All posts filed under: Condiments

The Mayo Burger ~ with lettuce slaw

Travelling around in South Brazil I learned a very important thing – “Burger with Salad” on a menu description doesn’t mean lettuce, tomatoes and onion. …it means “Big ass burger patty topped with green peas, cooked carrots and corn“… yes, exactly like a can of Veg-All.  And, it didn’t matter where we traveled in the Southern part of the country, it was always the same. I really shouldn’t be surprised. Half of the hot dogs I ate there had mashed potatoes, corn and french fries smashed into the top; balancing on top of the wiener and bun like a drunken night at the all-you-can-eat buffet.. It’s like they didn’t grasp the whole idea of American Fast food…. they still wanted their “Meat & 2 Veg.” But if you got to have “Salad” on top of a burger… then make it a good salad. My all-time favorite burger topping is a lettuce slaw. There’s just something about a mound of sweet iceberg lettuce steaming on top of a burger that just makes my toes curl. And, once …

Buttermilk Ranch – It’s a love / hate thing

…you know you do. Back just shy of 1950, there was this guy named Steve Henson. He was up in Alaska somewhere working, doing the bush people thing and cooking for his fellow bush people workers. It was during that mystical time he began developing a buttermilk based salad dressing (I’m assuming to put on their fireweed Caesars…or willow bark chop salads… or moose fodder carpaccio … .. . the whole mental image of bush people in Alaska sitting around a campfire, eating a honkin’ bowl of salad is just kinda funny.). He and his wife later moved to California, and opened a Dude Ranch called Hidden Valley. His formulated buttermilk dressing became the house dressing of the ranch. It was so unique, so flavorful, everybody wanted the recipe. He began packaging up the mix and selling it…. Although to do that, the mix had to be diluted with non-food items (fillers, stabilizers, anti-clumping agents). The popularity grew and people couldn’t get enough. By the late 60’s, Ranch dressing had displaced all of the old salad standbys – Green …

The Mayo Clinic

While theoretically a sauce, mayonnaise has become the mother of all condiments in the  States. A tomato sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without mayo, and a banana sammich – if you ain’t got the mayonnaise, just forget about it. It is the basis for thousands of sandwich spreads, it is the glue – the lubrication – and the binder for any well appointed thing between 2 slices of bread…. and I’m of the camp that “more is better.” Although, one of Jane’s first babysitters for us kids used to make ham sandwiches that squooched mayo out the sides when you tried to bite into it. I think there’s a happy place somewheres just short of that mark. Here’s the thing, I used to giggle when people said they made their own condiments. Making something that you can pick up off the shelf never really made all that much sense…. until 2 years ago. As you know, we’re currently living in prepared food hell, so anything that used to be a no-brainer now has dire consequences. …

Weight of the World on my Lamb Shoulder…

Steaks… There’s a bit of contention when it comes to lamb shoulder steaks. There are those who believe that you should only braise them because the connective tissue – bone – and general condition of the musculature make them an unlikely candidate for anything short of 3 hours in a stew. … And then there are people like me that spit in the fan of naysayers, and fire up the grill every time. You can usually find shoulder (or Blade ) steaks in the fast sell section at the butcher shop. The double bone and (in my area) the fact that it’s lamb makes them somewhat undesirable… meaning – you can usually pick up a one pound 1″ thick steak for somewhere around $5.50 – which is a pretty good deal, considering it’s, you know… lamb, and beats the bejeezus out of $19.95 a pound for chops. If you can’t seem to find shoulder steaks at your market, pick up a good meaty shoulder roast and have your butcher cut it into decent 1″ chops for you. (most …

A Fine Pickle you’ve gotten us into…

As I’ve said, I keep boiled eggs around for, well… just because… But not all the eggs are plain, run of the stock eggs. Sometimes I like a little color… A little Zing! For those times, I drag out the mondo mason jars and whip up a passel of pickled eggs. Meh…don’t turn your nose up. Pickled eggs work wonders for dressing up a cold cut platter. They go famously with poached fish; amazingly with cold chicken; just perfect with a beer… and some pretzels… and the TV. Keep in mind, though – these aren’t standard pickles, nor are they shelf stable. You will have to keep them refrigerated, and try to consume them within a couple of weeks. So bear that in mind when you’re making them… 16 pickled eggs is a lot of eggs to eat in a short period of time. Invite some people over to help you finish them off… eggs used – 36 Yellow Eggs Makes 16 Ingredients 2 16oz Containers of Pickled Banana Peppers – with the juice 2 …

All That Lemony Goodness

If you break into my house and raid the fridge – you’re apt to be painfully disappointed, let alone painfully injured when I smack you with the heal of my boot. I pretty much just have shelves full of condiments. If its a sauce, a pickle, something you can schmear on a hunk of bread – I’ve got it…   and if I don’t have it, I can make it. Case in point – Preserved Lemons. Now, there are some things in life that I am carelessly loose with my money on. But, a jar of salted lemons isn’t a thing that I am interested in paying a honking $25.00 for – not when I can make them…. and make a lot of them…  and give the extras away as “GIFTS”…  and it cost me a fraction of what one measly jar costs. It’s a WIN/WIN/WIN kind of day all around for me there. Preserved Lemons are used in a variety of preparations from Moroccan to Greek to Turkish, and can be used just about anywhere …