Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How do I love Mustard? Let me count the ways…freely, purely & passionately.

Mustard is a handy condiment to have in the kitchen and is used for waaaaay more than hotdogs. No matter your cooking ability, it’s fun to try ‘new-to-you’ types of mustard. Mustards can be an amazing flavour boaster for dishes you may never have thought about.

Mustard Suggestions
Most people have experimented with various mustards on hot & cold sandwiches, (tasty on a grilled cheese) but try mustards on grilled meat, salad dressings, tuna salad, chicken wings, drizzled over vegetables, roast and yes, even pomme frites, (A.K.A. French Fries) and tofu…who knew?! It’s not all about the ‘yellow stuff’…there are sooooo many more mustards out there to try!

For those Julia Child followers, there is always ‘Sauce Robert’. This is really “Brown Mustard Sauce” and it is wonderfully delicious! Try it on “roast…pork chops, beef, broiled chicken, turkey, hot meat leftovers and hamburgers.” That covers a variety of foods to use with mustard perking up the taste big time.

For the no fuss cook…make Roasted Potatoes w Cheese and Mustard….they are sooooo good!
Quarter some Yukon gold potatoes, toss them in a little olive oil, sea salt, rosemary and cracked black pepper; roast for 20 minutes in a 400-425 F oven for approximately 20 minutes. Pull out of the oven and toss the hot potatoes with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 Tablespoon of Dijon or Coarse Mustard. Put back in oven and continue to roast for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley. Oh yea…these are outstanding with very little effort!

For a simple sauce to use on grilled Panini’s, wraps or grilled hamburgers make the following sauce.
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
½ clove of garlic, minced garlic
Pinch of dried basil
½ - 1 teaspoon Grainy or Dijon mustard
Optional: 1 teaspoon of horseradish
Mix together and use as a ‘special sauce’ for your next sandwich.

Grill your next beef steak with this Herb mustard:
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of white wine
2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
Cracked black pepper to taste
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried basil
1/2 -1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
Mix together. Brush herb mustard on the steaks and place on a hot grill. Grill first side, flip once and brush herb mustard on second side. Cook until desired doneness. Steak may be seasoned w/ salt (if desired) after it has been flipped. Discard unused herb mustard.

Or try this Herb Mustard Glaze on salmon (or your favourite fish)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon dry white wine
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (or your favourite mustard)
2 Tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Combine all ingredients in food processor. Set aside.
Place salmon on sprayed foil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with pepper.
Broil for 2 minutes. Add the capers to the mixed sauce and spoon the mustard sauce over fillets. Continue to broil 5 minutes or until salmon is cooked but not overdone. (Salmon may be done on the grill if preferred. It’s wise to make sure the grill is properly seasoned and not overcook the salmon. If grilling salmon is unfamiliar to you, information is widely available online or in cookbooks at the library)

The list of mustards below is not meant to be comprehensive, just a simple list of mustards you may find interesting to try. If this is a new thought for you, may I suggest you be a bit adventuresome and buy mustard with a label that simply looks appealing.

Basically the mustard seeds most often used in the culinary world are white, yellow, black and brown. The seeds are used in pickling blends, and curry seasoning. Once the seeds are processed they turn into mustards. There is even a National Mustard Day.

Onto the short list of mustards…(by no means comprehensive just informative)
Dijon Mustard is made with white wine, vinegar and juice from unripened grapes all which help make this mustard less acidic and smooth. A well known producer is Grey Poupon which became widely popular from their commercial touting Grey Poupon to be “one of life’s finer pleasures”! In my opinion, all good cooks have Dijon in their fridge.

Wine mustards are numerous in variety and even include Champagne mustard. I find the wine mustard particularly good on fish. It even perks up simple cooked carrots. Add some wine mustard to carrots, a pinch of thyme, salt and pepper and a small pat of butter…not like Grandmas carrots!

Creole Mustard is brownish mustard with a hint of horseradish and spices making it somewhat hot, spicy mustard. I have a weakness for Creole mustard on pork tenderloin & crab cakes.

Whole Grain Mustard sometimes called ‘coarse mustard’. The coarse grain mustard that comes in a stone jar with a red seal is Pommery and happens to be one of my personal favourite. I like it on almost any food that can be enhanced with mustard! Try it on potato salad and grilled lamb. Fantastic flavour.

German Mustard ranges from mild to hot, spicy and mildly sweet. From pate to pretzels, this is a tasty type of mustard.

Honey Mustard also ranges from hot to mild. Its fun to pick up locally made honey mustard in different regions all over the world. Go shopping at a Farmers Markets almost anywhere; many times you can sample the variety of mustards which is a fun treat.

All-American Ball Park Mustard is the bright yellow mustard most people put on hot dogs. No need to say too much more.

Flavored Mustards are numerous. Blue Cheese mustard, Horseradish, Basil-Pesto mustard, Wasabi mustard, Maple mustard, Chipotle mustard, (love this one!) Roasted Garlic mustard are just a few…actually there are literally hundreds more to choose from! It’s fun to experiment with new mustards. I like to buy a different mustard (or 2 or 3) when ever I travel away from home. Pick up a new mustard and have a ‘mustard adventure’ trying it with a new recipe or an old favourite.