Paula O’Brien: Take the backyard BBQ to the next level with a Co-op spin on condiments
Condiments are versatile, easy to customize and combine. They’ve got a medley of flavors to tempt your palate, tweaking a sauce, dressing or marinade with just the right amount of oomph to get dinner over the finish line or to make you la célébrité de pique-nique with a showstopper dish!
You can take mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickles and relish in a lot of different directions with just pinches of herbs and spices. Mystery solved: Many a “secret sauce” is a simple mix-and-match of condiments with a few added ingredients. Condiments complement the other ingredients as you cook, allowing you to fine-tune your tuna fish salad, stake your claim to the best steak sauce on the planet, or boost the flavor of just about anything that calls for the presence of tomatoey goodness, sharp mustardy twang or briny pickle bliss.
And, just in time for peak grilling and picnic season, you can also do good as you fill your pantry with the condiments you need to create fabulous feasts. For the entire month of August, when you purchase select Woodstock brand organic condiments and barbecue charcoal at BriarPatch Food Co-op, the Co-op will give .25 cents per item purchased to this month’s CAUSE recipient, The Food Bank of Nevada County. Stop by and stock up and help support one of the most important nonprofits in our community-especially at this critical time.
Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Dill Pickle Dip
Pickle fans unite! Your friends and family will all agree you’re a “really big dill” when you serve this with dippers or as a sandwich spread. For easy mixing, make sure the cream cheese is very soft.
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 Tbsp pickle juice
¾ cup chopped kosher dill pickles
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
¼ tsp garlic powder
Additional chopped pickles and dill for garnish
In medium bowl, mix cream cheese, 2 Tbsp pickle juice, cheddar cheese, pickles, dill, green onions and garlic powder until well combined. Add more pickle juice for a thinner dip.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Garnish with chopped pickles and dill before serving.
Saucy and Savory Ketchup
Makes about ¾ cup
Transform ordinary ketchup into a crazy-good sauce for burgers, fries, shrimp cocktail or anywhere you want ketchup with a kick.
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ medium yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 clove garlic, pressed or very finely minced
1 Tbsp cider or balsamic vinegar
½ cup ketchup
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp ancho chile powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup water
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, stirring occasionally, until browned and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and stir for two minutes more.
Add vinegar and scrape brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in ketchup, red pepper flakes, chile powder, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, a little black pepper and water. Simmer about 5 minutes to meld flavors and thicken.
Serve at room temperature. Keeps about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Deviled Egg Potato Salad
What would summertime be without potato salad or deviled eggs to liven things up? With this two-fer recipe, you get ‘em both! Easy and fun to customize with add-ins.
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
6 hard boiled eggs, diced
2 Tbsp sweet onion or green onion, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cider vinegar
Several pinches, to taste: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, paprika (smoked or regular)
Optional add-ins: Bacon, dill or sweet pickles, sliced olives, fresh basil, red onions, roasted red peppers, pickled jalapeños, chives… you get the idea!
Boil potatoes in a large pot over high heat until fork-tender. Drain and let cool.
To make dressing, mix mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and salt/sugar/pepper/spices in a small bowl.
In large mixing bowl, combine eggs, onion, celery, any add-ins and cooled potatoes. Pour dressing over potatoes and stir to combine. Add more salt/pepper to taste.
Top with paprika and serve, or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
Paula O’Brien is the editor of BriarPatch Co-op’s newsletter, The Vine
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