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Easy condiments to prepare from scratch
July 24, 2016, 9:41 am

Condiments make everyday meals more exciting. Where would French fries be without ketchup? Or hot dogs without mustard. Treat your taste buds or impress your guests with these few condiment recipes that are easy to make and taste a lot better when prepared in your own kitchen.


Homemade mayonnaise tastes fresher and brighter than anything you can buy at the store. It is quick to make and you can flavor it just how you like.

To prepare, place two large egg yolks in a food processor, add one teaspoon Dijon mustard and four teaspoons of fresh lemon juice and pulse until well combined. With the motor running, add one cup vegetable oil in a slow and steady stream until emulsified and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Refrigerate in an airtight container and use within a week.


This version of ketchup is spiked with spicy chili and citrus that will take your French fries or veggie fries to new heights.

Puree one can diced tomatoes and juice, one medium onion quartered, three cloves crushed garlic and ¼ cup plus two tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar in a food processor. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add ¼ cup cider vinegar, one cup water, two teaspoons dry mustard, a pinch of ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground allspice, a pinch of chili powder, ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 1/3 cup fresh orange juice, two tablespoons brewed espresso, one bay leaf and one fresh habanero chili. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 50 minutes. Remove the chili. Puree half or whole chili (depending on desired heat) with one cup ketchup in the food processor. Return ketchup to the pot; stir until well blended. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and let it cool.


If you have never made mustard before, start with this straightforward recipe. Mix together ½ cup dried apricots or figs, 4 ½ teaspoons dried yellow mustard seeds, 4 ½ teaspoons dried brown mustard seeds, two tablespoons ground mustard, ¼ cup distilled white vinegar and ¾ cup water in a bowl. Refrigerate, cover and keep overnight. Then place the mustard mixture in a food processor, add salt to taste and puree until smooth. Serve, or store in refrigerator, covered, up to one week.

Barbecue sauce:

With homemade BBQ sauce, the tomato base, vinegar tang, and sweet molasses strike the perfect balance of flavors. In a medium saucepan, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Add one small diced white onion and cook for five minutes. Add three finely chopped garlic cloves and cook for a minute. Then add one can tomato paste and two teaspoons ground mustard; cook, stirring constantly for about five minutes. Add two cups water, one can tomato sauce, ¼ cup unsulfured molasses, two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, three tablespoons white vinegar, two teaspoons coarse salt and 1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper and stir until smooth. Bring to simmer; reduce heat to low and partially cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally for two hours. Season to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper and let it cool completely before using.

Thousand Island Dressing:

There are endless ways to use this American classic - toss with salad, smear on burgers, or use as a dip for fries, just to name a few. In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup buttermilk, ½ cup sour cream and ¼ cup mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in 1/3 cup ketchup and three tablespoons sweet pickle relish. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper to taste.


Uber-French, this garlicky mayonnaise is irresistible on seafood, vegetables, or a steak sandwich. Chop two garlic cloves and add a pinch of salt. Mash into a paste with a knife’s flat side. Whisk in two large egg yolks (room temperature) with ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Slowly add one tablespoon fresh lemon juice and one tablespoon water, and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add about ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, drop by drop, whisking until emulsified. Gently add 1 ½ cups oil in a steady trickle and stir in garlic.

Sweet chili sauce:

This delicious spicy-sweet sauce can be served with spring rolls, grilled meats, or any meal that needs a kick. In a small pot, combine ¾ cup white vinegar and ¾ cup sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook for about six minutes. Remove from heat and stir in three minced garlic cloves, two teaspoon red-pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Let it cool to room temperature before using.

Tartar sauce:

This popular fried-seafood accompaniment is simple to make from scratch. To prepare, stir together one cup mayonnaise, three tablespoons sweet relish, one tablespoon fresh lemon juice, three tablespoons drained capers rinsed, one tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, one teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in a medium bowl. Serve once ready.

Extra-special sauce: This spicy-sweet sauce makes a good ingredient on burgers. Stir together one cup ketchup, ½ cup mayonnaise, three tablespoons pickle juice and one tablespoon Asian chili sauce.

Cayenne chili hot sauce:

Add fiery tang to any dish with this homemade hot sauce. Add 48 steamed and halved fresh golden or red cayenne chilies (about 3 1/2 inches long each), eight peeled garlic cloves, two teaspoons sugar, four teaspoons coarse salt and eight cups distilled white vinegar in a non reactive medium pot. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Let it cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree. Pour through a fine sieve into a small bowl; discard the remaining solids. Let it cool completely. Then divide among small bottles or pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

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