing I’d seen on Pinterest for dinner with a few friends tonight. As I looked over the recipe, I realized that it was basically Hidden Valley ranch mixed with a Guacamole Taquero (also a Pinterest find–thanks, Suzanne!). I had about half of this sauce left over from fish tacos this weekend (it was incredible, by the way) so I figured I’d just combine the rest of the sauce with the ranch dressing. Since the sauce just added a little more jalapeno and an avocado that the dressing recipe didn’t have, I figured how different can it be?
I had inadvertently recreated Chuy’s dip, or something so close that I can barely tell a difference. Since I’m not really sure how much of the guacamole taquero I used, I’m recording the full recipe below. You can mix as much as you like with the ranch. As for the leftovers, I highly recommend grilled tilapia, corn tortillas, red cabbage, and cilantro. With a side of pineapple. Not bad for a Sunday supper. But back to the dip.
For the guacamole taquero, place three washed tomatillos (about 0.5-0.75 lbs.) in a blender and chop until broken down. Then add 1/4 cup cilantro, a garlic clove, 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion (any will do), 1.5 -2 seeded jalapenos (unless you really like heat), the juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp. of kosher salt, and the flesh of 1 small Hass avocado. Blend until smooth. You’ll need about 1/2 to 2/3 of this sauce for the dip. The rest will keep in the fridge for a few days.
For the Jalapeno Ranch Dip, place 1 cup mayonnaise (I used Kraft olive oil mayo, since it’s lighter and calories matter when you eat this by the vat), 1 cup milk (1% is fine), 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix, and 1/2 to 2/3 of the guacamole taquero (to your taste). Blend until smooth, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate. It will do double duty as salad dressing and dip tonight, but you could really use it in so many ways.