Dinner with Dorothy Lynch

As Nebraskans, we known Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing is one of our dearest homegrown culinary delights.

(This story originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issue of Nebraska Life Magazine)

WHEN IT COMES to Nebraska-born products, Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing is dear to the hearts of many Nebraskans.

According to Sally Santin, her parents Dorothy and Arthur Lynch began running the restaurant at St. Paul’s American Legion in the early 1950s. “Mom wasn’t happy with the dressing that came with the place,” Santin said. “By trial and error, she came up with her own, and everyone liked it better.”

Soon there was a problem. “When the waitresses were clearing the tables, they noticed that Mom’s home style dressing was gone,” Santin said.

“Women were coming in with larger and larger purses and were helping themselves to the dressing.” Other folks began bringing in their own bottles and asking Dorothy to fill them up. “After that, Mom and Dad thought, ‘Well, we might as well sell it,’ ” Santin said.

Many Nebraskans are on a first-name basis with the tangy, sweet dressing famous for spicing up salads statewide and beyond. But our beloved Dorothy is capable of much, much more.

In the cookbook Favorite Recipes of Dorothy Lynch & Her Daughter Sally (www.dorothylynchrecipes.com), Santin features a selection of her mother’s invention as an ingredient in relishes, slaw, as a special sauce for burgers and chicken, and of course as a staple in many salads.

Move over ketchup, one of our favorite uses for Dorothy Lynch Home Style is as a dipping sauce for fries and chicken fingers. Want the taste of Dorothy with your favorite steak or other cut of meat? It’s a stellar marinade.

Take a taste of the following Dorothy Lynch recipes. You’ll see that the opportunities are endless for this Nebraska original. Heck, we even found a Dorothy Lynch dessert.

Read on and enjoy.



Photo by Tasty-Toppings, Inc.Dottie Lyn’s Homestyle Pizza

Pizza night brings people together, and by putting Dorothy Lynch’s Nebraska twist on this Italian favorite, there’s going to be a crowd. Yeah, you’d probably better go ahead and bake two.


1/4 cup Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing 

1/2 cup pizza sauce 

1 package pre-made pizza crust 

1  cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 oz)  

large pinch dried oregano and Italian seasoning 

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion 

1 package pepperoni 

1 4-oz can diced green chilies, drained


Serves 4

Prepare pizza crust per directions on package. Combine Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing, pizza sauce and seasonings in bowl. Spoon evenly atop crust. Sprinkle on cheese and add additional toppings.

Bake per directions on the pizza crust package. Serve with side bowl of Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing for dipping.


Dorothy's White (and Orange) Chicken Chili

There’s nothing better than hot soup on a cold winter’s day, especially if the soup includes Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing. Together, these two Nebraska staples make the ultimate comfort food.


3 16-oz cans Great Northern beans 

6 cups chicken broth 

1 onion, chopped and sautéed 

4 cloves minced garlic 

2 4-oz cans chopped mild green chilies 

1 10-oz can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies 

1 ½  tsp oregano 

2 tsp cumin 

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 

1 16 oz container sour cream 

3/4 cup Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing 

3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 

3 cooked chicken breasts, cubed shredded cheddar cheese to taste

Serves 6

Put beans and chicken broth in pan and bring to boil. Add sautéed onions, garlic, chilies, Rotel, oregano, cumin and cayenne. Add sour cream and Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing, and stir. Reduce heat and add chicken and cheese. Stir until cheese melts (keep stirring to keep cheese from burning). Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese if desired.


Dorothy Goes to Thailand Pasta Salad

Nebraska’s favorite dressing is shipped worldwide to former Nebraskans living elsewhere and to others lucky enough to have crossed paths with dear old Dorothy. From St. Paul to Asia, good taste gets around.


Photo by Tasty-Toppings, Inc.4 baked chicken breasts shredded into thin strips 

7 oz penne pasta 

2 ½ cups Dorothy Lunch Home Style Dressing 

1 cup Thai peanut sauce 

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper 

24 oz broccoli slaw 

1/2 cup cashews


Serves 12

Cook penne pasta. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Mix together the Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing and Thai peanut sauce in a bowl. Combine the chilled pasta, broccoli slaw, red pepper, cashews and chicken. Pour sauce mixture over the top and mix well. Chill and serve. Makes a huge batch.


Spiced Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake


3/4  cup butter, softened  

1  cup sugar  

2  large eggs  

1/2  cup Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing  

1/4  cup sour cream  

1  tsp real vanilla extract  

2 ¼  cup flour  

3/4  tsp salt (optional)  

1  tsp baking soda  

1/2  tsp baking powder  

2  11-oz cans mandarin oranges, drained and chopped



1/2  cup orange juice  

1  Tbsp orange liqueur  

3/4  cup sugar


Serves 6-8

Cream butter and sugar until combined. Add 1 egg, mix, then add the other egg. Beat in dressing, sour cream and vanilla. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and blend into creamed mixture. Fold in oranges and spoon into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan and invert onto wire rack or plate.

To make the glaze, combine orange juice, liqueur and 3/4 cup sugar and cook while stirring in sauce pan until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Slowly brush glaze over cake until pan is empty.


Sally Santin has sweet memories of her mother, Dorothy Lynch.Sweet Memories of Dorothy

IN A SMALL BUILDING near the railroad tracks in St. Paul, Dorothy Lynch produced her coveted home style dressing. Today, the building is Dorothy Lynch’s Red Carpet Salon. After running the Legion restaurant and then Lynch’s Supper Club with her husband, Art, Dorothy, herself a hair stylist, opened the salon.    

Dorothy’s daughter, Sally Santin, says there was much more to her mother than her sweet dressing. One evening during a blizzard, four young men bound for O’Neill came in. Dorothy saw them counting their money. “Mom could tell that they didn’t have much,” Santin said. “She paid for their meals. And she probably sent a bagged lunch with them, too.”

At the salon, Dorothy’s sweetness became apparent another time. “A woman came in crying because her daughter had lost all of her hair due to cancer,” Santin said. Dorothy didn’t have a wig small enough for the child, so she altered an adult wig to fit. “When the girl went to school the next day, it was the first time in a long time that the kids didn’t make fun of her,” Santin said.

Santin’s husband, Ken, might have the sweetest Dorothy memory of all. “When it gets warm in here, I sometimes notice the faint smell of dressing coming from the building,” Ken said.

Sweet memories indeed.



(This story originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issue of Nebraska Life Magazine)

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