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Make it yourself, herbal mustards

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Making homemade mustards is easy, and a great way to customize your food to your individual palate. There are three types of mustard seed, white, black and brown, and depending on your taste buds, will be an indicator as which to use.

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White mustard seeds are the mildest of the three species. Typically found alone in the all American yellow mustard, these seeds also blend well with others.

Tiny, hot dark brown seeds of black mustard are used to make Dijon style mustard. It is usually grown for the seed, but young leaves can also be harvested for use in salads.

Brown mustard is only slightly milder than black mustard, and is often found in Chinese hot mustards. It is also frequently used in Indian cuisine.

Here are some tasty recipes to get you started on creating a mustard masterpiece.

Rosemary thyme mustard

6 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

3 tbsp brown mustard seeds

2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced finely

1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced finely

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized honey

1 tsp sea salt

  • Combine mustard seeds, rosemary, water, vinegar and 1 tbsp of the thyme in a bowl.
  • Stir until mustard seeds are submerged. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
  • Add mustard mixture, honey, salt, remaining 1 tbsp of thyme and ground mustard to blender.
  • Blend until desired consistency is reached, thick and grainy.

Lime mustard with coriander

1/2 cup white mustard seed

2 tablespoons dry mustard powder

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons mild honey

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground coriander seed

2 teaspoons very finely chopped fresh lime zest, be sure there is no white pith

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Grind mustard seed to consistency of fine meal.
  • Combine ground mustard seed, mustard powder and water to bowl.
  • Mix into smooth paste.
  • Let mixture stand, uncovered, for at least an hour at room temperature.
  • Scrape mixture into blender, add all other ingredients except juice.
  • Process until mustard is as smooth as possible.
  • Taste, add more salt or sugar to taste.
  • Add juice to taste.
  • Cover, allow to rest for a few days so flavors get acquainted.

Tips on making marvelous mustard:

  1. The longer you grind mustard seeds, the finer the texture. Base your grinding on your needs, grainy or fine.
  2. Use cold water, and add that before adding any acid (lemon juice, vinegar or wine) to prevent bitterness.
  3. When first created, homemade mustards are hotter, then begin to mellow after a couple days.
  4. Refrigeration will slow down the mellowing process.

You can easily find both mustard seeds and mustard powder at Penzey's Spices. In Madison the two Penzey retail locations are located at 3252 University Ave, Madison, WI, (608) 238-5776 and at 4244 E Towne Blvd, Madison, WI, (608) 241-7760. You can also order mustard seeds and powder online at http://www.penzeys.com.

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