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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Condiments

PRODUCT: Ringland’s Beer Mustard

Delicious beer mustard from Ringhand. Photo
by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


Occasionally, a particularly homespun product arrives at THE NIBBLE. Such was the case with a squeeze bottle labeled “Beer Mustard.”

The computer-printed label had only the ingredients,* a sketch of two steins of beer and, in tiny print in one corner, the words:

Ringhand’s Beer Mustard
Evansville, WI 53636

There’s no website. An Internet search produced a bare-bones Facebook page with one photo, one post and a map highlighting the company’s location in Evansville, Wisconsin, some 24 miles south of Madison. No one has been searching for Ringhand Beer Mustard in Google.

More search yielded little except this description from Something Special From Wisconsin, the trade organization that provided the red sticker:


Homemade Beer Mustard, using Wisconsin produced beer and mustard (1/2 ingredients) blended to a tangy sweet-sour flavor.

Why were we so gung-ho to get the scoop about Ringhand’s Beer Mustard?

Because it’s delicious! Of all the mustards we try, it stands out. Instead of the typical one-two punch of prepared mustard, there’s a subtle layering of flavors. You don’t even notice the horseradish, but it adds something special.

And at $3.00 per 12-ounce bottle, we’ll be ordering cases of it as affordable yet special holiday gifts.

There’s one more note about Ringhand Beer Mustard: The artisan mustard maker is Wisconsin State Assembly Representative Janis Ringhand, a former mayor of Evansville mayor (population 5,012).

This grandmother of four worked for 17 years as a bookkeeper for family-owned Ringhand Meats—where presumably, the products were enjoyed with lots of mustard.

To get yours, call 608.882.5819 or email


Mustard trivia: The squeeze bottle was in 1957 by Plochman’s of Illinois, which has been making mustard since 1852.

Here’s everything you need to know about mustard, including the many different types of mustard.

*Ingredients: water, vinegar, mustard seeds, salt, turmeric, horseradish, spices, beer, sugar.



COOKING VIDEO: Easy Homemade Applesauce Recipe


With all the lovely apples piled high in markets, it’s time to make homemade applesauce. Homemade applesauce is so head and shoulders above store-bought, that you’ve got to try it at least once.

In the video below, the cook doesn’t core the apples. Instead, the apple cores, seeds and all, go into the pot.

  • We prefer to core the apples first. Either way, keep the skins on for a lovely pink color.
  • Then cook them down and run them through a food mill.
  • Next, sweeten to taste. Another benefit of making your own: You can use a low glycemic sweetener, like agave nectar; or use a noncaloric sweetener.
  • You can personalize the recipe by varying the spices. Some people use only cinnamon. Others add some allspice, clove, nutmeg or a combination.
  • You can also add a second fruit to the mix: Try 25% pears or raspberries, for example.

    It’s a matter of taste, and you can try different varieties. We prefer a tart apple for more complex flavor. But we like red skin to add color and flavor to the sauce, so we bypass the popular (and easy-to-find) Granny Smiths.

    Instead, we look for Braeburn, Jonagold, McIntosh, Northern Spy, Paula Red and Stayman varieties.

    You may like your homemade applesauce so much that you’ll consider giving it as holiday gifts. Applesauce freezes nicely.




    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Nonna Iole’s Soffritto

    Soffritto is a mixture of minced vegetables and aromatic herbs cooked in extra virgin olive oil. The name means “fry slowly,” although you might think of it as “yummy flavor.”

    This healthful cooking ingredient enhances the flavor of many everyday dishes, and is waiting to be your new best friend in the kitchen. The basic recipe combines carrots, celery, garlic, onions, salt and sometimes a splash of white wine vinegar.

    You can make your own soffritto and store it in the fridge (we’ve included the recipe in the full review). Or you can buy a jar of Nonna Iole’s Soffritto. It’s a quick, easy and delicious solution to amping up your food. It’s also a nice party favor, stocking stuffer and small ”thank you” gift.

    In fact, you can buy boxed gift sets as well as individual jars on the company website. You’ll also find a store locator.

    Check out the full review.


    Soffritto: Your new friend in the kitchen. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Onion Marmalade

    A pan of caramelized onions. Photo courtesy


    What do you put on your grilled meat? Ketchup? Mustard? Steak sauce? Worcestershire?

    Today’s tip is a delicious make-your-own condiment, red onion marmalade. It is an addictively good finishing touch to lamb, poultry, pork, steak or anything from the grill, including pizza. No other condiment is needed.

    You can also serve it with breakfast eggs, on toast and on sandwiches—try it with grilled cheese. The marmalade is so good, you’ll be sorry you didn’t make four times the amount. And you can give it as gifts.

