Sauces and Spice Blends

Tartar Sauce


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 12 teaspoons salt
  • 14 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 12 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 34 cup corn or other neutral oil
  • 1 12 tablespoons cornichons, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornichon juice
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced


  1. Place egg yolk, salt, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in blender cup and blend until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill until ready to serve.  


This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated.  It was okay, but nothing amazing.

Charred Pepper Steak Sauce


  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 23 cup tomato puree
  • 14 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 12 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 teaspoon onion powder
  • 18 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Char bell pepper under broiler or over burner if you have a gas stovetop.  Turn the pepper often to get a good char on all sides.  Transfer bell pepper to zip top bag and cool until ready to use.  
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to blender.  Cut open pepper and remove seeds, membranes, and stem with fingers or a paring knife.  Add pepper, including charred skin, to blender and puree until smooth.  
  3. Transfer sauce to saucepan and simmer gently over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  4. Serve with steaks or anything else.  


This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen and it was great.  It’s almost like a ketchup in flavor, but not quite.  We’ve had it over steaks and also potatoes, both are tasty.

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Marinara Sauce


  • 2 (28 ounces each) cans whole, peeled, san marzano tomatoes
  • 34 cup oil-packed sundered tomatoes, oil drained
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 6-10 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced


  1. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, red pepper, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon butter to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, stirring once or twice if possible.  
  2. After 8 hours use back of spoon or a potato masher to break down tomatoes, or blend with immersion blender.  Leave sauce in slow cooker insert and remove lid.  
  3. Melt remaining butter in small saucepan over medium heat until just browned.  Transfer butter and any browned bits from pan into slow cooker.  Stir in parmesan cheese and basil, then season with extra salt and pepper to taste.  


This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest.  While I did make it quite a while ago, I do remember that it was delicious.  I always loved pasta with butter as a kid and the buttery element in this sauce is fantastic.  It would also make a great topping for any sort of appropriate meat, like a chicken breast or some meatballs.  Lots of delicious flavors going on here and cooking it in the slow cooker really helps when you’re using a bunch of dried herbs.

Basic Stir Fry Sauce


  • 23 cup soy sauce
  • 12 cup chicken broth
  • 13 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and whisk well to combine.  Or combine all ingredients in an immersion blender cup and blend.  


This recipe is from Food and Whine.  It’s from a great list of 15 basic stir fry sauce recipes and I have a feeling I’ll be revisiting the list in the future.  This recipe made enough for two stir fries and it was really delicious.  After stir frying the meat and the veggies, I added the sauce and let it heat through until the sauce had thickened and the veggies and meat were coated.  Yum!


1 red bell pepper
12 teaspoon coriander seeds
12 teaspoon cumin seeds
12 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 12 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
0-3 hot red chili peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 12 teaspoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
12 teaspoon salt

1. Place the bell pepper under a very hot broiler, turning occasionally for about 25 minutes, until blackened on the outside and completely soft. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool. Peel the pepper and discard its skin and seeds.

2. Place a skillet over low heat and lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a powder or grind in spice grinder. 

3. Heat olive oil in same skillet over medium heat, and cook onion, garlic, and chilies for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky color and almost caramelized.

4. Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, adding extra oil if necessary. 

5. Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Makes about 34 cups. 


This recipe is from the really super awesome Jerusalem.  I used this to make Shakshuka for breakfast with company one morning.  Super delicious spice mix and a super delicious dish.

Ranch Seasoning

4 saltine crackers
4 tablespoons dried parsley
12 tablespoon dill
2 tablespoon onion powder
6 tablespoon garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until fine powder.  Season with extra salt if necessary.  Store in airtight container. 

No photo

This recipe is from Kayotic Kitchen and I’ve used it in quite a few recipes since making it!  I haven’t actually used it to make salad dressing, but it’s great for spicing foods up. 

To make salad dressing mix 1 tablespoon seasoning mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk.

Kebab Sauces Attempt #2

For white sauce
12 cup sour cream
12 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For red sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
12 teaspoon paprika

1. Blend all ingredients for white sauce and set aside. 

2. Blend all ingredients for red sauce and set aside. 

No photo – oops!

I’m not sure where these (recipes are from since Lance found them on Norwegian sites.  (He also told me that the red sauce recipe called for tablespoons, not teaspoons.  Yeah, don’t do tablespoons.)  These sauces were much, much closer to what we experienced in the Oslo area. 

Serve these sauces with Oslo Kebabs.

Simple Horseradish Sauce

12 cup mayonnaise
14 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
12 teaspoon garlic powder
12 teaspoon salt
14 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together.  Add water if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend. 

Simple Horseradish Sauce

This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated 2007 and it is super simple.  No chopping or anything!  I think it could have used a bit more horseradish, but it might just be that my horseradish is a bit toward the old side.  Regardless, this is a nice and easy sauce to make for steak. 

Shown here with Simple Roast Beef Tenderloin and Mushroom Puffs.

Kebab Sauces Attempt #1

For the white sauce
12 cup mayonnaise
2 12 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
12 teaspoon salt
For the red sauce_
12 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons white vinegar
Dash ground cloves
Dash ground allspice
2 tablespoons sugar
12 teaspoon cayenne powder

1. Mix all white sauce ingredients in small bowl until well combined. 

2. Mix all red sauce ingredients in separate bowl until well combined. 

Kebab Sauces

This recipe is from  This was my first attempt at emulating the kebab sauces that Lance and I had in the Oslo-area.  Sadly, they weren’t quite right.  The white sauce was much too thick and the red sauce was too vinegary and thin. 

Shown here with Oslo-Style Kebabs.

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup
12 cup cider vinegar or red apple balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Put all ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened. 

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

This recipe is from Food Network and I used it on grilled chicken.  It was something special!  We all really enjoyed it and Art was especially happy – he’s the bbq sauce connoisseur of the house.  Like most bbq sauces, it was easy enough to make.  Don’t be shy of making your own sauces, they’re easy and give you so much more control than the ones that come in jars! 

Shown here with Tangy Feta Dressing.