Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Czech Tartar Sauce

Czechs love tartar sauce.  It is served as an accompaniment to fried cheese, boiled potatoes, and fried cauliflower.  When you order french fries, you will be asked if you want ketchup or tartar sauce.  To Americans this sounds really odd because we only have tartar sauce with fish.

However, the Czech tatarská omáčka doesn't taste anything like American tartar sauce.  The American-style sauce has more dill and lemon flavor to it.  The Czech version is a bit more plain, kind of like a bland ranch dressing.

Here's an recipe I found online for Czech tartar sauce.

  • About 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper
  • a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 finely chopped sweet pickles
  • about 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • a bit of lemon grind
Mix everything together and let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.

The way Czechs use tartar sauce is similar to what Americans do with ranch dressing.  Ranch dressing has been the most popular salad dressing in the USA since 1992.  We use it as a dip for potato chips (crisps) and raw vegetables.  And it goes great with french fries.  Unfortunately, there is no ranch dressing over here.  Lucky me though, I have wonderful people back home who send me care packages with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing spice packets.  All of my Czech friends who have tried it have loved it. 

Since not everyone can come to my flat, here's a recipe I found online to make ranch dressing.  However, the recipe is not in metric.   

  • 1 cup of well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
  • 4 teaspoons of white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Mix all of the ingredients in a 2-cup Mason jar or a container with a tight fitting lid.  Seal tightly and shake to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.  Chill in the fridge for about an hour.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you could GET care packages in Prague. Despite living at the same address in Hlubocepy fo half a year, my wife and I got exactly ONE piece of mail in our box and it was McDonald's coupons. Everything else that was mailed to us was returned to the USA undeliverable. I loved the food quirks (shoe-peg corn on pizza!) but couldn't handle tartar sauce with black sausage and chicken livers (honestly).