Way back in March, we had a workshop on condiments. Several folks have reported back to me with the results of their experiments, and I have been neglectful in posting them. With no further ado, here are some of our favorites:

Suzie’s Fat-Free Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. spicy prepared mustard (a dijon mustard works well)
  • 1-2 Tbl. white vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbl. water

This is especially good if there’s bleu cheese in your salad, but then it’s not fat-free any more. ;)

Julie’s Balsamic Mustard

Julie took the basic grainy mustard recipe and jazzed it up a bit:

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbl brown mustard seeds

Combine and let sit overnight; the next day, blend in the blender to crack the mustard seeds. Here’s what Julie says about it:

The mustard I made with the balsamic vinegar, EVOO and brown mustard seeds TOTALLY ROCKS!  The entire family loves it.  Since it was already on the spicy side I just took the other odds and ends of spicy and dijon mustards from the refrig, stirred them in, and they are now all consolidated into a fabulous all purpose mustard.  I can’t imagine ever buying prepared mustard again, this was so easy and the results were so unexpectedly stupendous!

Julie’s Balsamic-Orange Peel Dressing

Vinaigrettes can be made by combining equal parts oil, vinegar, and water, buy you can play with the particulars with stunning results. Here’s Julie’s variation:

  • 2 Tbl. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbl. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. Honey
  • Fresh lemon thyme (leaves from one sprig)
  • 1 tsp. Dried orange peel

Julie’s comment:

All I can say is that I have made it three times since then and it has become another staple on our table!

Diana’s Grove Garlic-Bleu Cheese Dressing

This is a fave from a retreat site I’ve visited in the past.

  • 1 c. mayo
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 squeezed lemon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. bleu cheese crumbles
  • handful of chopped parsley (dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A whole lot of crushed garlic

Emulsifiers for salad dressings

We all know water and oil don’t mix – at least, not without the help of an emulsifier. We discussed using cream, yogurt,  mayonnaise, and even mustard as emulsifiers. Member Carol kept her eyes peeled, and when her issue of Cook’s Illustrated arrived, sent me this note:

Just got a newsletter from Cook’s Illustrated that had a video about vinaigrette emulsifiers.  They tested mustard, mayo and egg yolk.  Winner was egg yolk, which caused vinaigrette to stay together for 3 hours (as opposed to mustard – 30 minutes – and mayo – 1.5 hours).  They decided, however, that the egg yolk made the vinaigrette too eggy tasting, so they decided a mixture of mayo and mustard was the best solution.

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