Condiments – Sauces – and Dips – Oh My!

Condiments - Sauces - and Dips - Oh My!

Supermarket-Condiments-Aisle

Image Credit: Fooducate

Depending on what you are going to eat, no meal is complete without condiments, sauces and dips.

You could become easily over whelmed as you stroll your shopping cart down the condiments, sauces, and dips aisles of your favorite grocery store, as there are so many choices.

Even on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social networks you can find amazing, delectable and tasty-looking condiments, sauces and dips that you can create on your own to enhance your meals.

In the United States alone, the production of marketed condiments was valued at 5.6 billion dollars (USA) in 2010 and was estimated to grow to 7 billion dollars (USA) by 2015. 

Condiments are the second largest bought specialty food with the first being cheese.

What Is A Condiment

A condiment includes a spice, herb, salt, pepper, and sauce. The word “condiment” was coined from the Latin word condimentum, which means spice, seasoning, or sauce. The Latin word condere, also means, to preserve, pickle, or season.

The preparation of a particular condiment is added to food to render a distinct flavor, and/or to intensify a culinary dishes flavor. The term originally described food items like pickles, tarter sauce, mustard, ketchup, or Tabasco sauce, but has shifted meaning over time.

Link here to check out a List Of Condiments referred to on Wikipedia.

What Are Sauces and Dips

ranch dip with vegtables, tomatoes and crusted bread

Ranch Dressing or Buttermilk Dressing Dip With Vegetables, Tomatoes and Crusted Bread

Sauces are a liquid plus some sort of thickening agent along with other flavoring ingredients served with food, usually savory dishes, to add moistness and flavor.

About Food says there are 5 Mother Sauces, and they include…

  • Béchamel Sauce
  • Velouté Sauce
  • Espagnole Sauce
  • Hollandaise Sauce
  • Classic Tomate Sauce

About Food explains that the term “mother sauce” in culinary arts, refers to any one of the five basic sauces just mentioned, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces. They say that they are called “mother sauces,” as each sauce is like the head of its own unique family of sauces.

types of Mexican SalsasSalsa is the Italian and Spanish word for sauce, and in English speaking countries salsa usually refers to the sauces typical of Mexico’s cuisine, referred to as salsa picante, particularly those used as dips.

Salsas are most often prepared with a tomato-based sauce or dip which is heterogeneous or diverse in character, as it can include the addition of onions, chilies, beans, cilantro, corn, and assorted spices that are customarily piquant, ranging from mild to very hot.

Salsas can be runny or thick. Both types of salsas are also used as dipping sauces, such as platters that are prepared with corn chips, beans, sour cream, and salsa.

guacamole dip and corn chips

Guacamole With Corn Chips

Dips are a thick food item, for dipping other finger foods into.

Dips are usually dairy based, like a buttermilk based dip, or a sour cream or cream cheese based dip, as well as tomato based.

You can even mix a salsa with sour cream to form a dip.

Dips can be thick or a liquid, and they can include a spinach dip, fruit dip, like guacamole, or a pizza dip, such as a tomato sauce based dip, or a garlic sauce.

Creative Condiments – Sauces – and Dips

Add coconut to your curry sauce. This gives it a more south-east Asian flavor. Just sauté some onions, ginger, curry powder, and sugar. Add some coconut milk and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Add fresh, frozen, or peach preserves  and spices to a favorite barbecue sauce. Mix in some peach preserves, a little sriracha, and your favorite barbecue sauce, and turn some yum into a wow in an instant.

You can create a great slider sauce or marinade for grilling meats by using Dijon mustard, key lime juice, Himalayan salt and pepper.

Here are some great Condiments – Sauces – and Dips prepared here at Splendid Recipes and More…

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National Hot Sauce Day

tabasco sauce homemade in small glass bottle - National Hot Sauce DayChili peppers and other hot spices have been discovered and used by humans for thousands of years. The peoples of Mexico, Central America and South America have used chili peppers for more than 6,000 years, either used in culinary dishes, or in religious rites.

The chili peppers were discovered in the America’s in the 16th century, and taken to Europe and on into Africa and Asia.

The chili pepper has been altered over the years through selective breeding. The first known commercially bottled hot sauces in North America appeared in Massachusetts (USA) in 1807.

scoville Scale of hot peppers The well known “Tabasco sauce” appeared in 1868 in the United States, and i2010 to present, Tabasco sauce was number 13 on the best-selling list of condiments sold in the United States.

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is a formulated sauce for use with the creation of Buffalo wings, and is the 12th best-selling hot sauce.

According to the Scoville scale, the Ghost pepper and Habanero pepper are used to make the hotter sauces with pure capsaicin extract and mustard oil added for extra heat.

