Anyone can grab a bottle of tomato sauce from the grocery store, but with just a little bit of extra work you can easily make your own condiments that are infinitely more tasty (and impressive) than any of the store-bought staples. Here are five mouthwatering condiment recipes to wow your guests and endear yourself to hosts.
I first had curry ketchup at a little beer bar in Gainesville, Florida, and my life was forever changed. Store-bought ketchup can be cloyingly sweet and one-note, but this recipe from Joy the Baker cannot be accused of such crimes. Cloves, allspice, and yellow curry powder give this ketchup depth and make your kitchen smell amazing, while apple cider vinegar provides just enough acid to cut through the molasses-packed brown sugar.
Use it as you would any ketchup. Put it on fries, burgers, and dogs, but be warned: once you have a taste of curry ketchup, it may ruin you for all others.
Though I've never been one to shy away from raw eggs, I understand why some people, like that dude I'm married to, aren't totally comfortable with consuming them. This has prevented me from whipping up a jar of homemade mayo in the past, but no more!
Enter milk mayonnaise, an emulsion of oil, garlic, lemon, and all of your other favourite ingredient — plus some egg to take the place of raw egg. If one simply follows this recipe from David Leite, they are rewarded with a silky, light sauce that has been described as tasting like "olive-oil-whipped cream." You could of course put it on a burger or ham sandwich, but imagine how it would sing in a potato salad or deviled eggs.
Whole Grain Beer Mustard
Beer and brats are a summertime marriage made in heaven, and it just doesn't seem right to consume one without the other. I used to be content to simply drink my beer, but Spoon Fork Bacon has changed the game with this whole grain beer mustard, which contains half a cup of your favourite pale ale.
The best part? This recipe requires no cooking whatsoever, meaning your kitchen stays cool and your mustard retains a good bit of kick, courtesy of our good friend ethanol. It's perfectly suited for grilled sausages, but I wouldn't limit it to meat. This sauce yearns to be on a pretzel, my friends, and I would hate to deny it its destiny.
Argentine Chimichurri Sauce
A properly cooked steak doesn't need a lot in the way of seasoning or sauces. A little salt, perhaps a dash of pepper if you must, but I prefer letting the meat speak for itself rather than hiding it under something like a sugary, vinegary steak sauce.
However: Even I have a hard time turning down an Argentine Chimichurri sauce, especially one that's packed with fresh herbs and a bit of crushed red pepper like this one from Good Housekeeping. Something about the way the olive oil-based condiment glistens on a medium-rare flank steak — or perhaps something a bit more obscure? — makes the whole grilling experience seem that much more decadent.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
We are a nation obsessed with Sriracha, and it may be giving us chilli sauce tunnel vision. I like the rooster as much as the next noodle-loving American, but there's a whole world of sauces to enjoy, and you can even make some of them yourself.
If you've never made hot sauce before, this sweet chilli sauce from She Simmers is a great place to start. Unlike some commercially-produced chilli sauces, this recipe gets its sweetness from real sugar and is perfect for egg rolls, noodles, and wings. It's a cinch to whip up and requires no fermentation time, meaning you can start enjoying it in under half an hour.
With so many great DIY options, one will wonder why they ever bothered with the bottled stuff. But once you start making your own condiments, don't be surprised if you find yourself the belle of every barbecue ball you attend.