Condiment of the Week – Steak sauce

June 23, 2016 at 5:03 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Two types of steak sauce

Two types of steak sauce

Steak sauce is a dark brown sauce commonly served as a condiment for beef, in the United States. The original sauce from which “steak sauce” is derived is known in Britain as “brown sauce”. Steak sauce is also derived from “brown sauce” in Japan, called tonkatsu sauce, which has a slight variation in ingredients.

 

 
Steak sauce is normally brown or orange in color, and often made from tomatoes, spices, vinegar, and raisins, and sometimes anchovies. The taste is either tart or sweet, with a peppery taste similar to Worcestershire sauce. Three major brands in the U.S. are Lea & Perrins, Heinz 57, and A1 Steak Sauce (a tart variant). There are also numerous regional brands that feature a variety of flavor profiles. Several smaller companies and specialty producers manufacture steak sauce, as well, and most major grocery store chains offer private-label brands. These sauces typically mimic the slightly sweet flavor of A1 or Lea & Perrins.

Heinz 57 steak sauce, produced by H. J. Heinz Company, is unlike other steak sauces in that it has a distinctive dark orange-yellow color and tastes more like ketchup spiced with mustard seed. Heinz once advertised the product as tasting “like ketchup with a kick”.

 

Condiment of the Week – Sesame Oil

June 16, 2016 at 5:13 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Sesame seed oil in clear glass vial

Sesame seed oil in clear glass vial

Sesame oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian cuisine. It has a distinctive nutty aroma and taste.

The oil from the nutrient-rich seed is popular in alternative medicine, from traditional massages and treatments to the modern day.

The oil is popular in Asia and is also one of the earliest-known crop-based oils, but world-wide mass modern production continues to be limited even today due to the inefficient manual harvesting process required to extract the oil.

 

 
Sesame oil is composed of the following fatty acids: linoleic acid (41% of total), oleic acid (39%), palmitic acid (8%), stearic acid (5%) and others in small amounts.

Sesame seeds are protected by a capsule which only bursts when the seeds are completely ripe. The ripening time tends to vary, so farmers cut plants by hand and place them together in an upright position to continue ripening until all the capsules have opened. The discovery of an indehiscent (nonshattering) mutant by Langham in 1943 began the work towards development of a high yielding, shatter-resistant variety. Although researchers have made significant progress in sesame breeding, harvest losses due to shattering continue to limit domestic US production.

Sesame seeds are primarily produced in developing countries, a factor that has played a role in limiting the creation

White sesame seeds, mostly unshelled.

White sesame seeds, mostly unshelled.

of large-scale, fully automated oil extraction and processing techniques. Sesame oil can be extracted by a number of methods, depending on the materials and equipment available.

In developing countries, sesame oil is often extracted with less-expensive and manually intensive techniques such as hot water flotation, bridge presses, ram presses, the ghani process, or by using a small-scale expeller. In developed countries sesame oil is often extracted using an expeller press, larger-scale oil extraction machines, or by pressing followed by chemical solvent extraction.

Sesame oil can also be extracted under low-temperature conditions using an expeller press in a process called cold pressing. This extraction method is popular among raw food adherents because it avoids exposing the oil to chemical solvents or high temperatures during extraction.

 
There are many variations in the color of sesame oil: cold-pressed sesame oil is pale yellow, while Indian sesame oil (gingelly or til oil) is golden, and East Asian sesame oils are commonly a dark brown color. This dark color and flavor are derived from roasted/toasted sesame seeds. Cold pressed sesame oil has a different flavor than the toasted oil, since it is produced directly from raw, rather than toasted, seeds.

Sesame oil is traded in any of the forms described above: Cold-pressed sesame oil is available in Western health shops. Unroasted (but not necessarily cold pressed) sesame oil is commonly used for cooking in the Middle East and can often be found in halal markets. In East Asian countries, different kinds of hot-pressed sesame oil are preferred.

 
The only essential nutrient having significant content in sesame oil is vitamin K, providing 17% of the Daily Value per 100 grams (ml) consumed supplying 884 calories. For fats, sesame oil is approximately equal in monounsaturated (oleic acid) and polyunsaturated (linoleic acid) fats, totaling together 80% of the fat content. The remaining oil content is primarily the saturated fat, palmitic acid (about 9% of total, table).

