If we’re going to try to make the most awesome sandwiches, we can’t overlook the condiments. They may not make or break a sandwich, but the best condiments catapult humble sandwiches to another level.
Store-bought mustards are ok, but you’ve compared them to the ones you get from artisans at the market right? Or brand-name pickles to your grammie’s jars? This is a realm where the homemade stuff wins every time, and given how easy it is to make condiments at home, you can have one or two of them on hand, at least once in a while.
Plus you can make it personal. I’m talking about custom mustard.
Homemade Tarragon Mustard (Adapted from What’s On My Plate—Tanya’s recipe was the first I tried, and since then I’ve played with different flavours. Tarragon mustard is pretty classic, but you can make sweet, spicy and flavour-packed mustards that include cheese and porcini mushrooms for instance!)
2 tbs yellow mustard seeds
2 tbs brown mustard seeds
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/4 c water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 small handful fresh tarragon leaves
Combine everything except the tarragon leaves in a bowl and leave, uncovered, at room temperature for 48 hours. Thinly slice tarragon leaves. Add leaves and mustard seed mixture to a small food processor or a hand blender, and blend. Stop when a desired consistency is reached, grainy or smooth. Store in an air-tight container, refrigerated, for weeks.
Makes about 1/4 cup.
Sweet and Spicy Quick Homemade Pickles
This quick pickle is super-easy. Feel free to use any or all of the spices I usually use, or add any other dried herb or spice you’d like.
1 organic seedless cucumber or zucchini, thinly sliced
2 yellow banana peppers, destemmed and deseeded, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/4 c sugar
1 tbs salt
1 tbs Korean chili flakes, or 1/2 tsp hot or sweet paprika
1 tsp each fennel seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and/or black peppercorns (all optional)
Combine all ingredients in a clean jar with a lid. Shake well and set aside for 20 minutes, or refrigerate for a week or so.
This recipe that originally ran in Bon Appetit is great, so I don’t mess with it much. Once made, you can add flavours to it as you please–harissa mayonnaise is my favourite. *Note their warning about the use of raw egg in this recipe.
1 large egg yolk*
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
3/4 cup canola oil, divided
Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.
Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add 1/4 cup oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Cover and chill. do ahead Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
* Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella infection, you can use pasteurized egg yolk instead.