    This recipe is courtesy, an unbeatable resource for gourmet produce and healthy gifts.


    The difference between onion marmalade and caramelized onions is the added brown sugar, vinegar and wine. You may also enjoy this recipe for caramelized onions.


    Makes 4 servings.


  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 pound red onions halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

    1. Melt the butter in a medium pan.

    2. Add the onions and sugar and cook over a medium heat, stirring until soft and lightly caramelized.

    3. Add the wine and vinegar and let cook for about another 10 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are very soft. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over beef, chicken, lamb, pork or tofu.

    4. Store leftovers in an airtight jar and use within two weeks.


    Marmalade is a soft jelly, often citrus-based, that includes the flesh and often the peel of the fruit suspended throughout the jelly base. The sweetness of the jelly is offset by the bitterness of the peel.

    Some products and recipes that are called marmalade—onion and tomato marmalades, for example—are actually misnamed jams and preserves.

    Why? Perhaps because onion marmalade sounds tastier than onion preserves.



    PRODUCT: Cetara Anchovies, Among The Best

    Anchovies get a bad rap in the U.S. They typically appear on “most hated foods” lists. That’s because many people were first introduced to cheap, oily, odoriforus, overly salty and “fishy” tasting examples on pizzas or in Caesar salads at the local diner. (One reason they’re so intense is that casual restaurants don’t take the time to rinse the anchovies, but just scoop them up from the oil.)

    But in fact, these little fish can be truly delightful—still with a strong flavor, but one that’s delicious.

    The 144 species of anchovies, a salt-water fish related to herring. They live in many of the world’s oceans and seas, including the Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean and Pacific.

    The good brands are things of beauty. Italians—who not only make some of the world’s best food, but as a society have among the most demanding palates—use them as a backbone in many recipes.

    If you’re willing to try again—or if you’re already an anchovy fan—you can get absolutely delicious anchovies from, an importer of Italian delicacies.


    Anchovies: quite lovely, actually. Photo by Kaan Tanriover | SXC.


    The anchovies come from Cetara, an enchanting fishing village along the Amalfi coast, on the Gulf of Salerno. They are packaged by Nettuno, a family-run company. Production is completely by hand, using simple but precise traditions of local anchovy preserving.

    The best anchovies are caught between March and July, when their flesh is at its most plump; Nettuno only fishes during this period. The fresh anchovies are immediately placed in oak barrels layered with water and sea salt and cured for about five months. The salt used by Nettuno is the exceptional sea salt that is hand-harvested in the salt panes of Trapani from, uncontaminated Sicilian waters.

    The result: anchovies that are are soft, moist and plump. It takes only a few seconds to rinse them in cold water and then put them too use.

    Get your Cetara anchovies here.

    And if you’re a true anchovy lover, try a bottle of Colatura, a descendent of the favorite Roman condiment, garum.


    This recipe is courtesy La Cucina Italiana and Chef Andrea Tiberi. It serves 4.


  • Coarse sea salt—Trapani or substitute
  • 2.75 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 1.1 pounds penne or other short pasta (Chef uses Martelli brand)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (Chef uses organic Pianogrillo olive oil)
  • 3 ounces mixed baby greens (about 5 cups)
  • 8 ounces Piennolo tomatoes (you can substitute San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 12 salted anchovy filets, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon salt-packed capers (rinse and soak capers for 10 minutes, then rinse again)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chervil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped marjoram
  • Fresh ground black pepper

    1. Heat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drop plum tomatoes into water and boil 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes from pot (reserve water); drain, peel, cut in half, and seed.

    3. Place tomatoes on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake until tomatoes are partially dried and flavor is concentrated, about 3 hours.

    4. Return water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.

    5. Remove tomatoes from oven; transfer to a cutting board and finely chop. Add to bowl with pasta. Add greens, Piennolo tomatoes, 3 tablespoons oil, anchovies, capers, chervil and marjoram; toss to combine. Arrange on plates. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and some fresh-ground pepper.



    COOKING VIDEO: Make Barbecue Sauce From Scratch


    There’s so much over-sugared barbecue sauce for sale; we wonder why people don’t make their own. It’s easy and more nutritious—and it costs less, too. You eliminate the high fructose corn syrup and can moderate the level of sweetener you do use (agave, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup).

    Your homemade sauce uses other superior ingredients, as well: sautéed fresh onions and garlic instead of onion and garlic powders, and crushed tomatoes instead of ketchup.

    This video shows just one basic recipe; but if you like the results, you can make hundreds of variations, incorporating your favorite flavors—mustard, vinegar, horseradish, the works.

