Every item in my pantry falls into one of two categories: innie, or outie.
Innies — ingredients that don't stand alone, and are fundamental to the creation of a dish — include herbs and spices, grains and legumes, and dry pasta.
Outies can be innies, but they also can stand alone. Often used as garnish, or to enhance the flavor of a finished dish, my standby outies include things like yogurt, ketchup, cheeses, soy sauce, and my brand-new favorite: horseradish sauce.
Horseradish, a perennial cultivated for its large, white root, is a member of the mustard family, like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the garden radish we use in salads. Horseradish is quite mild in flavor — until it is ground or grated; when the root cells are crushed, volatile oils known as isothiocyanate are released. Vinegar stops this reaction and stabilizes the flavor; the point at which the vinegar is added determines the potency of the finished product.
Bookbinder's Creamy Horseradish Sauce has been kicking up my cooking for the past few months, ever since it flew off the grocery store shelf (in the condiment aisle) and landed in my shopping cart. This particular brand contains good stuff (water is listed as the first ingredient, followed by soybean oil and actual horseradish, as well as distilled vinegar), and not-so-good-for-you stuff (high fructose corn syrup, which balances the heat of the horseradish root).
Horseradish sauce, traditionally served in England with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, tastes amazing as a condiment on my grandmother's beef brisket or turkey burgers. Mixed with cocktail sauce, it makes a potent dip for cold poached shrimp.
Best of all, this outie really livens up the boiled chicken stripped from the carcass after making stock. I hate to throw the meat away, but it gives up most of its flavor to the stock. Sassy horseradish sauce (it actually says "sassy" on the label) revives the overcooked meat, and a little bit mixed in with Miracle Whip (I know, I know....) and some diced celery makes a darned good chicken salad.
This dip is equally delicious with grilled shrimp, lamb or chicken kabobs, or crudites. Serves 6.
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
3 Tbsp creamy horseradish sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp sugar or sugar substitute, or more to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herb (dill, for shrimp; rosemary, for lamb; thyme and parsley, for chicken)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients, and chill for an hour to allow flavors to blend.
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