It might seem risky to open a New Orleans-themed restaurant in Boston, but chef Jason Santos did just that in 2017 with his Buttermilk & Bourbon, and it’s been wildly successful.

Santos is known for his tousled blue hair and for being the runner-up on Season 7 of “Hell’s Kitchen,” where he forged a friendship with Gordon Ramsay. The 43-year-old Boston native fell in love with New Orleans on a birthday getaway years ago and has since made many return visits. That led to his passion project, Buttermilk & Bourbon, which serves up Southern-style comfort food in Boston’s Back Bay.

His new cookbook, “Buttermilk & Bourbon: New Orleans Recipes With a Modern Flair,” is a collection of signature recipes from the restaurant, including honey-glazed biscuits, Southern-style potato salad and crawfish and crab soup.

Santos’ ranch dressing with fresh herbs is simple to make. “Ranch dressing is good,” says the chef, “but house-made buttermilk ranch is epic.”

He suggests using the dressing as a dip for veggies, as a salad dressing or drizzled over fried chicken.

Makes about 4 cups

2 cups mayonnaise

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 tablespoons minced chives

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, parsley, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt and cayenne, then season with salt and pepper.

This will keep refrigerated for a week.

Reprinted with permission from “Buttermilk & Bourbon” by Jason Santos; Page Street Publishing Co.

Tribune Wire

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