There appears to be some discrepancies when it comes to deciding what to call this sauce. You can call it what you want, but I’ll just call it good. French fry dipping, good. Crab cake topping, good. Fish sandwich topping, good. Grilled fish topping, good. And even steak tartare topping, good. I’ve been making this for years without writing down the recipe and every time I make it there is only one word that pops into my head and that is – good.
Well, last night I wrote it down. Yes, it is one of those sauces that you can play with. Adjust the seasoning, leave out what you don’t like and add what you do. I used the REAL mayo but you could get away with the low cal stuff, if you must. I say that because there is so much flavor in this that I think that comes through more than the mayo. Let me know.
While in Phoenix, I made something similar to this for my folks. Seems my dad likes sauce to go on his fish. I never knew. In my home we just grill the fish and eat it, thereby saving calories, but really never missing a sauce. Well, my dad likes tartar sauce. Never really having much fish growing up, I guess I just never noticed. He also likes steak tartare. I can remember him coming home at lunch with freshly ground beef from my grandfather’s grocery and butcher store and warning us kids to not use this beef for anything. This beef was for HIS steak tartare. No problem there, Dad. I don’t think it appealed to any of us kids. I can remember him mixing up his tartare on the butcher paper. A few raw eggs, some Worcestershire, I think, lots of pepper, I think, and who knows what else. He then would sit down to eat HIS steak tartare probably with a cup of borscht. And now I find out that this similar sauce used to be served and still may be, with his steak tartare.
The remoulade sauce originated in France. Typically it was a mayo based sauce that contained parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon. Probably a few chopped cornichons and some anchovy essence. Maybe a chopped hard boiled egg. Louisiana remoulade sauce usually had some horseradish and some paprika or tomato paste to make it red. Tartar sauce originated in Russia near the Eurasian Steppe. It contained capers, lemon juice, pickles and tarragon. Maybe some green onion. Maybe some celery and even some hard boiled egg.
I remember having a remoulade sauce in Denmark with french fries. This was way back in my high school days and I still remember those fries and sauce. I remember the person behind the counter putting a potato into a machine, which extruded the potato straight into the hot oil. They then served the frites with a soft, flaky salt and a yellow remoulade sauce. Seems the Danes like curry or turmeric to flavor and color their remoulade. Whatever it was, I was in heaven.
My sauce is a bit of a conglomeration of the two but I do add Old Bay. I love Old Bay. I first tasted Old Bay when I was pregnant and visiting Baltimore many years ago. I had crab cakes which may explain my predilection to crab cakes every spring. I don’t think I’d had crab cakes before visiting, but in Baltimore one eats crab cakes. I am certainly not one to buck the trend. I brought crab home on the plane and made them when I got home, too. And I took that crab man’s recipe to heart. I bought some Old Bay. I then added it to my dipping sauce and it has been with me ever since.
It isn’t necessary to use Old Bay, but then it would be just a tartar sauce or just a remoulade sauce. See what you think. Stir it in last. I love the salty, celery, tangy-ness it gives. It gives a little bite, a feeling of wanting more, in my humble opinion. You could also throw in some celery or substitute green onion for the onion. So many ways to go and so little time. You get the picture. Have fun with your remoulade/tartar sauce. Hard boil an egg if you want. This sauce is good and I just smeared some on a sandwich for lunch. It is a way to give anything some extra punch. Keep it in your back pocket, because this one is keeper!
1/3 c finely chopped onions
2 T chopped parsley
2 T chopped dill pickle
1 T brown spicy mustard
1 T drained capers
1 T Old Bay seasoning
3/4 t sugar
1 T horseradish (not the sauce kind)
1/2 t tarragon
2/3 c mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Let sit about an hour (if you can) to let the flavors blend. Serve on or with fish, steak tartare, fried fish or shellfish. Eat on a sandwich or serve with fries. Whatever you do-just eat this!
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