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Archive for Condiments

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Just Mayo, Egg-Free Mayonnaise

Just Mayo Bottles

Crab Cakes Just Mayo

French Fries Sriracha Mayo

Top photo: the Just Mayo line. Second photo: Crab cake with Chipotle Just Mayo. Third photo: Sriracha Just Mayo with fries. Photos courtesy Just Mayo. Bottom photo: Grilled Mexican corn (elote) with Original Just Mayo. Photos courtesy Hampton Creek.

 

The Just Mayo line from Hampton Creek has been getting a lot of attention since its debut in 2013.

The San Francisco start-up focuses on foods with plant-based egg alternatives. Its first two products are Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough, with Just Dressing, Just Pancake Mix and an eggless, plant-based scramble on the horizon.

The full-fat mayonnaise alternative is made from expeller-pressed canola oil so for starters, they’re cholesterol free, allergy friendly and more sustainable (no animals to pollute the environment). The ingredients are non-GMO.

The line is vegan, but you won’t find that designation promoted on the current product label. Rather, it’s marketed as healthier, better tasting and more sustainable for the planet.

The brand did such a good job of attracting attention that Unilever, the parent company of mayo megabrand Hellmann’s, filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek in 2014, since government specifications dictate that mayonnaise is made with eggs. The FDA was tipped off, as well.

Last month, it was reported that the issues have been resolved, by changing the product label. The new label describes the product as egg-free and non-GMO, and explains that “Just” in the product name means means “guided by reason, justice and fairness.” The brand will not claim to be cholesterol-free or heart-healthy. Here’s a report of the FDA’s decision.

The new label is not yet out, but we’re guessing the image of a whole egg will be removed, too.
 
JUST MAYO’S FOUR FLAVORS

Just Mayo is made in four flavors: Original, Chipotle, Garlic and Sriracha. The flavored varieties especially add zing.

So what are the ingredients?

Canola oil, water, white vinegar and 2% or less of organic sugar, salt, pea protein, spices, modified food starch, lemon juice concentrate, fruit and vegetable juice for color) and calcium disodium EDTA to preserve freshness.

If you have a sharp eye you’ve noticed the substitution: pea protein, a relatively new ingredient that is used as an alternative to whey protein in cheeses and yogurt. Made from a specific variety of the Canadian yellow pea, it has a neutral taste.

And speaking of taste: In our blind taste test, about half of the testers preferred Original Just Mayo to Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise.
 
USES

Just Mayo can be used as a substitute for mayonnaise anywhere. For example:

  • Burgers and sandwiches
  • Dips
  • Mayonnaise-bound salads: carrot salad, cole slaw, egg salad, pasta salad, potato salad, tuna and seafood salads, etc.
  • Salad dressing for green salads
  • Sauces and plate garnishes
  • Anywhere you use mayonnaise (check the website for basic recipes: cole slaw, potato salad, salad dressings and other favorites)
  •  
    A FEEL GOOD PRODUCT

    In addition to the environmental benefit (no animal pollution), we feel better about egg-free products. Much as we love eggs, most sold in the U.S. are laid by hens raised in cruel conditions. About 88% are housed in tiny battery cages.

    Just Mayo is available at grocery stores nationwide, including Costco, Safeway, Walmart and Whole Foods Market. You can also use the website store locator. The product is available in 8 ounce (SRP $3.99) and 16 ounce (SRP $4.49) bottles.
     
    AT THE END OF THE DAY…

    While we enjoyed Just Mayo enough to make it a Top Pick, we’ll stick with our personal favorite (and eggy) mayonnaise, Lemonaise from The Ojai Cook (here’s our review).

    We love the added nuance of a flavored mayonnaise, and Lemonaise is made in Original, Light, Cha Cha Chipotle, Fire And Spice (tomato, cayenne, cumin) Garlic Herb (basil and tarragon), Green Dragon (mustard, cilantro, wasabi) and Latin (chiles, lime, cumin).
     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Preserved Meyer Lemons

    In addition to other splendid winter citrus, it’s Meyer Lemon season, through March.

    Meyer lemons are much sweeter and more flavorful than the Bearss and Lisbon varieties commonly found in American grocery stores (here are the different types of lemons). They have much less acid, making the juice sweeter and brighter.