The 2001 published book “The Handbook of Herbs and Spices,” is used as a standard reference for all manufacturers using herbs and spices, including the chili pepper in their products, and the book notes the Carolina Reaper as the world’s current hottest pepper.

The Carolina Reaper appears in the Guinness World Records since August 7, 2013 as the world’s current hottest pepper, with an average heat level of over 1,400,000.

One unchangeable and not widely known fact about the chili pepper…is they are a fruit. Yes most chili peppers can contain up to 170% of your daily need for vitamin-C.

But not to worry, the bell pepper is the sweeties pepper, and you need only 1 whole medium pepper or 3 mini-sweet peppers to receive your daily vitamin-C needs, without the heat.

Here’s a recipe we found by the Insane Chicken to celebrate this day, National Hot Sauce Day. make the pepper sauce if you dare in your own kitchen, or you can purchase it. The Zest Fest name the sauce a 2015 Golden Chili Winner (check out their website…featuring ZestFest 2016  – January 29-31 zestfest.net).

bottled ghost pepper and Pineapple by Sweet Heat GourmetPineapple Ghost Pepper Sauce Recipe

8 ounces pineapple, cubed

2 ghost peppers

1/2 small onion, 6 ounces cubed

1/2 carrot, 3 ounces rough chopped

1/2 ounce golden raisin, 1/4 cup

2 cloves garlic, 1 ounce

1/2 lime, zest and meat the white pith discarded

1/4 ounce ginger, rough chopped

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 ounce cumin

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 cup sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

3/4 cup vinegar

Place all but the vinegar in a food processor and pulse till pureed. Add to pot with vinegar and cook 15 minutes. If needed blend again for a smooth sauce.

Fill hot sauce into sterilized hot bottles or jars.

Place in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Let age for at least 1 week.

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Cast Iron Seared and Broiled Salmon With Fruit And Herb Salsa

Cast Iron Seared and Baked Salmon with Fruit and Herb Salsa

The website Yummly boasts over 493 different pan seared salmon recipes, and we have one for you that you are sure to enjoy.

We pan seared and broiled salmon steaks in a cast iron skillet. The exciting thing about that for us was, the cast iron skillet we used is black enamel coated, so there is no seasoning or special care needed, as there is with a traditional cast iron pot or skillet.

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Read More: How to Care for Your Cast Iron Cookware

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The Science of Cooking explains the purpose of searing meat, noting the process is called  the “Maillard Reaction,” and is not to be confused with “Caramelization.”

When searing meat, hundreds of different flavor compounds are created. When heated, these compounds break down to form new flavor. Each type of meat being seared has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction.

The important thing about the Maillard reaction isn’t the color—, it’s the flavors and aromas.

The Modernist Cuisine explains that temperatures need to be high to bring about the Maillard reaction, but as long as the food is very wet, its temperature won’t climb above the boiling point of water.

Now for our featured recipe: – Cast Iron Seared and Broiled Salmon With Fruit And Herb Salsa – and here is what you will need.

First prepare the Fruit and Her Salsa, and refrigerate for later.

1 cup diced peaches, fresh or frozen

3/4 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen

2 mini red sweet peppers, seeded and diced

1/4 cup diced red onion

5 leaves of fresh mint, leaves chopped

1 spring thyme, leaves only, discard steams

1/4 cup Italian parsley

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

cast iron cooking with avocado oilPrepare and mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Top and refrigerate until ready to use.

Now prepare your salmon steaks. You will need the following for two servings.

2 salmon steaks, skin on

3 to 4 tablespoons avocado oil, smoke point to 500 degrees

3-4  cups Arugula

Salmon steaks in a cast iron skilletHeat oven on broil. Next, lightly drizzle avocado oil (heat safe to 500 degrees) into a cast iron oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Add salmon steaks to heated skillet and sear on each side for 2 minutes.

turning salmon steaksPlace skillet in pre-heated oven under the broiler for 7 to 10 minutes, turning steaks about every 3 minutes.

Be careful not to overcook. As the skillet is close to the broiler element, keep a close eye on your salmon steaks so they do not burn. We baked our salmon steaks to about 155 degrees, as you need to remember the fish continues to cook even after you remove it from the oven.

Cast Iron Seared and Baked Salmon with Fruit and Herb Salsa - close upIt is important to remove the salmon from the skillet soon after removing it from the oven. Have plates ready with arugula, and top each with a salmon steak. Next spoon some fruit and herb salsa over the salmon, and enjoy!

