Don’t you just hate it when 50-something food chefs on TV, come out with things like’kick it up a notch’ or’take it to the next level’? It’s like watching your mum and dad trying to dance at a party. It’s squirmingly embarrassing, and yes I am looking at you Jamie.
What they usually mean, of course, is to add some spice, a lot of spice actually, to something already horrendously over-complicated. In a sauce kind of way. Sauces are useful though, not to kick things up a notch but to save some things from being bland and boring
It used to be we’d shovel tomato ketchup – today known as’red sauce’ in recognition that there is usually no tomato in it – onto flabby food. Today it’s usually Sriracha, the hipster ketchup.
Tracklement’s make superior ketchups, the only ones I’ll have in the house.
We tried their Special Edition Smoky Chilli Sauce which is well on trend – people love smokiness and they love chilli
This is just right on the heat front, although of course that’s subjective. Personally, I like to feel the burn but not have to gasp for air. This ketchup uses mainly chipotle chillies, which are jalapenos that have been smoke-dried.
Their heat is about the same as Tabasco sauce, and here the sauce is given a bit more heat from some Scotch Bonnets, the fearsome chillis that make Jamaican dishes so hot, and usually so one-dimensional.
Tracklement then add some sweet red peppers, lime juice and coriander and the result is a sauce with good depth of flavours and a smokiness that gives a mild BBQ taste. I’ve used it to liven up scrambled eggs, a Mexican breakfast, and to dip shop -bought chicken goujons in. Don’t judge me, I was desperate. It also makes a decent marinade, if you have the time
The Sweet Mustard Ketchup I couldn’t make my mind up about. I usually have Colman’s or Dijon in the house, two ends of the mustard spectrum. The former brutish, aggressive and very British. The latter more refined, delicate and French.
The ketchup has the Van Gogh eye-searing yellow of Colman’s but with a sweetness and a more pourable consistency. It’s made with a combination of mustards including wholegrain, which is probably the source of the sweetness
It works better as a baste than shaken over food direct. Or mixed into a vinaigrette or any other salad dressingTracklement’s
So, two good sauces to have in the store cupboard to liven up bad food and to base good cooking on.