 

 

Bottling sesame oil

Bottling sesame oil

Despite sesame oil’s high proportion (41%) of polyunsaturated (Omega-6) fatty acids, it is least prone, among cooking oils with high smoke points, to turn rancid when kept in the open. This is due to the natural antioxidants present in the oil.

Light sesame oil has a high smoke point and is suitable for deep-frying, while dark sesame oil (from roasted sesame seeds) has a slightly lower smoke point and is unsuitable for deep-frying. Instead it can be used for the stir frying of meats or vegetables, sautéing, or for the making of an omelette.

Sesame oil is most popular in Asia, especially in Korea, China, and the South Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, where its widespread use is similar to that of olive oil in the Mediterranean.

East Asian cuisines often use roasted sesame oil for seasoning.
The Chinese use sesame oil in the preparation of meals.
In Japan, rāyu, is a paste made of chili-sesame oil seasoning – and used as a spicy topping on various foods – or mixed with vinegar and soy sauce – and used as a dip.
In South India – before the advent of modern refined oils produced on a large scale, sesame oil was used traditionally for curries and gravies. It continues to be used, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, mixed with foods that are hot and spicy as it neutralizes the heat. It is often mixed in with a special spice powder that accompanies Idly, dosa as well as rice mixed with spice powders ([Paruppu Podi]). It is also used in pickles and condiments mainly in Andhra Pradesh.

 

Condiment of the Week – Sambal

June 2, 2016 at 4:52 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | 4 Comments
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Traditional sambal terasi served on stone mortar with garlic and lime

Traditional sambal terasi served on stone mortar with garlic and lime

Sambal is a hot sauce typically made from a mixture of variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar or other vinegars. Sambal is an Indonesian loan-word of Javanese origin (sambel).

Various recipes of sambals usually are served as hot and spicy condiments for dishes such as lalab (raw vegetables), ikan bakar (grilled fish), ikan goreng (fried fish), ayam goreng (fried chicken), ayam penyet (smashed chicken), iga penyet (ribs) and various soto soup.

 
Traditional sambals are freshly made using traditional tools, such as a stone pestle and mortar. Sambal can be served raw or cooked. The chili pepper, garlic, shallot and tomato are often freshly ground using a mortar, while the terasi or belacan (shrimp paste) is fried or burned first to kill its pungent smell as well as to release its aroma. Sambal might be prepared in bulk, as it can be easily stored in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for a week to be served with meals as a condiment. However, some households and restaurants insist on making freshly-prepared sambal just a few moments prior to consuming in order to ensure its freshness and flavor; this is known as sambal dadak (lit. “impromptu sambal” or “freshly made sambal”). Nevertheless, in most warung and restaurants, most sambal is prepared daily in bulk and offered as a hot and spicy condiment.

Today some brands of prepared, prepacked, instant, or ready-to-use sambal are available in warung, traditional markets, supermarkets and convenience stores. Most are bottled sambal, with a few brands available in plastic or aluminum sachet packaging. Compared to traditional sambal, bottled instant sambals often have a finer texture, more homogenous content, and thicker consistency, like tomato ketchup, due to the machine-driven manufacturing process. Traditionally made sambals ground in a pestle and mortar usually have a coarse texture and consistency.

 
The most common kinds of peppers used in sambal are:

Fresh chilis are the main ingredient for a sambal

Fresh chilis are the main ingredient for a sambal

* Adyuma, also known as habanero: a very spicy, yellow, and block-shaped pepper.
* Cayenne pepper: a shiny, red, and elongated pepper.
* Madame Jeanette: a yellow–light green, elongated, irregularly-shaped pepper.
* Bird’s eye chili, also known as cabe rawit in Javanese: a very spicy, green–red, elongated pepper approximately 10 millimetres (0.39 in) wide and 50 millimetres (2.0 in) long.
* Chili peppers known as lombok in Javanese: a mild, green–red, elongated pepper. Green chili peppers are milder than red ones.
* Cabe taliwang: a pepper spicier than the Bird’s eye chili, similar in spiciness to the naga jolokia, its name is supposedly the origin from which Lombok Island, or “the Island of the Chili”, derives its name.
Due to the increasing popularity of Asian food within the United States, sambal can be found in many larger grocery stores in the ethnic foods section.

 

Condiment of the Week – Salsa (sauce)

May 26, 2016 at 4:59 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Salsa

Salsa

Salsa is the Italian and Spanish term for sauce, and in English-speaking countries usually refers to the sauces typical of Mexican cuisine known as salsa picante, particularly those used as dips.

