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Flavor Crusaders

Special Sauce for Burgers and Sandwiches

Sriracha is hot hot hot and is having its moment in the spotlight, but don’t overlook the potential of our old pals ketchup, mustard and mayo. Remember them? Sure this trio is a barbecue necessity, but they can do so much more than that.

With a little creativity, ketchup, mustard or mayo and other ingredients you likely have on-hand, you can make homemade sauces, dressings, marinades and glazes. You save money by using what you have and your cool factor goes up. (“Oh, I didn’t buy this mustard. I made it.”)

Elevate Store-Bought Condiments

Add a twist to store-bought condiments, easily. Start small and whisk in flavor to taste. Here is some inspiration.

  • Ketchup. Stir in curry powder or wasabi, chopped dried fruits or tart jam.
  • Mayo. Blend in lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, chopped bacon or minced chipotle chile.
  • Mustard. Add toasted seeds (cumin, fennel or sesame) or fresh herbs.

Condiment Conversions
A cardinal rule of in-the-know money-savers and great DIYer is that condiments are good down to the last dollop, dap and squeeze.

Haven’t touched that jar of mayo or mustard in a while? Getting towards the end of the jar? Don’t throw it out. Make something new! Simply add ingredients to the jar, seal tightly and shake to combine.

  • Cocktail Sauce. 2 parts ketchup, 1 part prepared horseradish and a squeeze of lemon.
  • Barbecue Sauce. 2 parts ketchup to 1 part each cider vinegar, mustard and brown sugar plus salt and pepper.
  • Special Sauce. 2 parts ketchup, 2 parts mayonnaise, 1 part pickle relish.
  • Potato Salad Dressing. 1 part mustard to 2 parts each cider vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, plus dill, salt and pepper.
  • Herb Vinaigrette. 1 part mustard to 3 parts oil, 2 parts vinegar, plus salt, pepper and tarragon, dill, basil or oregano.
  • Honey Mustard Marinade. 1 part mustard to 2 parts each honey, vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coleslaw Dressing. 2 parts mayo to 1 part cider vinegar, plus pinch each sugar, black pepper and celery salt
  • Caesar Dressing. 2 parts each mayo and grated parmesan mustard, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice

Once you start experimenting with condiment add-ins and new uses for condiments, it’s hard to stop dreaming up ideas. Wasabi stirred in mayo? Sure, add fresh lemon juice too. Cherry-chipotle barbecue sauce made with ketchup? Now you’re talking.

What’s your favorite lesser-known use for an everyday condiment? Or does anyone have secret ingredient add-ins for ketchup, mayo or mustard that they are willing to reveal in the comments section below?