5 multi-purpose kitchen condiments

Stock your kitchen with these five condiments that can do double duty

Dijon mustard

This is a must in our kitchen, and in every professional kitchen I’ve worked in. Dijon is excellent on burgers, sandwiches and turkey sausages. It’s also a mainstay of vinaigrettes, and adds flavour to potato, pasta and rice salads. As well, you can use it as a rub on meats before grilling.

Pickles

My wife, Amanda, and I have many different preserves on hand in our kitchen, but our favourite is pickled cucumbers. We always have a jar in the fridge. They are great with cheese and crackers, and sliced to top a sandwich or burger. Or chop some up and add them to a potato salad for flavour and crunch.Use leaves from oak, fig, cherry trees or grapevines for their tannins, ensuring a crisp pickle.

Ketchup

In our house we use it as a base for a quick barbecue sauce, or with horseradish to make a cocktail sauce for shrimp. And, of course, the kids love it on burgers.We’ve all been there: You’ve just spent the past hour working the grill, flipping perfect patties, and searing juicy steaks. By the time you can finally dig in, your mouth is watering and your stomach is growling. But before you take that first bite, you go to put on the finishing touch: a smear of tomato ketchup.

Low-fat mayonnaise

It’s a staple in tuna, chicken or egg salad. But you can also add a squeeze of lemon, grated garlic and a pinch of pepper to mayo for a simple aioli to go with fish or meat.Tasters were unanimous in thinking our last-place finisher bore no resemblance to mayonnaise. One taster said it tasted like “a cross between pureed cottage cheese and tofu.” Two other products didn’t fare much better. Tasters thought our second-place finisher was too sweet but made a fairly decent macaroni salad.

Maple syrup

This is great for more than pancakes! Use it to sweeten desserts, marinades, sauces and vinaigrettes.These pancakes get their heartiness from cornmeal and wheat germ and feature a syrup loaded with favorites like bourbon, bacon, and maple. If you don’t get 3 Tbs. of bacon fat from cooking the bacon, you can make up the difference with melted unsalted butter. An easy, no-mess trick for measuring the yogurt in this recipe is to pour the 1 cup milk into a 2-cup glass measure; then add enough yogurt to make the milk rise to the 2-cup line.

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