To make homemade tartar sauce, gather 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons pickles, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon capers and 1 teaspoon mustard. Mix all the ingredients together in mixing bowl, serve or refrigerate.
When selecting ingredients for the tartar sauce, be sure to purchase a quality mayonnaise, as it is the main vehicle of the dish. Pickles can be of a number of varieties, including small sweet gherkins or cornichons, depending on taste. A sweet hot dog relish can also be substituted for the pickles. For vinegar, a white or champagne variety is preferable. Lemon juice can serve as an alternative source of acid, should you choose.
You have the option of cutting and mixing the ingredients by hand, or of placing them in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. If you choose the latter, pulse several times until ingredients are finely chopped and well integrated. Be careful, however, not to puree everything, as the dish ultimately loses its trademark texture. Season with salt and pepper and taste, then adjust seasoning if necessary. If storing in the refrigerator, make sure to seal in a jar or container with an airtight lid, as this prolongs shelf life. Recipe yields a batch of approximately 3/4 cup.