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Sauces I assume everyone knows how to make...

  • c

I learned these while working in food service, but after blowing my brother's mind when I made my own cocktail sauce instead of buying it, I realized that some people may still be buying these instead of making their own. I always have this stuff around the house and it makes a lot more sense to mix up my own whenever I need it.

Cocktail Sauce: mix ketchup and grated horseradish until it looks/tastes right

Tartar Sauce: Mix mayonnaise and pickle relish until it looks/tastes right

Horseradish Sauce (serve with rare roast beef): Mix sour cream and horseradish sauce until (you guessed it!) it looks/tastes right

Those are the ones I do the most often. It's not culinary wizardry, but maybe you're like my brother- it makes sense but you never thought to do it yourself!

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  1. Interesting! I've got my own recipes for these three sauces.

    Cocktail sauce: ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, tobasco to taste.

    Tartar Sauce: mayonnaise, minced white onion, chopped dill pickle (or chopped capers), dill, lemon, salt, fresh cracked pepper to taste.

    Horseradish Sauce (for roast beef): mix horseradish into freshly whipped cream, salt, a dash of tobasco, to taste. (This one is modelled on the Lawry's recipe, which I think is delicious!

    Vive le difference, as they say!

    3 Replies
    1. re: DanaB

      I had no idea how to make cocktail sauce until I moved to New orleans, but I don't think they even have the bottled stuff here -- they give you the fixings to make your own at every oyster bar. I make it the same as above, with a dash of worcestershire, and salt and pepper.

      1. re: DanaB

        If you have a problem with your whipped cream breaking, try adding Whip It, a whipped cream stabilizer (I believe that Lawry's does).

        1. re: DanaB

          "I've got my own recipes for these three sauces."

          And IMO these are the best on the board.

        2. Thousand Island Dressing: Ketchup/Mayonaise.

          Flavored Mayonaise: mayonaise with any/all; Salt, pepper, MSG, shoyu, garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice, worchester sauce.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Alan408

            In my house, the Ketchup/Mayo mix was "Russian". Add pickle Relish and it was Thousand Island.

          2. Assuming we're sticking to simple stuff: Buffalo Wing Sauce -- Franks Hot Sauce and melted butter. Adjust butter to regulate heat (just a bit for hot).

            2 Replies
            1. re: sbp

              And vinegar for hotter (or if you take the butter too far). You can use the vinegar in jarred jalapenos for added flavor.

              1. re: sbp

                you're all making me hungry! 8) sbp's post re: melted butter reminds me of the best thing I've ever tasted, and I think all it includes is melted butter and Italian dressing?? anyone do this??? (my friend lived in New Orleans during college, brought home these huge amazing shrimp one holiday and we BBQ-ed them and he had this to dip?? sound right?

              2. My cocktail sauce has ketchup, prepared horseradish (not fresh), lemon juice, tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce.

                Also, my tartar sauce always has capers, cornichons, and extra vinegar.

                1. cocktail sauce - ketchup, prepared horseradish, worcestershire & "Old Bay" seafood seasoning

                  1. Tartar sauce usually also contains some mustard, either dry or prepared. But there is no cream of tartar in tartar sauce. So why is it called that?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ellen

                      I did a search on Google and found this:

                      Link: http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index...

                    2. Agreed, making your own is always better. These no-cook sauces are important to know how to make, and are not only fresher and better tasting, but will save you money.

                      I would add to this a tonkatsu sauce, which is ketchup, Worsteshire, soy sauce, and dry mustard. Nothing better for a breaded fried pork, chicken, or veal cutlet.

                      Slight alternative to your horseradish sauce: I learned this one from Anne Willan. Whipped cream (unsweetened obviously) with grated horseradish until it looks/tastes right. Mmmmm with roast beef.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Mrs. Smit

                        Then freeze the whipped cream. It is wonderful melting on rare roast beef.

                        1. re: Mrs. Smit

                          Adding a little canola oil and garlic powder to your tonkatsu sauce ingredients (ketchup, Worsteshire, soy sauce, and dry mustard) makes a great marinade for grilling chicken or shrimp (done it for years...great for kabobs too).

                          1. re: Susan

                            Instead of starting a new thread, I'll cross my fingers that someone finds this...Noticed TONKATSU SAUCE today next to the soy sauces and other items of the Asian persuasion. Could someone walk me through the basics? Muchas gracias (oops, wrong language...arigato (sp?) )!

                            1. re: chownewbie

                              It tastes a lot like worcestershire sauce, or is it a-1? Whichever is the thicker stuff, that tastes like tamarind.

                              I don't know if you actually know what tonkatsu is, but it's breaded fried pork cutlet, there are restaurants devoted to it, and it's effing delicious. Some more high end places have house made sauces, etc, but thick, brown, and tamarind flavor were the common characteristics.

                              1. re: Louise

                                BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you, Louise. No I had no idea that tonkatsu was an actual dish. So, just as there is a whole line of sauces devoted to steak, the same goes for this pork dish. Got it :) Hey, is it good with anything else?

                                1. re: chownewbie

                                  It is mainly served with katsu (cutlets). There are places that serve chicken cutlets (it's good with these too), but pork is the main thing. There are pork places that pride themselves on serving kurobuta (black pig, a special breed), and there are different cuts with different degrees of flavor, tenderness, and of course, price.