    Here’s the history of Meyer lemons, discovered as an ornamental houseplant in China; along with how to use them, how to grow your own and a delicious recipe for Meyer Lemon Sorbet.

    Today’s tip: Make preserved lemons, for yourself and as gifts. If you read this when Meyer lemons are not in season, grab any supermarket lemons.

    Preserved lemon is a condiment made of whole lemons that have been pickled in a brine of water, lemon juice, salt and sometimes, spices (essentially they’re pickled lemons, and the same treatment makes the pickled limes beloved of Amy March in Little Women).

    The lemons then ferment at room temperature for weeks, or even months. The result is a concentrated and earthy lemon flavor without too much tartness when made with regular lemons; and even sweeter when made with Meyer lemons.

       

    Meyer Lemon Tree

    Meyer lemons were discovered as house- plants in China. You can continue the tradition in your own home. This mini tree is from BrighterBlooms.com.

     
    Preserved Meyer lemons are an umami food that have been called an “amazingly tasty ingredient,” guaranteed to convert you to their allure.

    The salt mellows out the bitterness in the rind and pith, and punches up lemonness, which is often described as “sunny”—just what’s needed during gray winter days.

    WAYS TO USE PRESERVED LEMONS

    Preserved lemons are popular in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Moroccan cuisines. But you don’t have to make a tagine; you can use this bright condiment in Western cuisines, with anything from meatballs to tortellini.

    Preserved lemons can replace regular lemons—juice, slices or zest—in any savory recipe, from meat (beef, chicken, lamb, stews) and poultry to fish and seafood (a perfect pairing), grains (think beyond couscous to any cooked grains you enjoy), vegetarian stews, even salad dressing.

     

    Preserved Lemons

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    It takes just 5 minutes to prepare preserved
    lemons. Then they sit for 3-4 weeks in the
    fridge until soft and succulent. Photos and
    recipe courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.

     

    PRESERVED LEMON RECIPES

    From TheNibble.com

  • Dips: Add a fine dice to guacamole, hummus and salsa. Try one teaspon per cup, and adjust to your preference.
  • Israeli Salad: Preserve lemon is added by North African Jews.
  • Garnish for Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • Grain salads and pilafs: Add a dice of preserved lemon to barley, farro, rice, quinoa and other grains.
  • Kebabs: Add them to the skewers of any meat, fish/seafood or vegetable kabobs. Try these Moroccan Potato Kebabs.
  • Moroccan Baked Chicken & Olives is a classic. You can substitute fish fillets for the chicken.
  • Pesto and other sauces: Start with a teaspoon or less. You want to add mystery rather than wallop.
  • Pasta: Toss any pasta with olive oil, sliced garlic and diced or sliced preserved lemon. Here’s a recipe for Tortellini With Bay Leaf & Preserved Lemon.
  • Soup Garnish: Slice and serve in ramekins along with chopped cilantro, croutons, green onions, chopped parsley and tomatoes, so people can customize their bowls of soup (here’s a recipe for Tunisian Chickpea Soup).
  • Stews of any kind: Add a tablespoon or more to taste, even if no lemon is specified in the original recipe.
  • Vinaigrette: Use a blender or food processor to combine diced preserved lemon with olive oil and vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
  •  
    Here are more recipes from Bon Appetit and the Huffington Post.

    What About Pizza?

    Of course! No recipe list would be complete without a pizza with preserved lemon.

    It can be as simple as fresh basil, smoked mozzarella and preserved lemon; or fresh ricotta, preserved lemon, basil and za’atar*. Trust us: These are well worth making.

     
     
    RECIPE: PRESERVED MEYER LEMONS

    It requires just 5 minutes of active time to make preserved lemons. Then, they sit and ferment for 3-4 weeks.

    Instead of making them in a quart jar, you can use two pint jars and give one as a gift.

    Ingredients For 1 Quart

  • 6 Meyer lemons, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • Juice of 3 Meyer lemons†*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dried chile
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the lemons, chile and bay leaves and salt in a bowl, then pack them tightly into a sterilized quart jar with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the juice then seal the jar.

    2. LET sit at room temperature for three days, turning the jar over once or twice a day. After three days, place the jar in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, until the rind has softened. They’re then ready to use.

    If you want to give them as gifts before the three weeks are up, tie a ribbon around the jar with a tag that tells the date on which the lemons will be ready; and that they’ll keep for a year in the fridge.
     