Salsa is often a tomato-based sauce or dip which is heterogeneous and includes additional components such as onions, chilies, beans, corn, and various spices. They are typically piquant, ranging from mild to extremely hot.

 
Mexican salsas were traditionally produced using the mortar and pestle-like molcajete, although blenders are now more commonly used. The Maya made salsa also, using a mortar and pestle. Well-known salsas include:

* Salsa roja, “red sauce”, is used as a condiment in Mexican and Southwestern (U.S.) cuisines; usually includes cooked tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro (coriander).
* Pico de gallo (“rooster’s beak”), also known as salsa fresca (“fresh sauce”), salsa picada (“chopped sauce”), or salsa mexicana (“Mexican sauce”), is made with raw tomatoes, lime juice, chilies, onions, cilantro leaves, and other coarsely chopped raw ingredients.
* Salsa cruda, “raw sauce”, is an uncooked mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeño chilies, and cilantro, or coriander leaf.
* Salsa verde, “green sauce”, in Mexican versions, is made with tomatillos, usually cooked. The Italian version is made with herbs.
* Salsa negra, “black sauce” is a Mexican sauce made from dried chilies, oil, and garlic.
* Salsa taquera, “taco sauce”: Made with tomatillos and morita chili
* Salsa criolla is a South American salsa with a sliced-onion base.
* Salsa ranchera, “ranch-style sauce”: Made with roasted tomatoes, various chilies, and spices, it typically is served warm, and possesses a thick, soupy quality. Though it contains none, it imparts a characteristic flavor reminiscent of black pepper.
* Salsa brava, “wild sauce”, is a mildly spicy sauce made with tomato, garlic, onion, and vinegar, often flavored with paprika. On top of potato wedges, it makes the dish patatas bravas, typical of tapas bars in Spain.
* Guacamole is thicker than a sauce and generally used as a dip; it refers to any sauce where the main ingredient is avocado.
* Mole (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmole]) is a Mexican sauce made from chilies mixed with spices, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, and other ingredients.
* Mango salsa is a spicy-sweet sauce made from mangoes, used as a topping for nachos. It is often also used as a

Mango pineapple salsa,

Mango pineapple salsa,

garnish on grilled chicken or grilled fish due to the sauce’s gamut of complementary flavors.
* Pineapple salsa is a spicy and sweet sauce made from pineapples, used as an alternative to the mango salsa.
* Chipotle salsa is a smoky, spicy sauce made from smoked jalapeño chilies, tomatoes, garlic and spices.
* Habanero salsa is an extremely spicy salsa, where the piquancy comes from habanero chilies.
* Corn salsa is a chunky salsa made with sweetcorn and other ingredients, such as onions, and chiles (either poblano, bell chilies, and/or jalapeños), made popular by the burrito chains for burritos, tacos, and quesadillas.
* Carrot salsa is made with carrots as the base.

There are many other salsas, both traditional and nouveau, some are made with mint, pineapple, or mango.

 

 

Outside of Mexico and Central America, the following salsas are common to each of the following regions; in Argentina and the Southern Cone, chimichurri sauce is common. Chimichurri is “a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce that is the salsa (and leading condiment) in Argentina and Uruguay, served with grilled meat. It is made of chopped fresh parsley and onion, seasoned with garlic, oregano, salt, cayenne chilies and black pepper and bound with oil and vinegar.” In Costa Rica, dishes are prepared with salsa Lizano, a thin, smooth, light brown sauce. In Cuba and the Caribbean, a typical salsa is mojo. Unlike the tomato-based salsas, mojo typically consists of olive oil, garlic, and citrus juice, and is used both to marinate meats and as a dipping sauce. In Peru, a traditional salsa is peri peri or piri piri sauce: “The national condiment of Peru, peri-peri sauce is made in medium to hot levels of spiciness—the more chili, or the hotter variety of chile used, the hotter the sauce. Original peri-peri uses the African bird’s eye chili (the African word for the chili is peri-peri). Milder sauces may use only cayenne and serrano chilies. To a base of vinegar and oil, garlic and lemon juice are added, plus other seasonings, which often include paprika or tomato paste for flavor and color, onions and herb—each company has its own recipe. It is also used as a cooking.

