To be honest, condiments are the unsung heroes of any dish. Who out there can relate to an overcooked hamburger being saved by creamy mayonnaise or chicken coming to life with a marinade of spicy mustard and honey? Even the best recipes you can think of usually gets the upsell of some good ol' fashioned toppings to make it really special.
If you have read my blogs for any time at all, you would know that I am freaky about making things myself. For no higher motive than just because I am stubborn and figure if I want something, the best way to get it is to learn how to make it. Then, I never run out! Having this skill can save you some embarrassment too if you are lucky.
Once, my husband showed up to our new home with his co-worker and wife for an impromptu dinner. Of course, he didn't warn me. What he did do, is talk up my macaroni salad. To the point that those poor people probably just wanted to eat some macaroni and run for the hills, but I digress.
Unfortunately, since I didn't know they were coming, I was unprepared to have a menu listed for me and we were out of mayo. Instead of flipping out (I was trying to behave), I made my own mayonnaise and that was the start of my love affair with the homemade variety.
Mayonnaise is not as difficult as you might think. If you are used to the flavor of Miracle Whip (which is absolutely NOT the same thing at all), then I can't help you. But if you crave thick, creamy, slightly tangy mayonnaise, then you have to try this:
It's not just mayo that I crave. In face, I have always been somewhat of a mustard snob. Even as a kid I wanted hot spicy mustard, but I liked stone ground mustard much better than anything smooth. Yellow mustard was a crime (even now, it's a cooking condiment-not to be served at the table), but I would eat Grey Poupon out of the jar with a spoon. How odd, right? Mix some of that stone ground luscious mustard with some of that homemade mayonnaise and you have the best dipping sauce for anything crunchy-chips, pretzels, roasted veggies, French fries. I can't even imagine life of snacking without this combo. Here is how to make a kickass mustard. It's super simple too!
Ketchup is one of those condiments that everyone has an opinion about. Some like it super sweet, some thick, some thin. Me? I like it as a side dish, so it's available for me to dip whatever strikes my fancy into it. You haven't lived until you toast a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich (using mayo instead of butter) and then dipped it into homemade ketchup. It's a taste explosion and I am in heaven. You have to try it!