"Andros Diner" Greek Restaurant Salad Dressing

Bells

New member
Now I need to go back to all those places that didn't have beet juice and ask if them if they have beet powder! :yum:

Thanks again for pointing that out! :chef:

Take care,
Tom
LOL...That should be fun. Tell them you are a mad food scientist.

Just have fun with it. Anytime you feel like hashing ingredients out, just let me know. I always did love a good mystery.

Take care,
Bells
 

Gramps

New member
How about a dark red dry wine and/or a pinch of ketchup for that little hint of tomato someone mentioned. Also ketchup has other spices and such in it that may have given the salad dressing that secret flavor they wanted so someone would be not be able to duplicate it.

Others have suggested ketchup as a possible source of the pink color (in combo with the feta) and relative sweetness, but experimentation so far has not proven that out. The ketchup seems to thicken it up too much and takes out the translucent appearance, even in small quantities.

Well lilbopeep, it looks like I was wrong and that you were right after all!!! :applause::applause::applause: :respect:

My lady friend was finally able to find an "inside connection" to the former restaurant and ketchup was revealed to be one of the "top secret ingredients" in the recipe. Son of a gun!!! :mrgreen:

We were both floored by this news since our experimentation to date had seemed to indicate that we were going in the wrong direction. We suspected that tomatoes were in there... but tomato ketchup? It seemed to be all wrong texture and appearance-wise. Perhaps we were simply putting in too much? :whistling:

Hope this isn't a false lead. My lady friend insists that she got this information from a highly reliable source... although she has been known to exaggerate. :yum:

No complete recipe yet... but supposedly the "reliable source" has other "reliable sources" that might be willing to reveal the entire recipe! :clap:

Take care,
Tom
 

lilbopeep

Still trying to get it right.
Site Supporter
Well lilbopeep, it looks like I was wrong and that you were right after all!!! :applause::applause::applause: :respect:

My lady friend was finally able to find an "inside connection" to the former restaurant and ketchup was revealed to be one of the "top secret ingredients" in the recipe. Son of a gun!!! :mrgreen:

We were both floored by this news since our experimentation to date had seemed to indicate that we were going in the wrong direction. We suspected that tomatoes were in there... but tomato ketchup? It seemed to be all wrong texture and appearance-wise. Perhaps we were simply putting in too much? :whistling:

Hope this isn't a false lead. My lady friend insists that she got this information from a highly reliable source... although she has been known to exaggerate. :yum:

No complete recipe yet... but supposedly the "reliable source" has other "reliable sources" that might be willing to reveal the entire recipe! :clap:

Take care,
Tom
A tiny pinch of ketchup adds so much flavor and leaves that "what is that flavor, I can't quite place it" subtle hint of something.

Good luck.
 

Gramps

New member
A tiny pinch of ketchup adds so much flavor and leaves that "what is that flavor, I can't quite place it" subtle hint of something.

Good luck.
Been experimenting and eating Greek salads all morning. :bonk: I'm slowly coming around to accepting that ketchup is the mysterious "secret ingredient" even if I'm still coming up a little short of my goal of duplicating the Andros salad dressing exactly. Perhaps they used a different ketchup than the Heinz that I am using? Or maybe it's different base ingredients or another missing "secret ingredient" or two?

I'm also beginning to realize that all the other components of an Andros Greek salad need to be there for a fair taste test. That's going to take a bit more work. :cooking:

Looks like the experimentation is going to continue for a while longer... but I think I'm on the right track now! :chef:

Take care,
Tom
 

lilbopeep

Still trying to get it right.
Site Supporter
Been experimenting and eating Greek salads all morning. :bonk: I'm slowly coming around to accepting that ketchup is the mysterious "secret ingredient" even if I'm still coming up a little short of my goal of duplicating the Andros salad dressing exactly. Perhaps they used a different ketchup than the Heinz that I am using? Or maybe it's different base ingredients or another missing "secret ingredient" or two?

I'm also beginning to realize that all the other components of an Andros Greek salad need to be there for a fair taste test. That's going to take a bit more work. :cooking:

Looks like the experimentation is going to continue for a while longer... but I think I'm on the right track now! :chef:

Take care,
Tom
Try adding a splash only of a dry red wine (not vinegar just dry red wine) to the rest of the dressing ingredients.
 
K

Kimchee

Guest
It's a long shot, but try putting a request for the recipe on the local Craigslist
for the area.

I was in a similar situation, trying to duplicate a favorite restaurant's recipes.
The place had closed years ago, and I just couldn't quite get it right.
On a lark I posted a request on Craigslist, and the former head cook sold
me the recipes! (With the owner's permission and a promise from me not
to disclose till the owner passed away.)
 

Gramps

New member
It's a long shot, but try putting a request for the recipe on the local Craigslist
for the area.