    *Also spelled zahtar, za’atar is a spice blend that is very popular in Middle Eastern cuisines. It is actually the word for Lebanese oregano, a member of the mint family Lamiaceaea, and known since antiquity as hyssop. The za’atar blend includes spices well-known in European cuisines, with the unique components of Lebanese oregano and sumac berries, which impart a tart, fruity flavor that differentiates za’atar from other spice blends. Traditional ingredients include marjoram, oregano, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, savory and sumac. Za’atar is used to season meat and vegetables, mixed with olive oil and spread on pita wedges or flatbread, added to hummus, and for a modern touch, sprinkled on pizza, especially ones with feta cheese.

    †You can first zest the lemons and use the zest in anything else you make today, from grains and vegetables to hot tea or sparkling water.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Gremolata, The Fresh, Homemade Condiment

    porgy-raisinpuree-gremolata-leeks-distilledNY-230r

    This roasted porgy fillet at Distilled NY has
    gremolata on top, raisin purée on the
    bottom. Photo courtesy Distilled NY.

     

    Gremolata is a fresh condiment that originated in Italian cuisine. It is too-little-known in the U.S., and may be most familiar to Americans as the accompaniment to osso bucco, braised veal shank.

    The condiment consists simply of fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic. The addition of other green herbs is optional; we add basil or mint when we have it on hand.

    It has such lively flavor that you can cut back on salt. A pinch of gremolata spices up almost any dish:

  • Eggs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Meat and poultry: lamb, pork, rib roast, veal, venison
  • Poultry
  • Pasta and risotto
  • Potatoes
  • Salad and cooked vegetables (we love gremolata with sautéed
    string beans)
  • Soups and stews
  •  
    CLASSIC & MODERN GREMOLATA

    Gremolata (also spelled gremolada) is a relatively new condiment. According to Merriam-Webster, it first appeared in 1954, derived from the Italian dialect of Lombardy. What we don’t know is why these words were used (any guesses?):

  • Gremolaa, from gremolâ or gràmolâ, to mix or knead flour for dough.
  • Grêmola or grâmola, an apparatus for kneading dough, a flax or hemp brake*.
  •  
    Here’s the classic gremolata recipe with precise measurements. You can update the recipe, tailoring it to specific dishes, by substituting ingredients:

  • Use grapefruit, lime or orange zest instead of the lemon zest.
  • With lamb dishes, add or substitute mint for the parsley.
  • With beef dishes, add grated horseradish or well-drained prepared horseradish.
  • With smoked salmon or deep-flavored fish (bluefish, herring mackerel, sardines), substitute capers
    for the garlic, basil for the parsley.
  • It’s great on an anchovy pizza.
  • Add to breadcrumbs and make a gremolata crust for fish.
  •  

    RECIPE: GOLDEN RAISIN PURÉE

    Some people use raisin purée as a substitute for refined sugar in baking. But it also complements grilled proteins, as Chef Sean Lyons of Distilled NY shows in the photo above.

    You can also use it as a dessert sauce, and you can replace the raisins with dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries.

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • Water
  • Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or other favorite spice
  • Optional: a splash or brandy
  • For dessert purée: Grand Marnier or other fruit liqueur* to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the raisins in a small pan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the raisins are plump.

     

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    Golden raisins, also called sultanas. You can substitute dried blueberries, cherries or cranberries in the purée. Photo courtesy Snack Farms.

     
    2. DRAIN the raisins, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the raisins and 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid in a food processor or high powered blender and puree for 1 minute until completely smooth. Remove the purée from the food processor.

    3. SIEVE the purée for additional smoothness, if desired. Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month.
     
    *A device to break down the straw or stalks of flax and hemp.

    †You can match dried cherries with cherry liqueur, dried cranberries with cranberry liqueur.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Is Sambal Oelek The Next Sriracha?

    The taste buds of the nation have changed since the 1960s, when immigration laws were relaxed and more Asians moved to the U.S., bringing their culinary traditions with them. Their bolder flavors began to attract Americans who had only known a blander European-based diet.

    There were American hot sauces, but they were popular largely in the South and Southwest. Hot sauce manufacturing in the U.S. began in Louisiana with Tabasco brand pepper sauce in 1868. While it was distributed in other regions, most people didn’t know about it. Much later, in 1947, Dave Pace combined tomatoes, jalapeños and onions into “picante sauce,” refining the recipe over the next decade.

