Thursday, May 26, 2011

Instead of the Herb of the Week...Mustard

I have decided that the Herb of the Week is going to take a break for a a while.  Not that I don't want to focus on herbs like that, but it takes a lot of time to write it and I find my time is in the garden rather than the books.  So instead I will be making notes on herbs I want to focus on in future and snapping photos of them and when the garden gets under control (meaning when the weather cooperates and lets me weed and plant properly) I will go back to posting the weekly herb focus.

Until then I will share a few more recipes, as I am enjoying a great deal of herb cooking right now even if the garden growth has been slowed by the chilly temps and blustery rains.  Also I did update the Seasonal Recipes page (see above) with recipes for summer burgers, just in in time for Memorial Day! 

On the Seasonal Recipes page I did post a couple of sauces, but I did not include mustards in that list so I thought I would share a couple simple, make-your-own mustard recipes here:
photo by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Large Batch Herbed Mustard
This is a recipe I have experimented with for several years.  I no longer remember where I first found it or adapted it from so I apologize for that.  But there are many variations with this and you can experiment with the flavors and tastes depending on what you have around the garden.

4 cups dry mustard
4 cups flour
1/2 cup salt (use less)
8 cups vinegar (cider)
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup mixed dried herbs (See notes for details)

Mix dry ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl or large mouth jar.  Add vinegar.
Mix well until no lumps remain.  Let stand overnight.

Stir again and add more vinegar if needed.  Pour into smaller glass containers. To keep, refrigerate or water bath can.

Notes: Dill is always good with mustard, as is parsley and chervil.  I have found that a combination of basil, parsley and chives measured generously with thyme, rosemary, sage added sparingly is a great combination.  A ratio of 2 1/2 Tbls. parsley, 2 Tbls. basil, 2 Tbls. chives, 1/2 Tbls. thyme, 1/2 Tbls. sage, 1/2 Tbls. rosemary will give you a nice cup of herbs to make this recipe.  Another variation is to make an herbed cider vinegar, something with a thyme base or onion base like chive blossoms is a perfect flavor to use.  One time I used lemon basil vinegar and was very happy with the mustard which was perfect on sausages and chicken breasts. 

Small Batch Herbed Mustard
This recipe makes about 1 cup or so and is a bit less time consuming as you can use a food processor.  It is ready to eat in an hour but will taste better if you wait overnight.  This is not really yellow like a mustard it is more red like a ketchup, so you can tell people it is a spiced up ketchup if they, like my husband, avoid mustard.

1 cup dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbls. red wine vinegar
4 Tbls. dry red wine
1 Tbls. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbls. dried Basil
4 Tbls. tomato paste

Place all ingredients in the container of a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides with rubber spatula & process 30 seconds longer. Keep in a well-sealed glass container & allow to stand overnight before using.

If you like a Sweet Hot Mustard, check out the herb mix we created to make an Oriental style dipping sauce (scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.)


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