Everything you ever wanted to know about sex (but were afraid to ask)…
Mustard! I meant Mustard!
Got your attention, though, didn’t it?
Everything you ever wanted to know about Mustard (but were afraid to ask).
Now, that’s better.
Although, Weekend Sex Blogging has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ appeal, doesn’t it? Hmmmm….
Never mind…. Back to the mustard.
More than 700 million pounds of mustard is consumed, annually, around the world. Despite the fact that one of the most popular mustard styles is named after a lovely French city, (Dijon) Canada is the world’s mustard supplier, growing around 90% of the crop.
There are three main types of mustard seeds used in cooking: white, brown and black. Black are the largest and most pungent of the three; white (yellow in color) the smallest and mildest.
Mustard is one of the oldest known herbs and was widely used by the Greeks and Romans, both medicinally and as a seasoning for foods.
In AD 812 Charlemagne decreed that mustard be grown around Paris (Dijon?) as an income crop.
Both the French and the English were active in mustard processing:
The French adding vinegar or must (unfermented grape juice) to the pulverized seeds, as well as flavorings such as tarragon or honey.
The English (who were introduced to mustard by the Romans) in perfecting superfine mustard powders. The yellow and red ‘Coleman’s Mustard’ tin is one of the most recognizable products in the world.
Mustard seeds and powder have very little if any aroma, as the flavor is only released when coming in contact with liquids. Water added to mustard powder will make a hot mustard after about 15 minutes… But the heat will have dissipated by the next day. Vinegar, wine and beer all have a specific effect on the seeds, creating different flavors and degrees of heat, with beer making the hottest.
Good ‘prepared mustard’, the stuff one buys already made, does not need to be refrigerated after opening, although it will keep longer in the fridge.
If you use as much as I do, it’s never a worry.
I put it in salad dressings, stews and sauces.
I put it in marinades, use it on potatoes and vegetables, and brush it on to meats.
I spread it on sandwiches, use it to flavor rice and pastas, and have been know to eat a spoonful right from the jar when I have a bad cold….. “The heat of a fully developed hot mustard is sharp, irritating and bitterly hot and rushes up the back of one’s nose, clearing the sinuses and making the eyes water.”
As to health benefits, it contains selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids.
Mustard adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to many foods and I use it with abandon.
There have been times when mon mari has subtly hinted that perhaps I use too much.
He would be wrong.
Since I can’t submit this to the nonexistent Weekend (Ahem) Blogging, I’ll send it on to Srivalli, of Cooking 4 all Seasons, who is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging this week. She’ll have the round-up posted on her blog on Monday… Go visit!
Weekend Herb Blogging, was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. You can find all of the WHB archives at her blog!
So, what have I been doing with mustard lately?
I always put at least a teaspoon into vinaigrettes as it helps the oil and vinegar emulsify.
I almost always add it to marinades for meat on the barbecue.
Sometimes, I want the mustard flavor with fish, meat or vegetables, but not the pungency.
Then I make a sauce:
Mustard Chive Sauce
1 1/2 tbs coarse grain mustard
1 1/2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs Greek yogurt
2 tbs chives
Mix all ingredients and serve with grilled meats or fish. Or baked ham.
I brined and grilled a turkey breast the other day… Delicious, I might add.
Here’s what I did with the leftover turkey:
Turkey and Pasta with Mustard Sauce
2 cups sliced, cooked turkey
4 large shallots
3/4 (6oz, 180ml) cup chicken broth
2 tbs course grain mustard
1/2 tbs cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs water
1/2 cup (4oz, 125gr) Greek yogurt, plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/4 cups pasta
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Peel and thickly slice the shallots. Heat 1 tbs oil in large non-stick skillet and sauté shallots for 5 minutes. Add turkey, mustard and stock, heat through. Dissolve cornstarch in water and stir into pan. Continue stirring until quite thick. Remove from heat, add yogurt, mix thoroughly. Put the pasta in large pasta bowl, spoon the turkey over and serve.
Mushrooms would have been good, or peppers, or some beans… But it was late in the week and my cupboards were bare…
But my trusty jar of mustard saved the day!