    With the national expansion of Tex-Mex restaurants beginning in the 1960s, more people were introduced to hot sauce, and the demand began to expand. Around the same time, the expanding popularity of the Bloody Mary meant that a bottle of Tabasco could be found in many households.

    The most recent hot sauce to take hold in the category is Sriracha, a recipe from Thai port of Sri Racha that is produced in California by the Huy Fong company. “Rooster bottles” of the hot chili pureé (the logo is a red rooster), with its ketchup-like sweetness and notes of garlic and spice, have found their way into restaurants and homes alike.

       

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    A spoonful of sambal olek, an Indonesian chile paste. Photo courtesy Ryan Spilken.

     
    Sriracha has gone from an Asian condiment few people had heard of, to the go-to hot sauce for millennials. Sriracha sauce has found its way onto burgers, breakfast eggs, fries, noodles, salads, sandwiches, stir-frys and wings. Chefs have added it to everything from rémoulade sauce to brownies, ice cream and other desserts.

    There are even Sriracha-specific cookbooks, including:

  • The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 “Rooster Sauce” Recipes that Pack a Punch (including Peach-Sriracha Sorbet) and its companion book…
  • The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook: 50 Vegan “Rooster Sauce” Recipes that Pack a Punch (including Maple-Sriracha Doughnuts and Watermelon Sriracha Sangria)
  • Sriracha Sauce Cookbook: Top 50 Easy Sriracha Recipes to Satisfy Your Spicy Food Addiction! (including Baked Sriracha Spaghetti Squash and Strawberry Sriracha Margaritas)
  •  
    Here’s the history of Sriracha sauce and the popular Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce that gave the product its nickname, “rooster sauce.”

    O.K., we know that Sriracha is mainstream, appearing in everything from hummus to potato chips. But in the words of fickle foodies and millennials everywhere, what’s next?

    It could be sambal oelek!

     

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    A thick paste, sambal oelik has vinegar tartness and fruity sweetness (like ketchup). Top photo courtesy RyanSpilken.com, bottom photo courtesy Huy Fong.

     

    WHAT’S SAMBAL OELEK?

    Vinegar-based sambal oelek is a staple in Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai cooking. The first packaged brand was Indonesian; and the name, Javanese in origin, means “ground by stone mortar.”

    Sambal is sauce typically made from a hot chiles and other ingredients, which can include fish sauce or shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, lime juice, rice vinegar or other vinegar, scallion, shallot and sugar.

    Tart and vinegary, with fruity notes, it is a paste rather than a thin liquid. And it’s definitel for heat lovers: The vinegar makes the heat even more intense.

    The folks at Huy Fong are at the ready, with jars of sambal oelek also bearing their familiar rooster logo.

    You can find it at Asian markets or online.

    And here’s a trick from Paul McMillan, executive chef at Wyoming Seminary, a prep school where the students love Sriracha:

  • Spread Sriracha over parchment or wax paper on a sheet pan and dry it in the oven at 180 degrees for at least an hour.
  • Remove from the oven, cool, and then break it up into crunchy crumbles that you can sprinkle on soups, salads, baked potatoes, rice and…anything.
  •  

    Industry experts predict that next on the hot sauce horizon is gochujang sauce (pronounced ko-choo-CHONG), a pungent, hot red chili paste from Korea. It’s made from fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, red chiles, garlic, honey and salt.

    The gochujang chili paste is also is made in a sauce version, for easy sprinkling.

    But for the rest of the details: That’s another story.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Our 20+ Favorite Ways To Use Mustard

    National Mustard Day is the first Saturday in August—which happens to be today. The holiday was initiated in 1988 by a mustard lover named Jill Sengstock, and was taken under the wing of the National Mustard Museum in 1991. If you’re anywhere near Middleton, Wisconsin, you can join in the day of mustard-centric family activities (or is that family-centric mustard activities?).

    Mustard has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years, beginning in India in 3000 B.C.E. It grew wild in the foothills of the Himalayas.

    The ancient Greeks and Romans used mustard as a condiment; some actually chewed the mustard seeds with their meat. Egyptian pharoahs were buried with seeds to use in the afterlife.

