as keen as mustard

Ever think about how many idiomatic expressions there are that refer to mustard? Why is that?

So we’re still on a condiment kick around these parts. This week we engaged in a rather hilarious mustard-making project. As far as I’m concerned, cooking is good for little minds. I mean, I’m no developmental psychologist, but all the different skills and sensory experiences that cooking entails must do something positive for development. That, and cooking provides ample opportunity for yelling “IT’S A CHEMICAL REACTION!”.

So mustard…who knew! It’s remarkable easy to make. I poked around the intertubes for awhile, though initially only came up w/ recipes that were reviewed *really* poorly. Then I came across this gem in Saveur. [Stream of Consciousness about Saveur: Once upon a time, I was acquainted w/ the daughter of someone affiliated w/ Saveur…I can’t remember how exactly. She was dating the friend of my then-boyfriend. All of us attended a birthday dinner together at The Strip House in NYC. All I remember about that night was being the only vegetarian in the steak house and that she was wearing a beautiful floral embroidered jacket.]

The mustard making was a two-day thing, which involved a day-one mustard seed & liquid soak, then a day-two whirring and jarring.

Day 1 was all about the measuring and stirring practice.

mustard seed stirring

While day 2 was all about the scientific reaction.
change of state!

I followed Saveur’s directions almost exactly, w/ the exception of using a bit more horseradish. Next time I think I would use some additional liquid (probably additional beer, not vinegar) as the results were just a touch thicker than I like.

Saveur’s Spicy Guinness Mustard
12 oz Guinness (or other stout or different beer, maybe?)
10 oz brown mustard seeds
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 T kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 t ground cinnamon
1⁄4 t ground cloves
1⁄4 t ground nutmeg
1⁄4 t ground allspice

1. Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1–2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and the flavors meld.

2. Transfer to a food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Process until the seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer to jars and cover. (I used 4 1/2 pint jars, though there was still a little left over)

3. Refrigerate overnight and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Ostensibly the flavor of the mustard mellows over time. It’s really sharp right now, but will keep you posted on the mellowing.

jar of extra

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>