I was in a similar situation, trying to duplicate a favorite restaurant's recipes.
The place had closed years ago, and I just couldn't quite get it right.
On a lark I posted a request on Craigslist, and the former head cook sold
me the recipes! (With the owner's permission and a promise from me not
to disclose till the owner passed away.)
Good story! I probably should have thought of that weeks or months ago. :)

I had asked my lady friend about posting to another local restaurant/recipe/cooking site (which I probably shouldn't mention here), but she was skeptical after the other recipe suggestions found on-line didn't seem to help us very much. She thought I should try here next since you folks have all been so friendly and helpful in the past. :heart:

I think we're on the right track now. By last night, I was getting awfully, awfully darn close. Any adjustments from here on out are probably going to be in the brands and quantities (or ratios) of the individual salad dressing ingredients... and like I said above: The salad ingredients themselves are going to be a very key factor in any further fine tuning. :chef:

Take care,
Tom
 

noprotocol

New member
I just came upon this thread while looking for anyone who had information about that specific dressing! Do you mind sharing what you have figured out so far? Thanks!
 

Gramps

New member
I just came upon this thread while looking for anyone who had information about that specific dressing! Do you mind sharing what you have figured out so far? Thanks!
Very sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. We were on vacation earlier this month and then I ran into some nasty computer problems upon my return.

The thread itself really tells the whole story. We never did duplicate the Andros recipe 100%, but we came awfully darn close. :chef:

We started with Ken's Lite Red Wine Vinegar & Olive Oil salad dressing: (http://www.kensfoods.com/proddetail.php?id=39) due to its very similar color and taste (the closest we could find in all of our research). It turned out to be a very good starting point. Then we added a small amount of ketchup per my lady friend's supposed "secret contact"! Then, of course, we added the Feta cheese directly into the salad dressing mix and shook it up well. The bigger the batch, the better... and refrigerate for a while before using for the most authentic taste and texture. :readytoeat:

Several important points:

1) The amount of ketchup to add takes some experimentation. Start small and increase according to your own preference. If you get to the point where you can identify the ketchup by taste, you have probably gone too far... so dilute a bit with more of the Ken's salad dressing. :chef:

2) Didn't have that problem with the Feta (the more the merrier), but the brand and type of Feta did make quite a difference. Don't get too overly fancy here. We use a fairly basic dry, crumbled, supermarket Feta cheese. Softer, moister Feta cheeses did not do as well in the dressing. :biggrin:

3) Further attempts to improve upon this very basic recipe really didn't help us much... and my lady friend's supposed "secret contact" never disclosed any other useful hints (like the actual ingredient brands used). But like I stated in the thread, I believe you need to think like a high volume restauranteur here and not get overly costly or crazy fancy with your ingredients. Remember, they made and sold this stuff by the barrel during the Andros restaurant's best days. :wink:

4) Lastly, the salad dressing works best (i.e., is most authentic tasting) when you build the salad itself like Andros used to do. This is not a salad dressing for small, stingy, limp or wimpy salads. This is a salad dressing for robust, fresh, crisp, fully-loaded Greek salads with lots of extra Feta cheese thrown in! Also helps if you happen to be doing chicken or steak shish kabobs in the mix. Damn!!! I am getting hungry again!!! :laugh:

Take care,
Tom
 
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ChowderMan

Pizza Chef
Super Site Supporter
Gramps -

here's something to try if you're continuing the experiments....

there's ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste. they all have a slightly different flavor profile and on top of that, "by brand" and then the no-added-salt-sugar thing.

I played around extensively to do a homemade "cocktail sauce" (shrimp, etc) and eventually settled on thinned tomato paste + horse radish + a squeeze of lime.
the differences of using ketchup/sauce/paste are amazing. you'd thunk "heh, it's all tomato based" but the end results are much different.
 

Gramps

New member
Gramps -

here's something to try if you're continuing the experiments....

there's ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste. they all have a slightly different flavor profile and on top of that, "by brand" and then the no-added-salt-sugar thing.

I played around extensively to do a homemade "cocktail sauce" (shrimp, etc) and eventually settled on thinned tomato paste + horse radish + a squeeze of lime.
the differences of using ketchup/sauce/paste are amazing. you'd thunk "heh, it's all tomato based" but the end results are much different.
Oh, very true. :thumb: But we are long past the point of diminishing returns on this particular quest. Hate to put a percentage on it 'cause it sounds a little silly, but we are a good 97% of the way there and quite pleased with the accuracy of the result. I'll also admit that we have grown to love the Ken's dressing (noted above) right out of the bottle... albeit still with a healthy dose of Feta cheese on our salads, of course. No, it isn't exactly Andros salad dressing... but it's not bad at all for something poured right out of the bottle. :chef:

Yes, we are getting even lazier in our old age, if that is possible. :tongue: But there are always new culinary quests to pursue. :biggrin:

Take care,
Tom
 

Mkelleyf

New member
Late to the game. Tom I grew up in Belmont. Andros was the best. Did you attach your version of the dressing? I agree with everything You said - lost cost ingredients. Etc. I recall heavy with garlic and feta.
 

QSis

Grill Master
Staff member
Gold Site Supporter
Late to the game. Tom I grew up in Belmont. Andros was the best. Did you attach your version of the dressing? I agree with everything You said - lost cost ingredients. Etc. I recall heavy with garlic and feta.

Mkelley, welcome to NCT!

I found a link to one version of the recipe. She said to add feta if you like it: http://littlebcooks.blogspot.com/2013/01/greek-dressing.html

Looking forward to sharing recipes with you!

Lee
 
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