By Sofie Sherman-Burton, Marketing & Membership Manager
Cooking (and eating) outside is one of my favorite parts of warmer weather. On the first warm days of spring, you’ll usually find me texting friends to see who’s free right now and running to the store for a bag of briquettes. Hanging out while the grill heats up, throwing an odd assortment of things on the grill and then onto a plate, and getting a whiff of the lingering smell of smoke in my hair are all quintessential summer moments that I think back to with potent jealousy in January. I also really love condiments and making my own. A few jars of sauces or toppings in the fridge can turn some wonderful (but maybe boring) grilled vegetables into something transcendent. These are all also pretty cheap, pretty easy, and adaptable for uses away from the grill.
The first time we made this, my partner declared it “the sharp cheddar of mayo.” That’s not so far from the truth: the apple cider vinegar adds an extra tang that makes this mayo kind of special. I like dipping all kinds of things in it (veggies, potatoes) and of course slathering it on buns.
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups neutral oil (like canola)
In a food processor, blend the egg yolk, salt, mustard, and vinegar. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is thick, emulsified, and looks like mayo! Store in the refrigerator in a lidded container for up to 7 days. Makes about 1 ½ cups. You could also try making this by hand with a whick or in a blender. Recipe from Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner by Ashley Christensen.
Basic Country Mustard
There are so many ways to customize this mustard and make it your: brown mustard seeds are spicier than white ones, you can try a variety of vinegars (start with apple cider or white wine), sweeten it, add your favorite herb (like thyme, oregano, or rosemary). No matter what route you take, mustard is super easy to make and just takes a little time!
- 6 tablespoon mustard seeds
- ½ cup mustard powder
- ½ cup water or beer
- 3 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave (optional)
- ¼ cup minced herbs (optional)
Grind the mustard seeds for a few seconds in an electric grinder, or use a mortar and pestle. They should be mostly whole, but crushed. Pour those seeds into a bowl and add the salt and mustard powder. Add your turmeric, sweetener, or herbs here, too, if you’re using them. Pour in the water or beer and stir well. When everything is incorporated, let the mixture sit for ten minutes (the longer you let it sit, the mellower it will be). When you’re ready, pour in the vinegar. Put your mustard in a glass jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. It will be a bit runny, but should thicken over night. Wait at least 12 hours before using. You should end up with about a half a cup of mustard , which will keep for up to a year in the fridge. Adapted slightly from honest-food.net.
Pickled Red Onions
When I have a jar of pickled red onions in the fridge, I put them on just about everything. They’re perfect on tacos, grilled cheese, and pizza, but also on salads, soup, grilled veggies, or atop a rice bowl. They add a great vinegar-y crunch but their pretty pink color might be reason enough for my enthusiasm. This method, which doesn’t even require turning on the stove, is a perfect place to start. If you want to get more creative, bring the sugar, salt, vinegar, and water to a boil on the stove with your desired spices: try fennel, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, allspice berries, sprigs of rosemary or thyme or oregano, dried chili….
- 1 red onion, sliced into half moons as thin as you can manage
- 1 garlic clove sliced thinly or just thoroughly smashed
- 2 teaspoons sugar (you could use honey or agave instead)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup white vinegar (or use white wine vinegar)
- ½ cup water
Put everything in a pint jar (or a bigger one if you had a big onion!), screw on the lid tightly, and shake the jar until the salt and sugar have dissolved. If you see granules on the bottom, keep shaking. Let the jar sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so. You can eat them right away, or pop them in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to two weeks. Recipe from Small Victories by Julia Turshen.