    For expert guidance, pick up a copy of Steve Raichlen’s Barbecue! Bible: Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes.

    But start with the simple recipe below. You can make it today with ingredients you already have in the kitchen.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Try A New Mustard

    Three of scores of different styles of
    mustard. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE


    We get very comfortable with the brands we buy. Sometimes, we never venture farther than what our mothers bought.

    But there are new discoveries waiting on every grocer’s shelf.

    Take something as basic as mustard. There are scores of different type beyond the familiar American mustard (a.k.a. ballpark and yellow mustard, like French’s).

    In the B’s alone, there are Bahamian, Bavarian, Beaujolais, blackcurrant, black mustard seed, Bordeaux, brown and Burgundy mustards. Varying widely in flavor, they—and many other mustard types—add panache to food.

    So pick up something new, just in time for Memorial Day. You may discover a more exciting condiment for burgers, franks, potato salad and sandwiches.

    You’ve never added a tablespoon of mustard to potato salad? Consider that second Tip Of The Day (and for starters, try Dijon mustard).


  • Check out the history of mustard.
  • See all the different mustards in our Mustard Glossary.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Garnishes Are Glamour

    A standard plate of meat and veggies gets a sprinkling of glamour with pomegranate arils. Get the recipe at


    If you dine at fine restaurants, you may notice that garniture—the garnish on dish—makes a big difference in presentation.

    Garnishes can improve any dish, savory or sweet, plain or fancy—a tuna sandwich, filet mignon, plate of pasta, dish of ice cream. As with fashion, the “accessories” take a look from now to wow.

    Deciding in advance on the garnish is as much a part of our planning process as the basic recipe. It’s easy to choose the right garnish, as we show in this article.

    The right final touch on the plate makes people take notice. In other words, it’s not just another bowl of tomato soup.

    It’s easy to keep garnishes at the ready in the pantry and the freezer. Freeze extra chives, rosemary sprigs, berries and pomegranate arils and you’ll be prepared for most dishes.

    Check out our article, Garnish Glamour, for an easy roadmap.




    TIP OF THE DAY: How To Peel & Crush Garlic

    Photo by Martin Walls | SXC.


    Peeling garlic can be messy business, especially if you do it in bulk.

    To remove the skin more quickly, simply remove the cloves from the bulb and soak them in water for a few minutes.

    Then, cut off the root end, or smash it with the flat of your knife. The skin should slide off much more easily.

    Now, you’re ready to crush the cloves. Just use the flat part of a large knife.

    If loud smashing is more your style, lay your soaked garlic cloves on a cutting board. Place another cutting board on top and crush away.

    Feel free to use a hammer on plastic cutting boards. Like hitting a golf ball, it’s very cathartic.


    Love Garlic?

    Try Garlic Valley Farms’ garlic juice spray. It’s amazing: You can spray fresh garlic flavor onto anything (burgers, eggs, salads, vegetables—you name it).

    The flavor is in the juice, not the clove. Each bottle contains the juice of 150 cloves (1000 sprays). It‘s gluten-free and kosher. Get some.



    TIP OF THE DAY: What To Do With Leftover Cranberry Sauce

    15 Ways To Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

  • Add 1/2 cup cranberry sauce to pancake batter.
  • Make cranberry syrup for French toast, pancakes and waffles: Combine 1 cup cranberry sauce and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in saucepan, then mix over low heat for 10 minutes. Cool or serve warm.
  • Purée and mix into a cocktail with gin, tequila or vodka with a splash of orange liqueur.
  • Add prepared horseradish or balsamic vinegar to taste, to turn cranberry sauce into general condiment. Use on burgers, meat and poultry-based sandwiches, eggs and hot meat, poultry and seafood dishes.
  • Add Dijon mustard to taste as a dip for sliced sausage or meatballs.
  • Add to a grilled cheese sandwich—especially with Brie, Cheddar, goat cheese or Gorgonzola Dolce.
  • Substitute for jelly in a cream cheese and jelly sandwich.
  • Use as a condiment with a cheese plate.
  • Top a baked Brie.
  • Mix with plain yogurt for a creamy dip.
  • Make a pizza with goat cheese, cranberry sauce and fresh basil.
  • Make goat cheese and cranberry bruschetta.
  • Mix into chicken salad or tuna salad.

    Post-Thanksgiving uses for cranberry sauce.
    Photo by Sarsmis | Fotolia.

  • Sweeten as needed and spoon into tartlet shells, topped with orange zest, crème fraîche and/or mascarpone.
  • Use as a topping for ice cream or sorbet—as is, or puréed as needed.
  • Do you have a favorite use for leftover cranberry sauce? Let us know!



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