Late one night, I sat at my grandma's kitchen table playing cards with my aunt. Grandma always kept cards in the kitchen junk drawer. Still does. We were hungry but everyone was asleep. My aunt grabbed a sleeve of saltines from the old "Premium" tin with the blue lid and handed it to me. I opened the plastic and took one. Started munching. "Wait," she said. "You can't eat them like that."
She reached into the fridge and brought out a stick of butter. Real butter. At that time, margarine was all the rage; that's what we had at home.
Grandma & grandpa were butter when butter wasn't cool.
My aunt spread butter on top of a cracker and handed it to me. "Yeah. Now we're talkin'," she grinned.
And that began my appreciation for the extras. My belief that if x is good, than it can only be better topped with y.
My own gluttonous algebraic theorem.
My favorite condiments are Creole mustard and hot sauce.
Why, yes, I do stumble through life as a cliché.
And it's mighty tasty.
What's a chip without dip? Or salsa? Pancakes without syrup or blueberry sauce? Biscuits without preserves?
Sometimes I fry fish just for the homemade tartar sauce. Make shrimp Po'boys just for the remoulade. Grill chicken just for the avocado, tomato, & lime relish. Plan taco night based on a hankerin' for some sour cream. Go ahead and judge. I don't care. I'll own it.
It's condiment week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. This chick is all about dippin', dunkin', slatherin'.
Remember when IHCC was cooking with Giada? The lemons? In everything? Even egg salad (Heather, I'm looking at you!).
Has anyone noticed Jamie Oliver's addiction to anchovies?
Seeing as how our time cooking with JO is about up, I wanted to give a final nod to his fish fetish.
for the vegetables
a few young carrots, peeled and finely sliced
a few small raw beetroots, peeled and finely sliced
a few sticks of celery, trimmed and thinly sliced, yellow leaves reserved
½ a small Romanesco or white cauliflower, broken into florets
a bulb of fennel, trimmed and finely sliced, herby tops reserved
a handful of small beetroot leaves, if available, washed
a bunch of radishes, trimmed and washed
½ a celeriac, peeled and finely sliced
Firstly, prepare all your veg, because once the sauce is done you’ll be ready to serve! To make your sauce, put the garlic cloves, milk and anchovies into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and tender, keeping a close eye on the pan to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Don’t worry if it spits and looks a little lumpy – simply remove from the heat and whiz the sauce up with a hand blender. Gently blend in the extra virgin olive oil and the vinegar a little at a time – you’re in control of the consistency at this point. If you like it thick, like mayonnaise, keep blending. Now taste it and adjust the seasoning. Make sure there’s enough acidity from the vinegar to act like a dressing. It should be an incredible, pungent warm sauce.
There are two ways you can serve this – with both you need the sauce to be warm. Either pour the sauce into a bowl and place this on a plate, with the veg arranged around the bowl, or serve the veg in a big bowl and drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the reserved herby fennel tops and celery leaves and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Reminder: next week (Sept. 14) will be the last Garden Variety Wednesday link-up.
In the works for October: A potluck link-up, along with some other changes.