One of my favourite things to do over the weekend is read The Saturday Times, today I actually got chance to read it. Right at the back of the magazine Robert (Bob) Crampton gave his list of top ten condiments, which got me to thinking what mine would be... which led me straight to here to share them with my lovely readers. What d'you mean I don't have any readers.. ? Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.
The best way to focus my mind on which condiment is most 'important' to me, is to consider the one that I miss most when in France. The answer? Number 1: Mustard.. whether the multi-grained French style or the sinus-clearing Coleman's it has a veritable plethora of uses. Firstly, it is an essential ingredient in your salad dressing - just mix a teaspoon of it with olive oil, a little honey, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper. Then adjust to taste. It is divine. I make an awesome salad with the tomatoes in France, which are so much more juicy than the ones you can buy in the UK, I mix the tomatoes in a 60:40 ratio with just blanched green beans (so they're still 'squeaky'), toss the roughly sliced tomatoes in with the green beans and then toss them with coarse grain mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. The heat from the green beans, along with the juice from the tomatoes melds wonderfully with the mustard and makes a fantastic warm salad with cold meats or with roast sausages and a hunk of bread. Delish ! Not to mention a mild American mustard on a hotdog with ketchup. How lovely is that ?
On to a close Number Two and that has to be Mayonnaise, I'm never really very far from a jar. I love a splodge with pizza, with chips eg french fries, in a tuna sandwich, with new potatoes... it livens up everything. I only ever eat the low-fat variety, and I never, ever make it myself as I find the homemade version a little greasy.
Number Three has to be Tomato Ketchup aka red sauce or tomato sauce. Of course I love it with french fries, but really I use it mostly as an ingredient in cooking. I add it to spaghetti bolognese sauce, chilli, cottage pie, anything with a tomatoey base and it tastes all the better for it. I nearly forgot, it's excellent with sausages too!
Number Four - Wasabi and Horseradish cream I'm lumping these two together as they're both made with horseradish root. Wasabi is a must-have with sushi, horseradish with my roast beef. I love that sinus-clearing sting and the taste. Nothing beats it. I cannot eat beef or sushi without this accompaniment.
Number Five - Brown Sauce - I cannot eat a bacon sandwich with tomato sauce, for me bacon has to be paired with brown sauce. I love it. I also really like it with scrambled eggs. Which might sound like an odd combo but I love it.
Number 6 - Sweet chilli sauce - Perfect with nachos, added to salsa, with gammon steak and mashed potatoes. I guess I could probably eat chilli sauce with anything.
Number 7 - Tartare sauce Another must-have, but this time with fish. I love this with scampi or battered cod. It's basically mayo with tangy capers. Delicious.
Number 8 - Burger Relish There's something about burger relish that just adds a little something to a burger. I will eat a burger without it, but really I would rather not...
Number 9 - Salad Cream It's made my top ten, but the truth is that salad cream has gone quite out of fashion. I love it on new potatoes, on a cheese sandwich, and on a fishfinger sandwich. I eat such classy things don't I ??
Number 10 - Mango Chutney Delicious with poppadoms with an Indian curry, but equally lovely mixed with yoghurt or added to a spicky chicken dish.
That's my top ten - and I haven't even mentioned picalilly, branston pickle, vinegar. I love all of them, but they're not my top ten. What's your favourite condiment ?