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Mar 18, 2007 03:11 PM

Unloved condiments - the second time around

So you are enticed by that exotic bottle of hot sauce or jar of jam. You open it and ... yuck.

Does it sit in the fridge until you move or it grows enough mold to walk out on its own?

Or do you recycle it?

I'm pretty good with fruit-based things like syrups or jellies. Usually they can be mixed into yogurt or oatmeal and used up. Occasionaly I'll throw them into cake batter or alcohol. Sparkling wine can assist almost any syrup. I might add a little syrup to coffee to see if that works.

I'm not so good on savory until I just discovered the miracle of mayo.

I had an unloved ... make that despised ... bottle of banana catsup that I was griping about ... and btw, it did the impossible ... got worse. At the bottom of the bottle were stringy banana plant fibers.

But in looking up info about banana catsup, I stumbled across the fact that some people mix it with mayo. Voila ... great chip / veggie dip. Not so great that I'd buy that brand again. However, good enough that I'd try another brand. If it doesn't work out ... there's dip.

So I looked at all the other bottles in the fridge. The piri-piri sauce also made good dip. It was even better added to a bland leftover cream-based sauce. It gave the sauce a pleasant pink tint and a little tang. Both the mayo and cream sauce toned down the piri-ness of the sauce.

The overly acidic bottle of pricy farmers market basil-parmesian-lemon salad vinagrette ... mixed in mayo ... made a great tartar-like sauce that was excellent with fish.

I am seeing shelf space in the fridge. I fondly bid farewell to empty bottles of condiments that I've been living with a few years.

So, any other ideas on how you have recyled condiments?

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  1. I have a weird, accordion-pleated bottle of Tamarind Dipping Sauce (Pulpadip) that I found in the Mexican section of my mother's grocery. The ingredients are pretty basic--tamarind, salt, sugar, citric acid and chili powder.

    I'd love ideas for this one.

    I also recently discovered Chipotle Relish--basically sweet pickle relish with chipotle chiles. It's delicious--and fiery.

    Usually I clean out the "B-list" condiments when I make soup.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mamaciita

      u can use tamarind sauce with samosas, pakoras and other indian sauces. I think also some people use it when they make tandoori chicken.

    2. Make Bang-Bang chicken, ribs or steak.

      What you do is get a chicken or whatever, put it in the roasting dish or marinade dish, get all your sauces, odds and ends of bottles that are sitting in your pantry or fridge and turn them upside down over your chicken and bang the bottom of them - hence the name.

      Works great every time, always a bit different and gets rid of old dressings, mayo, sauces you don't like that much.

      2 Replies
      1. re: smartie

        smartie, "Bang-Bang chicken" -- I love it, and I'm going to try it! I really want to see what my fridge shelves look like; I haven't seen them in years!

        1. re: liu

          I used to make 'bang-bang' chilli. Okay, it wasn't 'real' chilli, but it was ground beef, whatever vegetables we had lying around, and generous shakes of every condiment in the house... it generally came out fairly good, or at least edible on toast!

      2. I find lots of condimnts I don't like make nice viniagrettes

        1. Salad dressings are usually good as a chicken marinade, although I personally dislike italian dressing as a marinade, lots of people do like it. Many fat-free/low-fat dressings that are gross on salad are excellent when baked on chicken, especially french and ranch. I had a truly awful-tasting (yet pricey) french, that my mother surprised me by baking it on chicken - it was fabulous!

          1. I mix "unloved condiments" with some sriracha sauce and voila!

            New and improved every time.