When I was a kid we used to go to this little hole in the wall hotel / restaurant in Goodland, FL called Alex's. Goodland, back then, wasn't really
even a 'town', it was more like a scorch mark in the Everglades and mangroves. Probably more akin to a "camp" than anything. (This was back in the
mid'60's to early '70's in SW FL).
Alex's had the best food on this planet (hands-down)! Fresh stone crabs by the ton...Pompano, Snook and Grouper that would make even the hardest man
cry it was soooo good. (And yes, you could actually get Snook in a restaurant then!) (Hell, I don't even think you can keep one anymore).
On top of that they used to have fresh rolls with homemade guava jelly which were out-of-this-world!! But one of the real highlights was the salad.
There was this waitress, Ginny, who was this old gal with an infectious smile and she'd always be our waitress. She had invented a salad dressing
which involved Campbell's tomato soup. She always said the recipe was really simple, but a secret. The only thing she'd ever say about it was that it
had tomato soup in it. And with a wink she'd say the rest was a secret. Not even the owners (Marge and Alex) knew exactly how she made it. It was
fabulous beyond description, enough so that it would make a carnivore like me want to become a vegetarian! Seriously, it was that good! It was the
perfect combination of tart, sweet with just a hint of savory. The best way I can describe it is, it had "bite".
Sadly, Ginny took the dressing recipe with her to her grave. RIP, Ginny!
I've tried to reverse engineer this salad dressing recipe for nearly 50 years since then to no avail. I've come close (very), but it's not exact.
Probably the closest I've ever gotten was just last night. The flavor was almost there, but the color was off. I've tried everything, thousands of
different times, but I still can't get it.
The basic dressing ingredients seem to be Campbell's condensed tomato soup, cider vinegar, oil, chopped onion, sugar and salt (and maybe some garlic).
The real-deal was a dark tomato color (like Catalina), it was very smooth (no lumps or chunks). It was thin, thinner than your standard French or
My current version I tried last night was...
-1 can condensed tomato soup (Campbell's) (Ginny always made a point of saying it HAD to be Campbell's...for some reason).
-1 onion chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced (maybe a little less)
-1/2 Tsp of salt
-1 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/2 cup honey
All this goes in a blender and gets blended until smooth. This is very, very, close in terms of flavor, probably the closest yet, but the color is
wildly off (this comes out bright orange whereas the real-deal is a deep red color). If you want to try a delicious salad dressing you can use the one
above, but it's not quite to Ginny's recipe.
So, after a very long post, I'm wondering...does anyone have any ideas on how I can get to Ginny's secret recipe salad dressing??
edit on 10/13/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: spelling