Friday, July 27, 2012
ALL ABOUT MUSTARD
IT'S NOT MUSTARD IF IT'S NEON YELLOW
I grew up with that bright yellow mustard that I am sure a lot of you did. That yellow mustard represents the type of food I ate as a kid. White bread, canned fruit and veggies, meat and potatoes. Food as my father saw it, was for fuel not for fun so what did it matter what it tastes like. Hate to say it, but boy was he wrong on that one. My husband who grew up in New York showed me the error of my ways....and hence...this country girl became a foodie...and a bit of a food snob at that. Why eat mediocre food when you could make it so much better at home.
Good tasty mustard is a real joy but is expensive if you buy it in the store. So like I do with just about everything I want but can't afford....I make my own. Making your own mustard is so easy to do, with the added benefit of being able to introduce any flavor you want.
A bit about mustard. Mustard was introduced as a condiment by the French. While it grows all over, Canada is the major supplier of commercial mustard. If you want a good read on the history of mustard as well as recipes for mustard dishes and sauces check out The Good Cook's Book of Mustard by Michele Anna Jordan and if you really want to go wild check out Wisconsin's Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. The museum was started by a Wisconsin Assistant District Attorney.
I don't make mustard from mustard flour or dry mustard. For one thing the dry flour is only the endosperm of the seed and the bran has been removed. But the main reason I don't use it is that to me it tastes too floury to me and I like my mustard grainy. I buy brown and yellow seeds in bulk. Besides mustard I throw them in about everything that is savory and make mustard sprouts.
The basic to making mustard is to soak the seeds in a liquid. Sometimes I use straight wine, beer, vodka, etc., straight vinegar, or a combination of the two. Just let them sit, covered overnight or up to 3 days. I usually let them sit for 3 days, so they are easier to grind. Just remember that the seeds will take on the taste of the alcohol you use. That is why I like to use vodka a lot, it doesn't seem to leave as much taste behind.
Roasted Garlic and Lemon Mustard
Soak 1/2 cup yellow seed and 1/4 brown seeds in 3/4 liquid of your choice.
Throw about 3 heads of garlic in the oven. Cut the tops off the garlic, leaving the garlic head whole. If you want you can remove the outer papery skin but that's too much work for me. Put in a baking dish and top with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
When the garlic is soft, squeeze it out into a small food processor and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Process until smooth. Then add the seeds, 3/4 more vinegar, and juice from 2 lemons, and process to the consistency you prefer. Put mixture in a saucepan with any sweetener you would like, this you can do to taste...honey or brown sugar are always good. You can also add some lemon zest at this point or some other kinda of zest.
Cook to thickness desired. This will thicken as it cools. Process in water bath for 15 minutes to keep longer or just refrigerator for a shorter life.
And that's it...this is the basics of mustard. Experiment and have fun with it. There are no rights or wrongs here. That's the fun of it!
For mustard sprouts....Soak the seeds in water overnight. place the drained seeds in between the fold of a damp tea towel (you can put the towel in a oblong or rectangle baking dish) . Keep damp and in a warm spot until sprouted, about 3 days.
I hope I have inspired you to have fun making your own food. Not only is it better for you, it taste 100 percent better than packaged food. Happy Cooking!