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Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Chicken Teriyaki  is a very popular Japanese food in the US.  Teriyaki in Japanese means “grilled with shine.”  Sugar in teriyaki sauce gives a shine to the food, making it not only delicious, but also looks more appetizing.

It is very simple to make teriyaki sauce, as it is a mixture of only three ingredients, soy sauce, sugar, and sake. You can also use mirin for a sweeter teriyaki.  One of the advantages of making the sauce yourself is you can adjust the flavor the way you prefer.  Also making your own, avoids the unnecessary chemicals in store bought teriyaki sauce.

 common-japanese-cooking-ingredientsAccording to Japanese Cooking 101, this is a list of common ingredients used in Japanese cuisine:

Aburaage
Aonori
Dashi
Dried Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi)
Dried Shiitake Mushroom
Mirin
Miso Paste
Nagaimo (Dioscorea opposita, Chinese yam)
Panko (Bread Crumbs)
Pickled Red Ginger (Benishouga)
Rice
Rice Vinegar
Roasted Seaweed (Sushi Nori)
Sake
Soy Sauce
Tonkatsu Sauce

It is not common in traditional Japanese cuisine to use garlic, though it is in Korean cooking.

Our featured recipe is a Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables, though not an authentic recipe, but an American rendition.

homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

4 tablespoons tamari sauce  (works the same as soy sauce)

4 tablespoons mirin (can use sake for a less sweeter teriyaki sauce)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar (not used in Japanese cooking, can use white sugar if you wish)

2 teaspoons arrowroot (can also use cornstarch or potato starch)

2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a small sauce pan over medium heat, the first three ingredients. In a small cup mix together the water and arrowroot. Bring the pot to a slow boil and add the arrowroot-water mixture to the boiling pot. Stir in and continue to stir until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tamari is specifically a Japanese form of soy sauce, traditionally made as a by-product of miso paste. Tamari is a gluten-free product, were as soy sauce is not.

Now let’s prepare the meat and vegetables to mix with our homemade teriyaki sauce.

vegetables cut Julienne style4  tablespoons coconut oil (or sesame oil), divided

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

3 green onions, chopped

2 carrots, cut julienne style

2 celery ribs, cut julienne style

8 asparagus spires, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces

4 chicken breasts, skinless and bones, cut into 1 inch chunks

2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds

A traditional Japanese chicken teriyaki uses chicken thighs, and asparagus is not a vegetable normally used in Japanese cooking.

sauteing ginger and green onionsSaute the prepared ginger and green onions in the heated coconut oil (2 tablespoons) over medium heat in a large frying pan, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Next add the carrots, celery, and asparagus, and continue to stir-fry until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

cooking chicken thigh chunks in teriyaki sauceHeat a large frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and add chopped meat and cook until meat is oblique. Next add the teriyaki sauce and mix in.

mixing in sesame seedsNext mix in the sesame seeds, and add the vegetables and mix in as well.

Teriyaki Chicken with VegetablesPlate and serve over white rice.

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Roasted Chicken With Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze 

Roasted Chicken With Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze The Scovilla scale is the measurement of how hot or spicy a chilli pepper is. The scale was first used in 1912 and named after its inventor Wilbur Scovilla.

According to the scale chipotles are between 3,000 to 10,000 SHU (Scovilla heat units), and that means a hot chili.

The word chipotle is derived from chilpoctli an Aztec word, and is a smoked red dried jalapeño chili from Mexico.

The chili is used in Mexican prepared foods as well as Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and prepared dishes of the southwestern parts of the US, like New Mexico (Link Here for more information about Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What Is The Difference?).

Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze Our featured recipe is an inspiration as it uses the chili to glaze the chicken. We found the recipe in Novembers issue (2014) of “Good Housekeeping.” The glaze is prepared to use while roasting a turkey.

We thought why not test it on some chicken breasts and see if our palate could endure the spice while eating the roasted poultry, and if so, it would be used to roast a turkey.

Our featured recipe is Baked Chicken With Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze, and here is what you will need.

Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze

1 teaspoon chipotle in adobe
Juice from 1/2 an orange
1 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Blend together in a blender until smooth.

This recipe was reduced down to accommodate four (4) chicken breasts. For the full recipe to roast a turkey link here: Good Housekeeping.

Now let’s glaze some chicken with that Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze.

preparing chicken breastsUsing a fork or knife, poke holes all over each chicken breast. You can use breast’s with the skin on, but as you can see we have some with the skin removed.

raw chicken breast wih Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze Next, spoon on some sauce or glaze and spread out over the meat. Set aside for about 30 to 40 minutes and allow the flavor of the spices to absorb in.

putting chicken breasts with Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze in oven to roastPlace chicken into a 350 degree preheated oven for for 40 minutes or until internal chicken temperature is 165 degrees.