    Fast forward: By the 1400s, mustard had spread through Europe, with each region making its own style. Mustard came to the U.S. with European immigrants. Mustard came to America in the 1700s and immigrants established mustard businesses. The style of the day was strong, spicy and brown, but later, the yellow “ballpark” mustard style was born in the U.S.A. Here’s more history of mustard.

       

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    Five of the 20+ types of mustard made
    by Maille Mustard.

     
    Today, there are dozens of different types of mustard—far beyond the all-American yellow mustard (like French’s), brown mustard (Chinese mustard, like Colman’s), Dijon (like Grey Poupon) and whole grain (like moutarde à l’ancienne—one variety, moutarde de Meaux, is called the “king of mustards” by connoisseurs).

    For National Mustard Day, commit to trying any of these you aren’t familiar with, plus a flavored mustard. Beyond honey mustard, look for Roquefort mustard, tarragon mustard and walnut mustard—three of our favorites.

    20+ WAYS TO USE MUSTARD

    Beyond hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches, mustard is a natural complement to many foods. Before we start the conventional list, take a look at this first course: gravlax with mustard ice cream. There’s no sugar in the ice cream, just novelty. Think of it as a cold mustard cream sauce!

     

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    Pâté with whole grain mustard (also called grainy mustard and in French, moutarde a l’ancienne). Photo courtesy Dusek’s |
    Chicago.

     
  • Barbecue: The essential in South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce, and a help to tomato-based barbecue sauces, to cut the sweetness.
  • Butter: Blend mustard with butter and lemon for a compound butter topping for toast, grilled meat or sauteed meat and seafood.
  • Canapés: Spread a base of bread or cucumber with a flavored mustard, then top with cheese, pâté, meat or other ingredients.
  • Charcuterie: As a condiment with bacon, ballotines, confits, galantines, ham, pâtés, sausages and terrines.
  • Cheese: Serve mustard as a condiment with strong cheeses (more about cheese condiments).
  • Chicken: Mustard brightens chicken stews and makes a delicious glaze for chicken breasts and wings.
  • Dip: Serve it straight or mixed with mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt, with crudités, chips, fries and pretzels. Mustard is also an ingredient in beer and Cheddar dips. You can also add it to a Mexican queso dip.
  • Eggs: Mustard adds complexity to deviled eggs. It also makes a delicious sauce for poached eggs.
  • Fish: Sturdy fish like salmon and tuna are wonderful with a mustard crust. As a glaze, brush it on salmon fillets before broiling or on tuna before searing. Here’s a recipe for a mustard glaze for fish.
  • Glaze: In addition to fish, glaze chicken, ham, pork and lamb.
  • Grilled meats: Use mustard as your condiment for meats (including sausages) and poultry.
  • Ground Meat & Seafood: Add a spoonful along with other seasonings, to burgers, crab cake, meat loaf, etc.
  • Mussels: Swirl mustard into lager-steamed mussels and garnish with dill. Here’s a mussels and mustard recipe from Pierre Franey, chef of the legendary (and belated) Le Pavillon restaurant in New York City.
  • Mustard Sauce: Here’s a recipe for mustard sauce.
  • Pan Sauces: After sautéing chicken breasts or searing steaks, whisk the fond (the browned bits at the bottom of the pan) with a splash of wine and a dollop of mustard, into a tasty sauce.
  • Pasta: Add acidity to a cream sauce for pasta with a spoonful of mustard. Make a butter-mustard sauce for noodles with grainy mustard.
  • Potatoes: Add a spoonful of mustard to mashed potatoes. Then top it with crumbled bacon and minced chives or scallions! Add Dijon mustard to a gratin; add a bit to a sour cream or yogurt sauce for potatoes and vegetables.
  • Roasts: To create a beautiful crust for a leg of lamb, pork loin or turkey breast, rub it with an herb mustard before roasting.
  • Salads: Add a spoonful to the “protein” salads—chicken, egg, ham, tuna—and the side salads—cole slaw, potato salad and macaroni salad.
  • Sandwich Spread: Mix mayonnaise with mustard, half and half or to taste. It adds flavor and cuts the calories and fat of the mayo in half.
  • Soup: Add a spoonful to a pot of dull soup.
  • Tartar Sauce: Here’s a zingy recipe from Colman’s.
  • Vinaigrette: A mustard dressing is a classic with salad greens, but it’s also delicious with roasted vegetables (try it with parsnips and turnips!).
  •  
    Thanks to Colman’s Mustard for some of these yummy ideas. Click the link for recipes.