 

 

An American, home-prepared version of pico de gallo/salsa fresca

An American, home-prepared version of pico de gallo/salsa fresca

Most jarred, canned, and bottled salsa and picante sauces sold in the United States in grocery stores are forms of salsa cruda or pico de gallo, and typically have a semi-liquid texture. To increase their shelf lives, these salsas have been cooked to a temperature of 175 °F (79 °C). Some have added vinegar, and some use pickled peppers instead of fresh ones. Tomatoes are strongly acidic by nature, which, along with the heat processing, is enough to stabilize the product for grocery distribution.

Picante sauce of the American type is often thinner in consistency than what is labelled as “salsa”. Picante is a Spanish adjective meaning “piquant”, which derives from picar (“to sting”), referring to the feeling caused by salsas on one’s tongue.

Many grocery stores in the United States and Canada also sell “fresh” refrigerated salsa, usually in plastic containers. Fresh salsa is usually more expensive and has a shorter shelf life than canned or jarred salsa. It may or may not contain vinegar.

Taco sauce is a condiment sold in American grocery stores and fast food Tex-Mex outlets. Taco sauce is similar to its Mexican counterpart in that it is smoothly blended, having the consistency of thin ketchup. It is made from tomato paste instead of whole tomatoes and lacks the seeds and chunks of vegetables found in picante sauce.

While some salsa fans do not consider jarred products to be real salsa cruda, their widespread availability and long shelf life have been credited with much of salsa’s enormous popularity in states outside of the southwest, especially in areas where salsa is not a traditional part of the cuisine. In 1992, the dollar total of salsa sales in the United States exceeded those of tomato ketchup.

 
The World Health Organization says care should be taken in the preparation and storage of salsas and any other types of sauces, since many raw-served varieties can act as growth media for potentially dangerous bacteria, especially when unrefrigerated.

In 2002 a study by the University of Texas–Houston, found sauces contaminated with E. coli in:

* 66% of the sauces from restaurants tested in Guadalajara, Jalisco
* 40% of those from restaurants tested in Houston, Texas
In 2010 the CDC reported that 1 in 25 foodborne illnesses between 1998 and 2008 was traced back to restaurant sauces (careless prepared or stored).

A 2010 paper on salsa food hygiene described refrigeration as “the key to safe” sauces. This study also found that fresh lime juice and fresh garlic (but not powdered garlic) would prevent the growth of bacteria.

 

Condiment of the Week – Salad Dressing

May 19, 2016 at 5:04 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | 1 Comment
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A dish of American-style Italian dressing.

A dish of American-style Italian dressing.

Sauces for salads are often called “dressings”. The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures.

In Western culture, there are two basic types of salad dressing:

Vinaigrette;
Creamy dressings, usually based on mayonnaise or fermented milk products, such as yogurt, sour cream (crème fraîche, smetana), buttermilk;
Vinaigrette /vɪnəˈɡrɛt/ is a mixture (emulsion) of salad oil and vinegar, often flavored with herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, and other ingredients. It is also used as a sauce or marinade.

In North America, mayonnaise-based Ranch dressing is most popular, with vinaigrettes and Caesar-style dressing following close behind. Traditional dressings in France are vinaigrettes, typically mustard-based, while sour cream (smetana) and mayonnaise are predominant in eastern European countries and Russia. In Denmark, dressings are often based on crème fraîche. In southern Europe, salad is generally dressed by the diner with olive oil and vinegar.

 

In Asia, it is common to add sesame oil, fish sauce, citrus juice, or soy sauce to salad dressings.
The following are examples of common salad dressings:
* Blue cheese dressing

Thousand Island dressing on a salad

Thousand Island dressing on a salad

* Caesar dressing
* Extra virgin olive oil
* French dressing
* Ginger dressing
* Honey Dijon
* Hummus
* Italian dressing
* Louis dressing
* Ranch dressing
* Russian dressing
* Tahini
* Thousand Island dressing
* Vinaigrette
* Wafu dressing

 

Condiment ofthe Week – Salad Cream

May 12, 2016 at 4:56 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Heinz Salad Cream

Heinz Salad Cream

Salad cream is a creamy, pale yellow condiment based on an emulsion of about 25–50 percent oil in water, emulsified by egg yolk and acidulated by spirit vinegar. It may include other ingredients such as sugar, mustard, salt, thickener, spices, flavoring and coloring. It was introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1920s, where it is used as a salad dressing and a sandwich spread. Due to the higher cost of ingredients during periods of rationing in the United Kingdom a flavor similar to mayonnaise was achieved in the creation of salad cream.

