Fat-Free, Low-Carb Tartar Sauce ¶

When I read the product label of the commercial brand of fat-free tartar sauce that I had been using for years, I was surprised to note that it boasted of 13 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Whoa! That’s ’way too much for one struggling to keep their blood glucose in reasonable figures each day. So I developed a recipe having no sugar that I like a lot, and it appears below.

Having thus got my attention, I was curious to find out why it was called “tartar” sauce, since it didn’t have any Cream of Tartar in it. I learned that the name has been around since the 19th century, that it derives from the French sauce tartare, which referred to the Tatars of the Eurasian Steppe, but just why is uncertain. The Tatars have nothing to do with the sauce, or Beef Tartare, or Cream of Tartar.

  • ½ cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • ½ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp <sugar>
  • ½ <salt>
  • ¼ tsp white pepper

Assemble all ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk until uniformly combined, and put in a jar. Keeps in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Makes about a cup of tartar sauce.

Nuked Cheesauce ‡

The microwave oven is the wonderful invention of Dr. Percy Spencer at Raytheon back near the end of World War II. It was first sold in 1947 and called the “RadarRange,” because it utilized a high-powered cavity magnetron developed for centimeter-band radar. Since they heat foods by excitation of molecules, like water, that have a lop-sided configuration of their outer electrons, they are not useful for many applications. But for some things, they appear to be ideal (like cooking bacon ). Although no nuclear energy is created or used, the term “nuking” has become popular to describe the cooking process.

The recipe below makes use of microwaves for reasons of convenience. It would taste equally as good (dare I say as excellent) if it were made on the stove top.Its principle use in my household is to augment (i.e., hide) the flavor of broccoli. However, it has many times enhanced other foods requiring no such augmentation at all, yet happy to receive it.

  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • 4 oz Mexican Velveeta®
  • 1 tsp chicken consomme or bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp gravy flour (or plain flour)

Put all ingredients into a microwave dish and nuke for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens. Serve over steamed broccoli or pour over uncooked broccoli and nuke for 1 minute.