Roasted Chicken With Chipotle Cinnamon Orange Glaze on a platterPlace the roasted chicken breasts on a platter and serve with an appropriate side dish. Link Here for some suggestions.

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Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for Gyros

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin StripsTzatziki sauce is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt, usually from sheep or goat milk, and is mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes lemon juice, and dill, mint, or parsley.

The culinary cuisine of Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Serbian use this sauce as a cold soup by just adding water to thin it out.

Caucasus Mountains Map LocationThe people who live in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black sea and Caspian sea, use kefir instead of yogurt to make Tzatziki. Doing so makes the sauce a drink that is poured over a mixture of vegetables, eggs and ham to create a variation of okroshka, a Russian cold soup by origin.

This cool and creamy Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce or Tzatziki sauce is used in preparation of  Greek Gyro Sandwiches.

You will need whole grain flat bread, the soft and thin kind ready for wrapping up your Gyro.

Depending on the amount of servings you want you will need both Lamb and Beef  sirloin strips, about 1/2 pound of each. BBQ the meat is the best way to prepare it.

As for the sauce you will need…

diced English Cucumber1 English Cucumber – peeled and diced
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt

Place diced cucumber in a colander and spread out evenly and sprinkle salt over it. Place colander over a large plate or bowl and top the colander and set aside for 30 minutes. The salt will drain the water from the diced cucumber. Leaving the moisture in the cucumber will make for a runny sauce.

ingredients for Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce1 garlic clove minced

1 tablespoon fresh dill

Juice of one fresh medium lemon

2 to 4 pepper corns – either white or black

3 cups of real Greek Yogurt – the one that is authentic strained

Place all ingredients but the yogurt into a blender or food processor – processes or blend about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

mixing cucumber sauce with Greek yogurtAdd mixture to the yogurt and mix in until well combined. Cover bowl and let sit for 2 to 3 hours in refrigerator, which will allow flavors to blend and infuse.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt SauceIt is optional to add more salt, but doing so after you have prepared the sauce.

Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauce with Lamb - Beef Sirloin Strips for GyrosThis sauce can also be used as a dressing for a Greek salad or any salad of choice that goes well with cucumber.

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Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette

Your diet has a large impact on nitric oxide (N-O) production. Beets, spinach, kale and any leafy greens are rich in nitrates. As you chew these foods the good bacteria in your saliva converts the nitrates into nitrites. Once in the stomach, the digestion continues acting on the nitrites and converts them to nitric oxide, among other compounds.

The antioxidants contained in these vegetables react with the nitrogen dioxide produced by the digestion process, scavenging the oxygen molecule, to reduce it to still more nitric oxide. Once completely digested, the N-O is then absorbed through the intestinal tract and pasted into the bloodstream.

Why should all of this be of interest to you? Because nitric oxide circulates through your body helping to keep it alive.  Your heart uses it to keep pumping vital nutrients and oxygen throughout your body.

N-O is also produced in the lining of our arteries, but as we age the body does not produce as much nitric oxide. Studies show as you complete your 4th decade of life, your body is only making about half, if not less then half of what it made when you were 20.

That is why it is important to eat a variety of nitric oxide containing plants, and our featured recipe fits the bill.

Our featured recipe is: Red Kale Beets and Sweet Cilantro Vinaigrette, and here is what you will need.

Sweet Cilantro Lime VinaigretteWe’ll start with the vinaigrette. 

1 cup packed cilantro

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice ( 1 small lime)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or sea salt)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of minced garlic or 1/8 teaspoon of powered garlic

2 – 3 teaspoons of coconut sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend or process until smooth.

Place into a jar with a tighten lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

For the salad you will need:

2 cups red kale, about 3 steams

1/3 cup beets, steam, and diced ( 1 small beet or 3 baby beets)

2 -3 tablespoons pine nuts

3 – 4 tablespoons goat cheese

Remove leaf parts of kale from steams and wash under fresh cool water. Next cut kale into smaller bite sizes portions with a pare of kitchen shears and arrange on a dinner plate.

You have the option to use canned beets (preferably organic grown), dicing the sliced beets into 1/2 inch squares. If you chose to use fresh beets, slice the beets, about 1 inch slices, and place into a steamer, until slightly soft. Remove, and cool a bit, and dice into 1/2 inch squares, making a 3rd of a cup. Arrange the beets over the kale.

Next add the pine nuts and goat cheese. Drizzle with Sweet Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, and enjoy with slices of olive bread (we used an olive bread made with olive oil and black olives, no canola oil) or your favorite bread .

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