Easter approaches. I am attached to tradition and I have a strong will to prepare traditional recipes for Easter. I miss rustic tastes. In my French family, Easter is not as extensively celebrated as it is in the Polish part of the family. French are not sentimental about eggs, for example. They do not prepare homemade pisanki (Easter eggs).
Tartar Sauce is one of my favorite Easter egg accompaniments.
In fact, I prepare it several times a year. It is always served for Easter (as an accompaniment to eggs and homemade patés) and for Christmas (as one accompaniment to hams and patés). However, it tastes deliciously with breaded buttoned mushrooms, potato crockets and warm meats (which I will present some other time).
I made a quick research before publishing this post. I wanted to investigate about the name of the sauce, to no avail. Besides the connotation of the Tartar tribe and the ancient definition of mythological hell, I did not find anything.
Does anybody have any idea about the origins of the sauce? Why it is called “tartar”?
This classical and old-fashioned sauce is known in several countries. It is well known in France, as well, and you can buy it in nearly every store and order it in many restaurants serving traditional food.
The French version, which differs from Polish recipes, does not find my personal approval; it usually is too thick, thanks to mayonnaise, and awfully sour, thanks to French extremely acid vinegar cornichons.
Traditional Polish recipes use as well a lot of mayonnaise. I like mayonnaise, especially when it is homemade and made by my husband. I prefer, however, to “break” its texture and its taste by adding cream, mustard and sometimes horseradish.
My version of the Tartar Sauce is based on homemade pickled ceps (which you can find in stores carrying Polish food, as well) and sour cucumbers (instead of cornichons) – two famous Polish specialties.
I find this version tastier. I think that the flavors are well balanced. The sauce is more delicate, but still quite acid, like it should be. I have tried recipes with capers, but I always come back to my version, which uses a lot of chives and dill as well.
Makes around 250 ml of sauce
1 hardboiled egg
4 tablespoons marinated ceps, finely chopped - around 50 g
5 tablespoons sour cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped (optional: cornichons) – around 100 g
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons organic cream (or Greek-style yoghurt)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ice cold water
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
A pinch of powdered sugar
Separate the egg white and the egg yolk.
Finely chop the egg white.
Mash the egg yolk with a fork and put aside.
In a bowl, mix egg white, cucumber and cep.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolk with mayonnaise, cream and mustard.
Add a pinch of powdered sugar and a spoon of water.
Beat until you the sauce becomes creamy.
Add chives, dill, salt and pepper according to you taste.
If the sauce is not sour enough, add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice.Refrigerate before serving.