What are some dishes, recipes, and foods that use up condiments?
May 5, 2010 8:10 PM   Subscribe

So many condiments, so little normal food: Please help me clear my kitchen of all my condiments. I'm looking for recipes, dishes, meals, etc. that feature one or more condiments, so I can use them up.

I'm looking for recipes where the condiment plays are starring role or is a crucial "ingredient" of the presentation or experience of eating that item (think mustard on a soft pretzel).

For the sake of this question, assume I have all condiments that exist, because I actually have a fair number and it's easier than me listing them all. Also for this question my definition of "condiment" is pretty broad and includes things like pickled peppers (I have 2-3 varieties of these), sauces (hot sauces, stir fry sauces, etc), vinegars (rice wine, cider, red wine, balsamic, Chinese black, etc), flavored oils, mustards, salsas, soy sauces and similar, miso paste, stinky tofu and so on. I think I have something in the neighborhood of 2-3 dozen condiments filling my fridge and taking up counter space, and my hope is to be rid of most of them by mid-Summer while choosing the ones that I keep getting more of.

I'm not at all averse to cooking, even somewhat elaborate dishes, but food items that don't require cooking are also welcome.

I love, love love condiments and this is getting out of hand. Of course, if you know of a particularly marvelous condiment (and its paired food item, of course) please feel free to share.
posted by Deathalicious to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Secret ingredient in mushroom soup: mustard.

For salsa: migas. Guacamole would be good on them too.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:22 PM on May 5, 2010

I think the answer to using up your condiment collection is to buy lots of veggies and make up random sauces to serve them with. Miso & tahini mixed together is great on all sorts of stuff, especially spinach salads. Use mayo and any hot sauce to make a sauce for grilled asparagus, roasted fish, artichokes, whatever you've got on hand.
posted by foodgeek at 8:24 PM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

Something that is really flexible and tasty is putting a mustard crust on a big hunk of meat and roasting it. The yummy whole grain brown stuff is great spread thickly all over almost any cut of pork. Roast it low and slow in the oven with some onions and rosemary and white wine. You could use up a whole jar with one family-sized roast. This idea also works with a horseradish crust on a beef or lamb roast.

A yummy marinade for chicken is chinese black vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce & sriracha (or some other chile sauce), and ginger. It's strong stuff but I love it. You can play with the proportions until you find what works for you. Marinate over night and grill or stir fry the next day, eat with something crisp and crunchy like lettuce wraps with noodles.
posted by Mizu at 8:25 PM on May 5, 2010

Mustard on sausage (I like andouille) is perfect & stunning.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:31 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Towards getting rid of condiments:

For all the extra salad dressing marinate chicken or pork with them... then roast.

Hummus: veggie sandwiches.

Chutney and jams : mix with ground meat and make "burgers"

Parmesan: mix with milk and some egg to make a "cream sauce" for pasta.

Ketchup: there are some pasta bake recipes that use an insane amount of it.

Vinegars: refrigerator pickles for lunch (carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers all work well)

Salsa: Corn chips - enough said.

I can't imagine that you have enough soy sauce, just keep it around when you need it - it's just basically salt.
posted by Brent Parker at 8:34 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

(To clarify, I mean dijon or other whole-grain mustards. I have no idea what you're supposed to do with the bright yellow stuff.)
posted by oinopaponton at 8:36 PM on May 5, 2010

Marinade Surprise! Put a bunch of em in a ziplock bag and marinate some veg and/or meat.
posted by kch at 8:37 PM on May 5, 2010

Bittman made this simple ramen which uses a broth which is essentially made entirely out of common condiments.
posted by contessa at 8:53 PM on May 5, 2010

In addition to Jaltcoh's Migas, eggs have the potential to suck up a lot more condiments than one might think. I don't have any specific recipes in mind, but tons of savory-type foods (and their relevant condiments) can be cooked into omelets.
posted by The Potate at 8:59 PM on May 5, 2010

Salad dressings can be used on cooked (boiled) kale - yummy!

Olives can be used with lemon juice for Moroccan tagines - look for a recipe that sounds good to you.
posted by amtho at 9:00 PM on May 5, 2010

Recipes from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen will help you out with some Asian condiments. Here are a couple, but I recommend the whole book, pretty much.

For your stinky tofu, try braised Nom Yu Spareribs. Yummy, and the fermented tofu gives the dish its distinctive flavor.

