The dog days of summer are behind us, and for most of us that means that the barbecues are covered for another season — unless you’re lucky enough to live in a warm-weather town where fall means you can actually be outside instead of sequestered in air conditioning.) In either case, you’re probably tired of the typical ketchup and mustard routine.
Whether you’re endowing a burger, hot dog, or favorite sandwich, nothing helps create the perfect bite more than a savory slather. Roo recommends the following to turn up the volume on your next culinary adventure.
Named by Progressive Grocery as one of 2015’s “Top Women in Grocery,” Slawsa founder Julie Busha has turned a family recipe into a thriving business – or as she would say, “[turning] a head of cabbage into a million dollar idea.”
The cabbage-based relish is a far cry from the neon green stuff you’re likely to find on the shelf at the grocery store. You’ll find the usual mustard, vinegar, and sugar, but Busha’s riffs also include Spicy (just a light kick by our standards), Fire (with a kick of habanero), and Garlic. I spooned it onto various sandwiches, including swapping it out for sauerkraut, which made an awesome Reuben sandwich, and when I ran out of salsa, I found myself eating the spicy version right out of the jar with a handful of tortilla chips.
Those with food allergies or restrictions will appreciate that Slawsa is vegan, gluten-free, fat free, cholesterol free, and Kosher. It’s also made in the U.S.
Order online (six-pack minimum order) or click here to find a store near you.
Little Acre Gourmet Foods
Small-batch condiments deliver big flavor from Trina and Bill Ahrens, founders of Little Acre Gourmet Foods. Based in Meredith, New Hampshire, the couple is producing some delectable goods that turn simple dishes into something special.
Their limited collection includes whole seed mustard, balsamic and fig whole seed mustard, sweet and savory onions, bourbon and berry cranberry sauce, and a line of three-pepper ketchups (Original, Spicy, and More Spicy).
While they’re all suitable for the average sandwich, I went rogue to see what else I could come up with for the products. The whole grain mustards are a terrific topping to baked salmon. Use straight out of the jar or combine with equal part mayonnaise before baking an eight-ounce salmon filet at 425 for 10 minutes – perfection! The ketchup may catch you off guard as it may remind you of cocktail sauce (though there is no horseradish). I added a couple of tablespoons to an Asian-inspired stir-fry that included chicken vegetables, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and mirin (Japanese rice wine) and the result was savory deliciousness with a kick of sweet heat from the tomato-based condiment.
Order online or click here to find a store on the east coast.
Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Fabanaise
Vegans rejoice! Those looking for a creamy, spicy spread can cast all doubt aside with a taste of the latest from Sir Kensington, a brand inspired by a “foodie” before such a name (or social media to back it up) had been coined. The real Kensington whipped up a batch of homemade ketchup upon the request of Catherine the Great, but it was Brown University students Scott Norton and Mark Ramaden that unearthed the chronicles in 2008, launched the brand, and thus revived Kensignton’s culinary spirit.
Their latest effort, chipotle fabanaise, is a vegan mayo that’s made with 100 percent sunflower oil and a sneaky ingredient showing up in many a vegan kitchen called aquafaba, the liquid left from cooking chickpeas that behaves remarkably like eggs. This smoky addition to their collection includes chipotle pepper powder, tomato paste, lemon juice and a few other spices to help the flavor pop.
I pretty much slathered it on everything until the jar was empty. I spooned it into breakfast burritos in the morning, thinned it out with lemon juice and olive oil for a spiked salad dressing for lunch, and added some finely diced peppers, onions, and tomato for a creamy topping to a seared, spice-rubbed pork chop.
Order online or click here to find a store near you.