                                  It might be good with something else, I've mainly had it with meat that's breaded and fried. The Japanese culture from which it comes is very strict about there being a right way to do things, what sauces go with what, etc, so having it on something else would probably be regarded as strange, something only a foreigner would do.

                                  That said, it might be good on steak, just as Worcestershire (A-1 ?) sauce is. The flavor is really similar, rich and sharp, good for cutting something rich and fatty.

                                2. re: Louise

                                  In Hawaii the breaded pork is often substitued with a breaded chicken cutlet for chicken katsu. Most often served with white rice and macaroni salad here.(ummm... plate lunch).

                          2. Horseradish sauce for any rare beef: carefully place sour cream on baked potato and horseradish on the beef. Be careful not to let the two touch. But that's just the way I like it.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: muD

                              one more variation - Lemon Juice + Mayonaise + Horseradish (the red one with beets, not white) - great with fish cakes of all kinds (crab,salmon, etc...)

                              1. re: dw

                                pardon me.... Red Horseradish?

                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                  yes, red horseradish...it has beets in it...can be found next to the prepared white horseradish in the refrigerator section of local supermarkets...gold's brand is widely available
                                  the red is slightly, slightly sweet yet hot...i keep both in my fridge...it is commonly used with gefilte fish or to make a typical horeradish-included sauce pink (for aesthetic reasons)...try it...enjoy!

                                  1. re: kleinfortlee

                                    Im intrigued. I have never noticed it before, but after recently proving myself wrong about the availaibility of lamb I did some looking after work this evening. In 3 of the supermarkets here I did not find it on the shelves, nor had the checkout clerks ever seen it - but they were curious. I did find prepared and cream style, as well as one that was labeled spicy, another was hot. I found a heavy cream style, and a mustard horseradish combination. Of course wassabi (green japanese horseradish) in a tube was available at all the stores. I will keep looking, perhaps if I find it I could use it with red and white kamaboko - Japanese style fish cake - probably the closest thing I'm gonna find to gefilte fish.

                                    Thanks for replying.

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Maybe it's only In the NY area, but there are three standard horseradishes always found: regular, creamy/hot and red, since time immemorial. But when I looked at Golds website for product info, they don't list it! So maybe it's only popular right here?
                                      Nowadays Golds wasabi horseradish sauce is very common too: it's become a staple in our house

                                      1. re: coll

                                        It's widely available in California too... maybe check with the kosher foods, since it is weirdly connected in my brain to gefilte fish too.

                                        Alternatively, you can always make it yourself - just do it outside or the fumes will kill ya! Grate up horseradish (highly suggest using a food processor for this), add grated up red beets and some cider vinegar, run through fp until the right consistency. It'll get a bit sweeter as it sits and it all combines.

                                        1. re: Kuisine

                                          hahaha.... Kosher food section... now that is funny

                                          1. re: Kuisine

                                            No lie--one time I took a whiff of the freshly home made stuff, thought 'oh, that's not so....' and had to suddenly clutch the counter 'cause my head was going round and round and I'd have fallen on my a**.

                                2. re: muD

                                  Agree WRT the beef, but I like some of the horseradish in the spud, too...

                                3. I love to dip blanched then chilled asparagus spears in a mixture of Mayo (about a cup), wasabi powder to taste, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a squirt of lemon.

                                  Once in awhile I add a bit of worcestershire to the mix.


                                  1. Hot Mustard: Stale beer and dry mustard powder.

                                    The fresher it is made, the more zing it has.

                                    1. Why not add mayonnaise to this list? I've been using Deborah Madison's recipe from her Veggie Encyclopedia for the past year and haven't bought mayo since.

                                      My spin is to warm up a metal mixing bowl with hot water, drop an egg yolk into it and whisk to stiffen a bit. I also put a wet paper towel under the bowl to keep it from moving when I whisk. Then add a little lemon juice and mustard.
                                      Fill a 1 cup measuring cup about 3/4 full with peanut oil. Take a regular spoon and get some of the oil from the cup. Drop the oil from the spoon very slowly one drop at a time into the egg while whisking it continually. Watch as the oil emulsifies with the egg yolk. Once it starts to stiffen you can pick up the cup and **slowly** drop a stream of the oil into the yolk mixture. By the time the cup is empty you should have a stiff mayo. Top it off by dropping a stream of good EV olive oil while whisking again and add a bit of mustard and lemon again to it. Salt to flavor and add some mortar pounded garlic if you want aeoli.

                                      Might take a couple of tries to get the idea. It did for me.

                                      Should last a week in the frig and you can't beat the taste.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kevine

                                        One point to add to the earlier post:
                                        Make sure you dry the bowl completely after using the hot water to warm it up.

                                      2. I made a horseradish sauce with greek yogurt instead of sour cream the other day and it was terrific.

                                        1. Mix lowfat yogurt (or better yet drained lowfat yogurt) to lowfat mayo for a dip. The yogurt compensates for the flavor of the mayo, but you still get some of that silky creaminess that only mayo has. A few drops of lemon juice can be added as well.

                                          1. Cocktail Sauce: Heinz chili sauce, grated horseradish, fresh lemon juice, brandy. The bit of brandy makes all the difference.

                                            Tarter Sauce: Homemade mayo, capers, cornichons, and lemon juice as well as a little non-traditional tarragon.

                                            And mayonaise, lovely lovely mayonaise!