      

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    PRODUCT: Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce

    bbq-wings-woodbridge-cue-sauce-230

    Take a ‘Cue from this special sauce. Photo courtesy Robert Mondavi.

     

    In a tasty and fun collaboration, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and the West Texas-style BBQ sauce purveyor, Daddy Sam’s, have collaborated on a limited-edition summer barbecue grilling sauce.

    Called Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce, a 19-ounce jar is available for $6.99 on Amazon.com through September 30, 2015.

    The Woodbridge Cabernet contributes dark fruit and herbaceous notes. Daddy Sam’s selected a blend of spices that complement the wine’s flavors in the sweet, smoky sauce.

    While infused with wine, the Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce does not contain any residual alcohol and is appropriate for all ages. The all-natural sauce is made in small batches with molasses—no high fructose corn syrup.

    Unless you’re committed to beer, drink a bottle of Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon with your barbecue, burgers or brats. The SRP is just $6.99 per 750mL bottle, $10.99 per 1.5L bottle.

    But don’t dawdle: This sauce will be off the shelves on September 30th. You can buy lots, though; it has a two-year shelf life. Stocking stuffers, anyone?

     

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Condiments As Host Gifts

    sir-kensington-spicy-trio-230

    Sir Kensington’s spicy trio: ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. Photo courtesy Sir Kensington’s.

     

    Invited to a July 4th celebration? Instead of bringing wine or beer, how about treating your host to gourmet condiments?

    With all due respect to Heinz, French’s and Hellman’s, there are finer flavors to be had. Head to your nearest specialty food store or upscale supermarket and check out the options.

    Since its debut five years ago, we’ve been enjoying the Sir Kensington’s brand—not a British import but a hip American creation.

  • Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, in Classic and Spiced, have 33% less salt and 50% less sugar than conventional brands.
  • Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise is made from free range eggs, and is 33% lower in saturated fat than conventional brands. There’s Classic with lemon notes; Chipotle with cumin, garlic and tomato flavors; Dijonnaise, blending the Classic with Dijon mustard; Special Sauce, a riff on French remoulade with touches of paprika, mustard, and pickle relish; and Sriracha with the latest rage in heat.
  • Sir Kensington’s Mustard delivers more layers of flavor in Dijon, Spicy and Yellow.
  •  
    The line is Non-GMO Verified.

    If you can’t find the products locally, you can buy them online at SirKensingtons.com.

    And think past summer: They make great stocking stuffers.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Whole Grain Mustard Potato Chips

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    Bring some to a cook-out. Photo courtesy Maille.

     

    Some people like to dip their fries in mustard. Why not potato chips?

    This recipe is from gourmet mustard producer Maille, which used its Maille Old Style Whole Grain Mustard.

    We love them with a cold beer, with a sandwich or with grilled meats. If you want to bring something to a cook-out, make lots!

    Prep time is 3 minutes, cook time is 4 minutes. There are other nifty recipes on the website.

    RECIPE: KETTLE CHIPS WITH WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 6 tablespoons Maille Old Style Whole Grain mustard
    (or substitute)
  • 1 bag (8 to 10 ounces) kettle-style potato chips
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F.

    2. SPOON the mustard into a flat-bottomed bowl. Add the potato chips and QUICKLY but gently toss with clean hands. The chips should NOT be saturated with mustard; you just want a very small touch on each chip.

    3. SPREAD the chips in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet (silicone baking mat preferred).

    4. BAKE, stirring once, for about 4 minutes; then remove from the oven and broil on low for 2 minutes to crisp. Watch carefully to avoid burning!

    5. COOL and serve within 24 hours.

     
      

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    PRODUCT: Vaquero’s BBQ Dippin Sauce

    “Spicy Chipotle Meets Cowboy Coffee,” says the label of Vaquero’s BBQ Dippin Sauce. And it sure does: a very thick coffee-accented sauce, redolent of brown sugar and molasses with just the right touch of heat.

    It can be diluted as a dip (we added plain yogurt) or brushed straight onto barbecued meats.

    You can also use Vaquero’s as a substitute mole sauce, on braised beef, pork, poultry or tacos. That’s what we did, adding some raisins, pepitas and a dash of cinnamon.

