Some months back, I got an email from my friend Eric. Ages ago, Eric and I were co-workers and our desks were right next to each other. This was in the days when I was just starting this website and would often go off on a tear about my latest batch of jam or pickles. Now Eric is successful writer who also happens to do all kinds of fancy marketing and social media stuff for Quirk Books.
Thanks to those days spent as co-workers, Eric was well aware of my deep obsession with homemade spreads and toppings and so, was writing to invite me to participate in a blog tour for a book called Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments.
The idea behind the tour was that each participating blogger would make one or two components necessary to assemble the Ecuadorian Street Dog, so that at the end of the tour, a reader could hop from site to site in order to prep and build the entire dog on their own. If I chose to accept it, my assignment was condiments. Mustard. Mayo. And Ketchup. I was in.
While I was all excited to try my hand at someone else’s condiment recipes (when you spend a goodly chunk of your life inventing recipes, it’s always nice to take a break and let someone else do the heavy lifting), I’ll confess right now that I wasn’t particularly jazzed by the idea of a hot dog book.
However, when this one arrived, I could immediately see that Haute Dogs wasn’t just a book about hot dogs. It is a love letter to the humble dog in its many forms. And that’s something I can get behind.
So, let’s talk recipes. My assignment was to make three of the most classic summertime condiments around. Yellow mustard. Mayonnaise. And ketchup. No summer cookout is complete without this triad and for the diehard DIY-er, it just makes sense to make your own.
These are easy recipes that are meant to be made and used within a few days or a week. Though you’ll see them pictured in jars throughout this blog post, do know that those are simply the vessels I chose to stash them in. I don’t have canning instructions to offer for these recipes. With that, let’s get on to the condiments!
This is nice yellow mustard recipe (it makes about 1/2 cup). The addition of cornstarch means that it thickens up nicely. The turmeric gives it the familiar color and the tiny bit of cayenne pepper adds a welcome kick. I’d make it at least one or two days before you plan on using it, because mustard tends to be a bit flat in flavor initially, but tightens up over time.
1/4 cup ground mustard
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch garlic powder
1. Combine all ingredients in a small heavy-bottomed pot.
2. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil and then remove from heat.
3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
I have a hit or miss record with homemade mayonnaise. Sometimes I get it exactly right, while other times, the emulsion breaks and I end up with some greasy and running. Happily, this batch turned out gorgeously (and made about a cup) and I plan on using the recipe again. Russell offers several different options for making the mayonnaise (bowl & whisk, stand mixer, food processor, or stick blender). I went with the stick blender and found that it worked beautifully.
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup soybean oil (I used grapeseed oil, because that’s what I had in my kitchen)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, salt, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and sugar. Add vinegar and whisk until thoroughly combined.
2. While whisking (or blending with the stick blender fully submerged in the egg mixture), slowly add the oil. Whisk (or blend) until all the oil has been added and the mayonnaise is thick.
Now, to the ketchup. I thought this recipe was pretty darn good for a quick condiment. It doesn’t have the depth of the longer cooked version, but is a nice option if you’re trying to ween your family off of their beloved bottle of Heinz.
I will say that even after an hour of cooking, I felt like it was still a little runnier than I like in a ketchup. However, I needed to move on to another project and so called it done even in its runny state. If I were to make this one again, I might pour it into a small roasting pan and reduce it in the oven for a thicker, less fussy-to-tend version.
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole clove
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
1/4 teaspoon powdered onion
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, reduce heat to low, and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove and discard clove (Note: I was never able to find mine again to pluck it out). Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
For the rest of the recipes from the Haute Dog blog tour, check out these blogs:
May 1st – Endless Simmer has the recipe for Salsa Verde.
May 6th – Over at Boulder Locavore shares the Spicy Aji Sauce.
May 13th – Love and Olive Oil will have the homemade french fries and potato wedges recipes.
May 15th – For the final day of the tour, Haute Dogs author Russell van Kraayenburg, will put the whole dog together!