 
In the United Kingdom, it has been produced by companies including H. J. Heinz Company and Crosse & Blackwell. Heinz Salad Cream was the first brand developed exclusively for the United Kingdom market. When first created in the Harlesden (London) kitchens of Heinz in 1914 the preparation was done by hand. The jars were packed in straw-lined barrels—12 dozen in each. The work schedule was 180 dozen jars a day, with a halfpenny a dozen bonus if the workforce could beat the target.

Salad cream is available in most supermarkets in Canada, Ireland and Malta, as well as in Australia, where its taste may closely resemble that of “mayonnaise” as it is produced in that country.

Salad cream was not readily available in the United States until the 21st century (though Miracle Whip provided a similar, if thicker alternative); however, with the large population of British expatriates, especially in the Northeast, it is becoming more common. Apart from many expat stores, major retail supermarket chains such as New York-based Wegmans, Maine-based Hannaford[citation needed], Massachusetts-based Stop and Shop, Florida-based Publix, California-based Cost Plus World Markets and Michigan-based Meijer now sell salad cream as a regular item. Many supermarkets sell national and store brands of salad dressing which resemble salad cream.

 

Condiment of the Week – Remoulade

May 5, 2016 at 4:56 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | 2 Comments
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A half-spoon of French remoulade

A half-spoon of French remoulade

Rémoulade (English pronunciation: /reɪməˈlɑːd/; French: [ʁemulad]) is a condiment invented in France that is usually aioli- or mayonnaise-based. Although similar to tartar sauce, it is often more yellowish (or reddish in Louisiana), sometimes flavored with curry, and sometimes contains chopped pickles or piccalilli. It can also contain horseradish, paprika, anchovies, capers and a host of other items. While its original purpose was possibly for serving with meats, it is now more often used as an accompaniment to seafood dishes, especially pan-fried breaded fish fillets (primarily sole and plaice) and seafood cakes (such as crab or salmon cakes).

 
Remoulade is used in France, Denmark, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and in the United States, especially in Louisiana Creole cuisine. It is used with french fries, on top of roast beef items, and as a hot dog condiment, although there are a multitude of other applications:

* France: rémoulade is made from mayonnaise to which is added vinegar, mustard, shallots, capers, chopped pickles, and/or fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, chervil, burnet). It is commonly used in céleri rémoulade, which consists of thinly cut pieces of celeriac with a mustard-flavored remoulade and also to accompany red meats, fish and shellfish.
* Belgium: One of the condiments for frites, often sold at takeaway stands.
* Netherlands: Often served with fried fish.
* Germany: Mainly used with fried fish, and as an ingredient of potato salads. When marketed as “Danish remoulade”, it is used for the “Danish hot dog”, fish with boiled potatoes, dill and creamed spinach.
* Sweden: Remouladsås – the French version – is a common accessory to fried or breaded fish dishes, and used as topping on roast beef. The Danish version is also available, and is used on a variety of dishes referred to as ‘Danish-style’, for example Danish hot-dogs, Danish smørrebrød and suchlike.
* Denmark: An essential ingredient on open-face roast beef sandwiches (smørrebrød), along with Fried onion. Remoulade is also used for fish meatballs or breaded fillets of fish (e.g. cod or plaice) along with lemon slices. For french fries, the Danes can usually order tomato ketchup, remoulade or both, although in recent years mayonnaise has gained ground. In most regions it is used on hot dogs along with hot or sweet mustard, ketchup, fried or raw onions and pickled cucumber slices.
* Norway: Primarily served with deep fried fish.
* Iceland: remúlaði is a condiment commonly served on hot dogs, together with mustard, ketchup, and raw and fried onions.
* USA: Typically served as a condiment with seafoods and certain vegetables. Fried soft-shell crab sandwiches may be served with remoulade as the only sauce.
* Louisiana Creole cuisine: Remoulade often contains paprika and tends to be have a tannish or pink tint due to the use of Creole brown mustard like Zatarain’s, small amounts of ketchup, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

 
Varieties
Sauce rémoulade
According to Larousse Gastronomique, rémoulade is 1 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons mixed herbs (parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon), 1 tablespoon drained capers, 2 finely diced cornichons and a few drops of anchovy essence (optional). Some recipes use chopped anchovy fillets. The rémoulade used in céleri rémoulade is a simple mustard-flavored mayonnaise spiced with garlic and pepper. Rémoulade is classified in French cooking as a derivative of the mayonnaise sauce.

