Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce... some people are lovers, some people are haters.  I am in the lover camp.  Maybe it's my Seattle upbringing, maybe it's my deep deeep deeeeeep love of pickles, but I cannot imagine a world of fish and chips without the stuff!  So in my yearly effort to expand our eating habits and be more creative, I decided not to limit myself to just new main course recipes.  Sides are important too!  And condiments!  For those of you who know me, I am a condiment addict.  Don't judge.  It's a family problem. 

So here is the recipe I've been working with (via Simply Recipes):

Tartar Sauce
- 1C. mayonnaise
- 1/2 C. chopped dill pickles
- 1 t. capers, chopped
- 2 t. dijon mustard
- 2 t. shallots, chopped
- 2 T. scallions, chopped
- 2 t. lemon juice
- 6 drops Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Mix it up!

YUM!  So freaking good I can't even stand it!  The capers and Tabasco were game changers for me.  Seriously.  Now, I know not everone has shallots and scallions on hand.  Heck, I don't.  Here is the alterations I've made and what has become a staple in our household:

Kate's ever so slightly adapted variation:

- 1 C. mayonnaise
- 1/3 C. dill pickles, finely chopped
- 1 t. capers, chopped
- 2 t. dijon mustard (can sub in regular, but dijon hits the sweet spot)
- 2 t. shallots, chopped (or sub. 1 1/2 t. dried onion flakes... use watcha got)
- 2 t. lemon juice
- 1T. fresh dill, chopped
- 6 drops Tabasco sauce (or more if there are no kiddos eating)
- omit all salt and pepper... doesn't need it!

Directions:  Mix it up, yo!

So here are my notes on the subject:
1.  I usually have dijon, but ran out last week so I had to use the regular stuff in a pinch.  Guess what?  It totally worked.  The difference was subtle and please use dijon if you have it, but you won't be left crying your milk if you don't.
2.  The dried onion flake substitute totally works!  Just make sure to let the mixture sit a little longer so the flavors meld together and the onions can rehydrate a bit.  15 minutes with two stirs during that time usually does the trick.
3.  Gotta have fresh dill.  Period.  I grow it in the garden so it's an easy add-in.
4.  Salt and pepper... no need.  The capers actually add a bit of salt and I didn't feel like the pepper added anything.
5.  I chose to omit the scallions.  I made the tartar sauce both ways and, in the end, preferred the recipe without it.

So there you go.  A new absolute favorite!  Way to go Elise Bauer!

xo, k


New Recipe Compile

Oh, man.  I've been slacking on updates, but I'm really, really proud of myself!  I've been cooking up a freakin' storm!  Here's the recipe rundown:

1. Portage Parmentier**
2. Alfredo Sauce***
3. Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce
4. Lasagna Roll-ups*
5. Red Cabbage Salad with Feta and Mint**
7. Tilapia Fish Tacos (2 versions... we've been taste testing!)***
8. Dandelion Jelly***
9. Momofoku Soba Noodles with Sweet Ginger Scallion Sauce**
10. GP's No-Fry Fries*
11. GP's Best Stir-Fried Chicken
12. Pho
13. Scalloped Potato and Herb Tart***
14. Spaghetti al limone
15. Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce**

There are a few more, but I haven't been so good at writing down the recipes.  There are also one or two complete failures that I'd rather forget.  Ha!  Here's what the marking above mean.

* ="kid approved"
** = Mama's new fav!

Here are the things I've learned so far:

1.  My fish-hating kids LOVE tilapia.  Who knew?
2.  Homemade fries beat the frozen stuff by a mile.  They are also waaaay cheaper... especially if you can grow your own!
3.  My family is trying more new foods with less fight (if you have toddlers, I don't need to tell you what a miracle this is.)
4.  Dr. Oz is apparently a big fan of a varied diet (tidbit provided by his #1 fan... my mom!)
5.  I'm incorporating a wider range of veggies than before.
6.  We are actually more hungry for seasonally appropriate things.  I think this is because my monthly mag's are suppling plenty of seasonal inspiration!  No time for out-of-season tomatoes.
7.  The family is a big fan of gruyere cheese.

Overall, it's been an awesome way to keep the family guessing.  While it's been a challenge, and we've eaten a few late dinners due to "miscalculations in preparation time", I'd say we've still come out on top.  There are even a few new recipes in regular rotation!  I also discovered that I may never, ever in a million freakin' years buy tartar sauce again.  Honestly, that one single recipe changed my life.  Coming from a "fish and chips" kind of town, you really have to get a good tartar sauce recipe, and this one is a keeper.

In any event, I will publish links as I dig them up.  I'll also add to the list so check back for updated information.  This week I'll be making stuffed pasta shells (traditional cheese stuffing, but I'll work in some spinach from the garden... yum!)  so I'll let you know how that goes.

xoxo, k