Triple Pickle Tartar Sauce Gives Fish Sandwiches A Mouth-Watering Tang

Tartar sauce has a rather mysterious name, since it bears no relation to cream of tartar (and has little to do with Genghis Khan's Golden Horde). Thankfully, it's also unrelated to the stuff that forms on your teeth when you don't floss. Instead, this sauce was once served with steak tartare, although these days you're more likely to see it accompanying fried seafood, as is the case with Mashed recipe developer Patterson Watkins' oven-fried fish sandwich. Watkins provides step-by-step instructions for how to fry fish and enclose it in burger buns complete with American cheese slices in the best Filet-O-Fish fashion, but what we're focusing on here is her sub-recipe for making what she calls triple pickle tartar sauce.

Watkins' tartar sauce, as the name implies, does call for three different types of pickles, but only two of these — bread and butter pickles and dill — come from a jar. "Our third pickle," she tells us (using the royal "we" or perhaps referring to herself and the sandwich as a duo), "actually occurs in the tartar sauce." What she means by this is that the vinegar will pickle the chopped raw cucumbers as the sauce chills in the refrigerator. Once the condiment is spread on the fish, Watkins enthuses that it makes "one heck of a tasty sandwich." You can, however, swap the quick pickle for prepared pickle relish if you want the sauce to last longer in the refrigerator, since with fresh cucumber it only lasts five days.

There are many ways to use triple pickle tartar sauce

Even if you don't want to go through all of the effort of making a fried fish sandwich from scratch, this recipe's worth holding onto for the sauce alone. After all, tartar sauce doesn't only have to be a seafood condiment, and there are plenty of other things you might do with it. Patterson Watkins suggests that her triple pickle tartar would work as a dip for raw vegetables or chicken wings and could be used as a burger topping. By extension, it would probably taste great on chicken sandwiches, too.

If you do choose to stick with the seafood theme, though, this sauce can accompany fried shrimp or a classic fried clam boat such as the ones served at Nathan's Famous. You can also use it to replace the remoulade that's typically put on an oyster po-boy if you prefer your condiments more pickle-y than spicy. Even non-fried seafood can benefit from an application of tartar sauce — the three kinds of pickles in Watkin's version could help add some much-needed flavor even to something as bland as baked tilapia.