Danish remoulade
Danish remoulade has a mild, sweet-sour taste and a medium yellow color. The typical industrially-made variety does not contain capers, but finely-chopped cabbage and pickled cucumber, fair amounts of sugar and hints of mustard, cayenne pepper, coriander and onion, and turmeric for color. The herbs are replaced by herbal essences, e.g. tarragon vinegar. Starch, gelatin or milk protein may be added as thickeners.

Homemade or gourmet varieties may use olive oil (especially good with fish), capers, pickles, carrots, cucumber, lemon juice, dill, chervil, parsley or other fresh herbs, and possibly curry.

Louisiana remoulade

Louisiana remoulade can vary from the elegant French-African Creole, the rustic Afro-Caribbean Creole, or the Classic Cajun version, and like the local variants of roux, each version is different from the French original. Creole versions often have tan or pink hues and are usually piquant. Louisiana-style remoulades fall generally into one of two categories—those with a mayonnaise base and those with an oil base, but sometimes both mayonnaise and oil are used. Each version may have finely chopped vegetables, usually green onions and celery, and parsley; most are made with either Creole or stone-ground mustard. Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper are also standard ingredients. In the oil- and mayonnaise-based versions, the reddish hue often comes from the addition of a small amount of ketchup. The sauce is often topped with paprika for the aesthetics as well as the flavor. Generally, acidity is added with the inclusion of lemon juice or vinegar. Other additions include hardboiled egg or raw egg yolks, minced garlic, hot sauce, vinegar, horseradish, capers, cornichons, and Worcestershire sauce.

While the classic white remoulade is a condiment that can be offered in a variety of contexts (e.g. the classic celery

Louisiana-style remoulade sauce

Louisiana-style remoulade sauce

root remoulade), Creole remoulade is used on shrimp, crabs, fried calamari, artichokes, and fried green tomatoes among other foods. Today, shrimp remoulade is a very common cold appetizer in New Orleans Creole restaurants, although, historically, hard boiled eggs with remoulade was a less expensive option on some menus. Shrimp remoulade is most often served as a stand-alone appetizer (usually on a chiffonade of iceberg lettuce). One might also see crawfish remoulade, but remoulade sauce is very seldom offered in restaurants as an accompaniment with fish; cocktail sauce and tartar sauce are generally the condiments of choice. Food columnist and cookbook author Leon Soniat suggests to “Serve [remoulade] over seafood or with sliced asparagus.”

Central Mississippi has Comeback sauce, a condiment that is very similar to Louisiana remoulade.

 

Condiment of the Week – Relish

April 28, 2016 at 4:56 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Hot Dog Relish

Hot Dog Relish

A relish is a cooked, pickled, or chopped vegetable or fruit food item typically used as a condiment in particular to enhance a staple. In the United States, the word relish is frequently used to describe a single variety of relish —pickle or dill relish, made from finely chopped pickled cucumbers. Such relish is commonly used as a condiment, and is an important ingredient in many varieties of the U.S. version of tartar sauce.

It originated in India and has since become popular throughout the world. Examples are jams, chutneys, and the North American relish, a pickled cucumber jam eaten with hot dogs or hamburgers.

 
The item generally consists of discernible vegetable or fruit pieces in a sauce, although the sauce is subordinate in character to the vegetable or fruit pieces. It might consist of a single type of vegetable or fruit, or a combination of these. These fruits or vegetables might be coarsely or finely chopped, but generally a relish is not as smooth as a sauce-type condiment, such as ketchup. The overall taste sensation might be sweet or savory, hot or mild, but it is always a strong flavor that complements or adds to the primary food item with which it is served.

Relish probably came about from the need to preserve vegetables in the winter. In India (where the preparation originated from), this generally includes either vegetables, herbs or fruits.

In the United States, the most common commercially available relishes are made from pickled cucumbers and are known in the food trade as pickle relishes. Two variants of this are hamburger relish (pickle relish in a ketchup base or sauce) and hotdog relish (pickle relish in a mustard base or sauce). Other readily available commercial relishes in the United States include corn (maize) relish. Heinz, Vlasic, and Claussen are well known in the United States as producers of pickled cucumbers and pickle relishes.

