See how they dress up everything from salads to rice bowls using these pantry staples.
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Credit: Johnny Miller

Looking for ways to become a more confident cook at home? Our food editors are here to help. Each week, we're shining a spotlight on the exciting things happening in the Martha Stewart test kitchen. Our editors will share their best cooking tips, favorite products, new ideas, and more in our weekly series, Out of the Kitchen.

From deputy food editor Greg Lofts' love for fish sauce and inexpensive soy sauce and assistant food editor Riley Wofford's penchant for pickled vegetables to the entire team's passion for different kinds of mustard and one very specific kind of mayonnaise, get inspired to upgrade your shelf space with these pantry staples. In addition to specific brands of condiments, our editors are also sharing their favorite ways to build flavor in basic dishes using their must-have condiments.

A Peek Inside the Fridge

Riley's refrigerator always contains basics condiments that everyone has on hand: Mayonnaise, ketchup, and Dijon and grainy mustard for smearing on sandwiches. However, she often grabs a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, which is her go-to secret ingredient for salad dressings.

The Magic of Mustard and Mayo

Our food editors know that no burger, sandwich, soup, or salad is complete without a flavorful condiment. "I always have Maille Dijon mustard ($6.50, and Hellman's mayonnaise ($3.59, in my pantry," says senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell. "Of course, they are essential for sandwiches and burgers, but I turn to them for more unexpected uses as well." Her secret trick is adding mayonnaise to a marinade for beef or chicken, which will "help the protein to develop a beautiful golden color when seared or grilled." In a similar way, she uses Dijon to amplify the flavor of braised meat or uses just a little bit in tandem with mayonnaise to add body to a salad dressing.

Greg marries the same two staples—mayonnaise and Dijon mustard—to create one powerhouse condiment: Dijonnaise. "It's great as a one-and-done condiment on a grilled cheese sandwich or marinated with shrimp for grilling," he says. Try stirring Dijoinnaise into stew to play up the flavors of meaty sausage or vegetables, too. To make your own Dijonnaise, stir together equal parts of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. Feel free to use whole-grain mustard, which brings a bit more texture from the seeds. In his refrigerator, Greg always keeps spicy brown mustard and Dijon mustard on hand, depending on how much sharp mustard flavor he's going for in any given recipe.

Something Spicy

Like Lauryn, editorial director of Food Sarah Carey is also a fan of Hellman's mayonnaise. She uses it as a classic sandwich spread. But she also loves the spiciness of sambal oelek, a spicy chile paste, for serving with anything and everything—"rice and bean bowls, roasted chicken, all forms of eggs," Sarah says. Like Riley, you'll also find staple condiments in Sarah's refrigerator, too, such as Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, ketchup, habanero hot sauce, and green Tabasco—the latter her wife and daughter both love.

Riley also loves adding heat to soup or rice dishes using Blank Slate Kitchen's Szechuan chile oil ($12.99, "I cannot live without it. I love it drizzled over beans and rice with lots of lime and cilantro," she says.


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