Knock off 2 different kinds of soy sauce, red rice vinegar and even good ol' American ketchup with Sweet and Sour Braised Spareribs, which is easy and absolutely one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Balsamic vinegar, flavored oils, and Dijon mustard are a natural for salad dressings. Food to Live By has some really appealing salads and vinaigrettes. This is a great all-around cookbook, but the salads are especially nice. Beautiful photos, too.
posted by Quietgal at 9:01 PM on May 5, 2010

Fried rice works well with a lot of condiments. I've used ketchup, miso paste, preserved olive leaves, soy sauces, various oils... Use enough to coat the rice. Almost all the things you mentioned would work well, often in combination. Just add an egg and frozen veggies for the minimum.
posted by bread-eater at 9:04 PM on May 5, 2010

Ah yes, The Potate makes an excellent point. What is more elegant, more joyful, and more delicious than a jam omelet? A jam omelet with some bacon.
posted by Mizu at 9:10 PM on May 5, 2010

Shortbread cookies can be topped with A LOT of jelly/jam/chutney or any gelatinous sweetness. The ratio I use for shortbread is 3:2:1 (flour:butter:sugar) and then press into a cookie sheet creating an indentation to receive sweetness before entry into oven; cooling then cutting.
posted by jadepearl at 9:18 PM on May 5, 2010

No Work Chicken is easy, delicious, and should make a good hole in your condiment stash - it consists entirely of mustard, soy, honey, curry powder and chicken.
posted by k_tron at 9:25 PM on May 5, 2010

Nachos under the broiler are very amendable to adding things like hot sauce, taco sauce, bbq sauce and depending on your other ingredients, mustard.

Clearly sandwiches can accommodate all sorts of condiments. Likewise, quesadillas (traditional or two tortillas encompassing non-Mexican ingredients).
posted by mmascolino at 9:32 PM on May 5, 2010

A1, mustard, and other similar condiments can be mixed in with ground beef to make burgers tastier.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:42 PM on May 5, 2010

I use up condiments in marinades, sauces, and crockpottery of braised meats and veggies. (I know people think of crockpots as a winter thing, but I have no A/C, and the crockpot doesn't heat up my kitchen in the summer.)

It helps for me to break down condiments into very basic categories -- is it acid, salt, or sugar? Substitute freely for any other acid, salt, or sugar.

For vinegars, refrigerator pickles are easy and delicious and versatile, and bonus, let me clear out stale spices from the spice drawer, too.
posted by desuetude at 9:46 PM on May 5, 2010

Seconding the marinating + braising and that rice can benefit from a number of condiments. Examples of the former would be Chinese Red Cooked Pork (meat braised in soy sauce, rice wine, stock wth star anise and garlic), and Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice casserole, best with green olives, capers, red wine vinegar, garlic and tomato). Don't forget Ploughman's Lunch either (cheese and chutney sandwich), a surprising number of sweet or sweet-ish condiments are good with cheese. Dips, either made with cream cheese or sour cream plus whatever, are good too.
posted by cali at 10:02 PM on May 5, 2010

I totally stopped in here to say: buy any off the shelf mushroom soup and then add an entire jar of mustard and an equal portion of milk.

But Jaltcoh basically beat me to it.
posted by 256 at 10:05 PM on May 5, 2010

Bibimbap, bo ssam, or some other "fix it yourself" type dish. Make one protein and set out all of the condiments for people to make up their own dish.
posted by sanko at 10:38 PM on May 5, 2010

Ketchup + grape jelly + anything cocktail-sized (I use those little TVP pseudo-meatballs) = sweet & sour awesomeness. Sounds trashy (is trashy!) but tastes soooo good.
posted by mintcake! at 10:41 PM on May 5, 2010

slopppy joes are basically ketchup and mustard with ground beef.
posted by mearls at 7:52 AM on May 6, 2010

Jam/preserve tarts are how I get rid of my millions of jars of sweet stuff--make a normal cookie-crumb-like tart base, blind bake it as usual, and spread a thick layer of sticky sweet whatever on top and finish baking it. Doesn't take very long. Splendid Table has a recipe.
posted by ifjuly at 11:58 AM on May 6, 2010

Also, it's not really getting rid of it but for novelty, you could make Midwestern "fry sauce"--blend mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup together and use as you would ketchup on french fries, etc. No, I'm not kidding--it sounds vile but it's kind of pretty good.
posted by ifjuly at 11:59 AM on May 6, 2010

Chicken wings of different varieties. Use the hot sauce for buffalo, soy sauce for teriyaki, mustard for honey mustard, ketchup as a base for homemade BBQ sauce...
posted by spinto at 1:22 PM on May 7, 2010

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