A notable relish is the Gentleman’s Relish, which was invented in 1828 by John Osborn and contains spiced anchovy. It is traditionally spread sparingly atop unsalted butter on toast.

Within North America, relish is much more commonly used in Canada and Alaska than in the contiguous United

Red pepper relish

Red pepper relish

States on food items such as hamburgers or hot dogs. One exception is in the Chicago area, where bright green sweet pickle relish adorns hot dogs when “everything” is the order on the dog. American-based fast food chains do not normally put relish on hamburgers even at their locations in Canada and Alaska, whereas Canadian fast food chains (such as Harvey’s) do have it as a regular option just like ketchup, mustard, etc. American-based fast food chains use regular pickles to a greater extent. If it is offered as an option at Canadian locations of American-based fast food restaurants (e.g. Wendy’s), it is generally offered in individually portioned packets rather than added atop the burger. Restaurants, fast food franchises and sports stadiums in Canada prominently offer relish as a topping on hamburgers and hot dogs along with ketchup and mustard, whereas this is less common in most of the United States (although there is variation within the United States).

 

Condiment of the Week – Pico de gallo

April 21, 2016 at 4:51 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Pico de gallo

Pico de gallo

In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster’s beak), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked salad made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, fresh serranos (but jalapeños or habaneros may be used instead), salt, and key lime juice. Other ingredients may also be added, such as shrimp or avocado

Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican liquid salsas, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.

The tomato-based variety is widely known as salsa picada (minced/chopped sauce). In Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, coriander and green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).

In many regions of Mexico the term refers to any of a variety of salads (including fruit salads), salsa, or fillings made with tomato, tomatillo, avocado, orange, jícama, cucumber, papaya, or mild chilis. The ingredients are tossed in lime juice and either hot sauce or chamoy, then sprinkled with a salty chili powder.

 

Condiment of the Week – Piccalilli

April 14, 2016 at 4:58 AM | Posted in Condiment of the Week | Leave a comment
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Mustard piccalilli

Mustard piccalilli

Piccalilli is an English interpretation of Indian pickles, a relish of chopped pickled vegetables and spices; regional recipes vary considerably.

 

 

 
British piccalilli contains various vegetables – invariably cauliflower and vegetable marrow – and seasonings of mustard and turmeric. A more finely chopped variety “sandwich piccalilli” is also available from major British supermarkets. It is used as an accompaniment to foods such as sausages, bacon, eggs, toast, cheese, and tomatoes. It is similar to a sweet pickle such as Branston Pickle, except it is tangier and slightly less sweet, colored bright yellow (using turmeric) rather than brown, and the chunks are larger. It is usually used to accompany a dish on a plate rather than as a bread spread. It is popular as a relish with cold meats such as ham and brawn, and with a ploughman’s lunch. It is produced both commercially and domestically, the latter product being a traditional mainstay of Women’s Institute and farmhouse product stalls.

 

 

Piccalilli on toast

Piccalilli on toast

In the Northeastern United States, commercial piccalillis are based on diced sweet peppers, either red or green. This style is somewhat similar to sweet pepper relish, with the piccalilli being distinguished by having a darker red or green color and like British piccalilli, the chunks are larger and it is slightly sweeter. It is a popular topping on such foods as hamburgers and hot dogs. Traditional, British-style yellow piccalilli is also available.

In the Midwestern United States, commercial piccalillis are based on finely chopped gherkins; bright green and on the sweet side, they are often used as a condiment for Chicago-style hot dogs. This style is sometimes called “neon relish”.

In the Southern United States, piccalilli is not commonly served. In its place, chow-chow, a relish with a base of chopped green (unripe) tomatoes is offered. This relish may also include onions, bell peppers, cabbage, green beans and other vegetables. While not exactly similar to other piccalillis, chow-chow is often called as such and the terms may be used interchangeably. Piccalilli is uncommon in the Western United States.

 
A far spicier variant of piccalilli comes from the former Dutch colony of Suriname, where traditional British piccalilli is mixed with a sambal made of garlic and yellow Madame Jeanette peppers. This piccalilli is often homemade but can also be bought in jars in Dutch corner shops. Whilst Surinamese piccalilli is similar in appearance to ordinary piccalilli, the taste is much spicier.

 

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