Make Ahead

Special Sauce

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 3/4 cups
Author Notes

Inspired by the recipe Vegetables with Saffron-Chili Mayonnaise in the Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook, one of my many favorite books. Great with burgers, or to dip veggies, crisp potato wedges, or my favorite, fried onion rings. -mrslarkin —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

I stood whisking up this recipe with the Big Mac jingle stuck in my head, wedging the special sauce between two all beef patties and lettuce. But tasting Mrs. Larkin’s condiment by the same name proved it shouldn’t be sandwiched between any two things at all. It should be the star of the plate or at least be positioned in the role of the best supporting sauce. The condiment lightly skims the food it meets with a lemony garlic front end and a sriracha-inspired kick. I’ll use this saffron-colored beauty as a dip, a plated sauce under a steak, and stirred into fish stew. - cheese1227 —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of saffron threads, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups good-quality mayonnaise, or homemade
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • dash of salt
  1. Warm the lemon juice and water. Add saffron and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and mash to a paste with the side of a chef's knife.
  3. In a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, combine all ingredients and whisk with a fork. Taste for sugar and salt.
  4. Cook's Note: For a nice low-fat dipping sauce, mix Special Sauce into Non-fat Greek Yogurt to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jaynerly
  • mrslarkin
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Midge
  • pauljoseph

15 Reviews

Jaynerly January 15, 2011
Delicious! This looks great!
mrslarkin January 15, 2011
Thanks, Jayne!!
mrslarkin September 8, 2010
Cook's Note: For a nice lighter dipping sauce, mix Special Sauce into Non-fat Greek Yogurt to taste.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 29, 2010
This looks really wonderful. I used to make a curry-chili-mayo that I'd totally forgotten about until I just read through your great-sounding recipe. I used mine for dipping artichokes leaves into, among other things. Thanks for this great recipe and the reminder of one I'd totally forgotten about!
mrslarkin September 3, 2010
Thanks, ChezSuzanne! Love the artichoke leaves idea!! Yum!
Midge August 26, 2010
I love mixing Sriracha and mayo, but this takes it to another level. Can't wait to try it.
mrslarkin August 26, 2010
Hope you like it, Midge!
pauljoseph August 24, 2010
Excellent easy recipe
mrslarkin August 24, 2010
Thank you, pauljoseph.
Sunchowder August 23, 2010
Ummm, Ummm Good Liz.
mrslarkin August 23, 2010
Thanks, Sunchowder!
thirschfeld August 23, 2010
Man I bet that would be good on a deep fried soft shell crab sushi roll. Looks yummy.
mrslarkin August 23, 2010
Oh, that sounds real good, thirschfeld. Got a recipe for that? :)
Lizthechef August 23, 2010
Another great condiment! I've got everything on hand except for the onion rings ;)
mrslarkin August 23, 2010
Thanks! Go for it, Liz!