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What condiments lurking your fridge door can liven up your winter meals?

I just had a tuna-rice-veg casserole for breakfast (I'm with SusanW on this - learned years ago that anything can be breakfast). It was nourishing, warm, but just ok on taste. Then I added Sriracha and sesame oil from the fridge door. Ka-boom! Great taste lift, even though the original dish had no inherently Asian flavors.
So, what else is luring in your fridge door or condiment section that you (and I) can use to liven up winter or fridge-clear-out dishes?

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

asked 11 months ago
33 answers 720 views
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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added 11 months ago

I love using pickles to enliven dishes. My rice and black beans come to life with a pat of butter and homemade pickled peppers. Egg salad and tuna sandwiches are never the same without dilly beans or dill pickles on the side. I suppose this is why I spend so much time planning and pickling. Great question, I'm looking forward to hearing from other Food52ers!

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added 11 months ago

I recently added two teaspoons of wholegrain mustard to a bolognaise ragu, which was a game-changer for me -- I don't think I'll make it without ever again. I also used leftover gravy made from the previous day's roast chicken, as the base for a sausage, kale and cherry tomato linguine dish; delicious!

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Harissa. Grainy mustard. Moroccan Cured lemons (3 more weeks till mine are done...). Leftover liquid from cured/pickled/canned things (such as said lemons, or otherwise pickle liquid, the leftover oil from Ortiz tuna or from good sundried tomatoes). Canned or jarred piquillo peppers.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

What is Ortiz tuna, please?

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cv
added 11 months ago

Ortiz is a brand.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Nancy, Ortiz is a brand of Spanish (Catalan) tuna hand-packed in olive oil. It comes in tins and glass jars in various sizes. It is delicious, elegant and addictive. There are several varieties, the premium is called ventresca, there are also aged varieties and some family select versions. I am hording the latter three types waiting for a special day; aged tinned tuna is supposed to be special.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Ortiz Ventresca tuna belly is my favorite. I eat it straight out of the tin and share with no one.

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added 11 months ago

I bought a few bottles of Chung Jung One gochujang sauce before the holidays, and I'm obsessed. It's spicy without being hot, and so, so flavorful. It enlivens practically anything -- eggs, sandwiches, leftover pasta, mashed potatoes, etc.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Gochujang is also delicious in hot and sour or miso soup!! Delicious.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

I just looked it up on Amazon. I was speaking of the paste. Yours looks great and I just ordered a bottle. :)

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

I have the best Thai chili paste in my fridge door. It's so complex and delicious. It's both sweet and spicy and has undertones of dried shrimp that don't taste like shrimp. I found it on Amazon after WoksOfLife recommended it. Took two weeks to get it. I'm taking my empty jar to H-Mart to see if they have it or can get it. I put a little in Merrill's broccoli and lemon soup just this morning with an over easy egg...outstanding. Made a delicious breakfast that I kept wanting more of. Umami does that to me.

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added 11 months ago

Can you tell us the brand? I googled WoksOfLife but couldn't find it. Thanks!!!

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

It's this one Vickie. I tried to come up with my own version. It's good, but there's something so complex about the real thing.

http://www.amazon.com/gp...

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Here's WoksOfLife website. It's a good resource. I love their Eggplant With Garlic Sauce and Kung Pao Chicken.

http://thewoksoflife.com/

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added 11 months ago

Capers. Pickled okra and pickled fennel stalks. Preserved lemon. Fish sauce.

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

Pickles are great! and I always have oyster sauce in the fridge, and a variety of mustards. Also anchovies. Try adding a couple of anchovies to your next ratatouille and watch it come to life. :) The oil left in the jar of premium tuna is also a game-changer.

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

While I don't keep it in the fridge, I find that a splash of vinegar can really liven up a dull dish, especially one that is very rich and creamy.

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added 11 months ago

Salsa Mexicana (usually Pico de Gallo here) works well in a surprising number of situations. Maison Louisianne Creole Mustard (the one with the alligator- accept no substitutes)

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added 11 months ago

Not in the fridge but I've been using balsamic jelly more and more now.

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Cannot agree more. I also like to use saba, grape must reduction.

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Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 11 months ago

I keep a bottle of Huilerie Beaujolais Vinaigrette de Citron, which I first learned about on the Hotline, in my refrigerator, and it's a great addition to beans, lentils, salads, and other dishes. I kept my first bottle on the shelf with other vinegars, but it has so much pulp, I decided it would be better to keep it chilled. It's not simply lemon diffused in white or white wine vinegar, but citrus fermented to be vinegar. Expensive but really good. They also make a quince vinegar, which I may go for when I'm up for a splurge.

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Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 11 months ago

Not vinaigrette but vinaigrette--vinegar in French, my iPad didn't know I was tossing around foreign words.

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Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added 11 months ago

Ack! It did it again!

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Various pickled hot peppers, cornichons, pickled red onions/shallots, Frank's Ref Hot Sauce, grainy mustard, oyster sauce, hoisin, does white miso count as a fridge door item if I technically don't keep it in the door? I say yes!

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

...RED Hot Sauce, not "Ref"! Also, preserved lemons.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 11 months ago

Thanks everyone - lots of good ideas condiments, inside & out of the fridge, including Frank's Ref Hot Sauce (don't you love Auto Incorrect?), and some things new to me.

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added 11 months ago

We love throwing wholegrain or dijon mustard into winter warmers, it adds so much flavour! Capers, olives and preserved lemon are also great additions to lots of winter stews.

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MMH
added 11 months ago

We make pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. It's such a taste of summer. Last year we stretched it by adding kale. My HS swimmer loves to toss it with pasta & mozzerella pearls before a meet & it makes her feel like she's swimming outside in summer weather.

We also freeze whole stalks of rosemary & thyme which taste like they just came out of the garden even in January.

We buy large hands of ginger, peel them and freeze them. They are then easily grated with a rasp. We also freeze lemon grass stalks.

Oyster sauce & fish sauce are great to have on hand.

Lemons & limes brighten up many dishes.

All of these things are great to have on hand so when it's freezing out, no need for a special trip and they all have the same bright taste as if you had them fresh. Asian grocery stores also seen to have produce which is much more fresh than the tired veggies in grocery stores. Last night we had Chinese broccoli which tasted like it had just been picked.

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added 10 months ago

miso and fish sauce (although fish sauce is not in the fridge)!

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added 10 months ago

I have a couple of bottle of Kecap Manis that I'm obsessed with. I believe it's Indonesian. It's like Soy Sauce, Hoisin Sauce and Honey got up to no good and had a baby. So good. I buy it in the UK and bring it back to the US with me. You might be able to find it on Amazon.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 10 months ago

I just looked it up on Amazon. I was reading the questions and answers about the ingredients. A year ago someone answered "it's made from angel tears and puppy kisses". Lol. Can't wait to try it.

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added 10 months ago

My strange addiction: Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce (from the makers of Sriracha rooster sauce). I put it on EVERYTHING. soup, eggs, veg, meat, tacos, burgers, honey. Mix a little into bread and butter pickles - amazing.

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added 10 months ago

It seems everyone loves Sriracha, but I'm more of a Cholula girl myself when I'm looking for a little extra pow-pow. Especially on eggy breakfast items. Also, (though perhaps not revolutionary) some leftover capers and minced garlic recently did wonders to liven up some basic store bought pasta sauce on a weekday night.