    The sauce was created in a country kitchen in Mendocino, California by Michelle Sassen, who worked with a family recipe. Her husband begged her for years to bottle and sell it. Her family also enjoys it as a breakfast sauce and a sandwich spread.

    She found a production facility next door in Sonoma County, and now you can buy it. It’s a great gift idea for coffee-lovers and grillers. A 14-ounce bottle is $9.50 at Mendocino Merchandise.

    Ingredients include catsup, apple cider vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, pepper sauce, coffee, chile peppers and salt.

     

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    A coffee-enriched barbecue sauce with lovely, intense flavors. Photo courtesy Mendocino Merchandise.

     

    WHAT’S A VAQUERO?

    Following the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico in 1519, civilians followed to claim their own share of New World land and bounty. Cattle and horses were shipped from Spain to populate ranches.

    Needing ranch staff, the Spanish taught the native Aztecs to ride horses and wrangle cattle. These native cowboys were called vaqueros from the Spanish word for cow, vaca.

    By the early 1700s, cattle ranching had spread north into what are now Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (and later to California), and south to the plains of Argentina.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Chicken Or Fish With Pico De Gallo

    There are many different types of salsa, but our favorite is the finely chopped fresh salsa called pica de gallo.

    Pico de gallo, pronounced PEE-coh-deh-GAH-yo, is Spanish for “rooster’s beak.” How did it get that name? It once was eaten between the thumb and finger in a way that resembled a pecking rooster. (Salsa as finger food?!)

    Pico de gallo is made with finely diced raw tomatoes, onions, lime juice and cilantro. Jicama and other raw ingredients can be added. It differs from salsa fresca and salsa cruda in that the ingredients are uniformly chopped; but the terms are often used interchangeably. Another term is salsa mexicana.

    Most Americans not of Mexican ancestry limit their use of pico de gallo to Tex-Mex recipes—chips, nachos, tacos, tortilla chips, quesadillas, etc.

    But this better-for-you condiment provides great flavor and nutrition to everyday better-for-you foods, like grilled chicken and fish.

    Those in the know use fresh salsa to complement grilled meats—especially pork and steak—egg dishes, rice and other recipes.

       

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    Grilled chicken breasts topped with pico de gallo salsa. Delicious and good for you! Photo courtesy QVC.

     
    We make a lower-calorie dip by blending it into nonfat Greek yogurt, and serve it with crudités as well as chips. When people hesitate to eat salad, we mix it into a vinaigrette.

    This recipe is from QVC’s chef David Venable. Serve it with a large salad, other sides of choice, and a few tortilla chips for crunch.

    If you’re pressed for time, buy the salsa (it’s in the refrigerator case). Then just grill, top and enjoy!

     

    A bowl of pico de gallo surrounded by tortilla chips

    Pico de gallo is delicious with so much more than tortilla chips—and low in calories, too. Photo © WayMoreAwesomer | Fotolia.

     

    RECIPE: GRILLED CHICKEN OR FISH WITH PICO DE GALLO

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Pico De Gallo

  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: tortilla chips
  •  
    For The Chicken Or Fish

  • 4 (5–6 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breasts/fish fillets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Preparation

    1. MAKE the pico de gallo: Toss all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl until evenly combined. Place into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

    2. PREPARE the chicken or fish. If chicken, place the breasts between 2 pieces of wax paper. Use a meat mallet to pound them to a 3/4″ thickness.

    3. PLACE all the ingredients into a large zip-tight bag. Gently toss so the marinade evenly coats the chicken/fish. Place in a bowl in the refrigerator and marinate at least 8 hours, or up to 12 hours.

    4. PREHEAT the grill to high. Place the chicken breasts onto the hot grill and cook for 4–5 minutes until char marks appear. Flip the chicken and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chicken reads 165°F, about 4–5 more minutes. Top each chicken breast with pico de gallo before serving.
     
    HOW TO GET CROSSHATCH GRILL MARKS ON THE MEAT

    Most people are happy with simple horizontal grill marks. But if you’d like to get fancy and create crosshatch marks, just rotate the meat.

    Position the piece(s) at a 45-degree angle (the 1 o’clock position), sear, then turn 90 degrees (back to about the 11 o’clock position). Flip and repeat.

      

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