May 23, 2019
Sauce and Condiment Upgrades
from Chef Matthew Fuss
Quick, what’s a fast and easy way to turn a sandwich, salad, or protein into a signature item? How can you turn a side dish into a specialty or add value to everyday bread service?
Sauces and condiments are the answer. A flavorful spread, dip, or dressing can elevate the expected into craveability territory—even when the recipe starts with something as straightforward as mayo, mustard, or vinaigrette. Just think about how popular honey mustard and garlic mayo (a.k.a. aioli) have become on menus.
Did You Know? 53% of consumers either love or like honey mustard, and aioli is on 25.5% of U.S. menus, having grown 35.4% since 2015.
In fact, pantry staples like mustard, mayonnaise, and emulsified oil and vinegar are versatile enough to support a great deal of signature-making innovation. Just add:
- Minor’s® Sun Dried Tomato Pesto or Roasted Garlic flavor concentrates
- Black or green olive tapenade
- Anchovy paste
- Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- Capers or chopped cornichons
- Toasted sesame oil
- Fresh herbs, including dill, basil, thyme, chives, and/or parsley
- Blue cheese or feta
- Maple syrup
There are other base products that can be treated like condiments with enhancements to create new toppings, dips, and spreads:
Mix hummus with roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, spinach and artichoke, or a Minor’s flavor concentrate.
Kick up prepared guacamole a notch with fresh salsa or hatch chiles, roasted corn and black beans, chopped mango and jicama, or fermented chili paste.
Combine cream cheese with chopped pimiento-stuffed olives; Minor’s Bacon Base, sliced scallions, and crumbled cheddar; chopped pecans and dried apricots; or finely chopped roasted vegetables.
Turn sour cream or Greek yogurt into a specialty with the addition of chopped cucumber, garlic and dill, and za’atar spice; Parmesan, Dijon, and cracked black pepper; or lime juice and Minor’s Chipotle Flavor Concentrate.
Compound butter is yet another avenue for exploration. Simply mix softened butter with supplementary sweet or savory ingredients—from orange zest and honey to chopped truffle to green peppercorns to smoked paprika and rosemary—to produce a high-impact finish for steak, fish, or chicken right off the grill; a dressing for vegetables, potatoes, or rice; or a flavorful addition to an à la carte bread basket.
Perhaps the best thing about elevating condiments and sauces is the way they can be used as a vehicle for introducing new flavors and on-trend ingredients—like adobo, kimchi, smoked paprika, or chermoula.
Mix Minor’s Beef Base and a touch of horseradish into mayonnaise to create Au Jus Mayo for a roast beef sandwich.
The addition of Minor’s Beef Base and toasted cumin turns ketchup into Cowboy Ketchup for a burger, fries, or onion rings.
Stir Minor’s GreenLeaf Pesto™ Basil or Cilantro) into olive oil as a dipping sauce for bread.
Here’s a recipe for Spinach Walnut Pesto Schmear that can be used on a sandwich or served in a crock with crackers and crudité for a bar snack.
Sources: Datassential SNAP! Honey Mustard (2019); Datassential SNAP! Aioli (2019)