Friday, December 18, 2009

how to make mustard

Dan had the bright idea to make mustard for holiday gifts this year. At first, I wasn't convinced. Don't people want candy and spiced nuts, and other things you can tear open and eat right away? But then I thought about how many bottles of Dijon we go through in a year, and quickly changed my mind. Not only is mustard a surprising gift to receive, it's also very practical.

And for the gift-giver, it's also simple to make. It was much easier than any canning projects we have taken on, even though our mustard is also shelf-stable. Tracking down mustard seeds in bulk can be a little tricky, but once you have seeds, you're in business. All you have to is grind them up, then add some dry mustard, white wine, vinegar, water, and seasoning. A little ground tumeric is optional, but helps boost the color so you'll get a pretty, bright yellow condiment. The end result has a nice grainy texture and is on the spicy side, a bit like Chinese hot mustard. Over time, it mellows a bit, but when you first open the jar it definitely packs some heat.


You can keep the mustard in your refrigerator, but if you're giving it as a gift, it's best to make it shelf-stable by boiling it in water. Be sure to sterilize your jars and lids (boil them in hot water for 10 minutes, carefully remove with tongs to a clean, dry cloth) before you fill the jars with mustard. Once the jars are filled and tightly closed, carefully put them back in the boiling water for 15 minutes. This will seal the jars shut and preserve the mustard so you don't have to refrigerate it before you open the jars. (Like any condiment, after you open the jar, be sure to keep it in the fridge.)

Use your mustard to make vinaigrette, slather it on a hot dog or sandwich, to top roasted pork, make this pasta, or however else you like to eat it.

Grainy French-style mustard
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
(Makes about 2 cups, or 6 half-pint jars)

1 cup yellow mustard seeds
3 Tbsp. dried mustard
1 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. ground tumeric
salt and ground pepper to taste

In a spice grinder, coffee grinder, blender, or with a mortar and pestle, grind the mustard seeds until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal. Set aside in a medium bowl. Add the dry mustard, water, vinegar, white wine, and tumeric. Stir until combined.

14 comments:

Joseph D'Antoni said...

Lisa--if you want to mellow the mustard a bit you can heat it briefly over a double boiler (or in my case a steel bowl over a pot of water)

Julia (Color Me Green) said...

i've made mustard before - i should have thought to make it for holiday gifts! oh well.

The Single Gal said...

so cool - I wish I was on your holiday list!

xo, TSG

LENORENEVERMORE said...

I'm impressed!
Delicious blog~

Lisa said...

J D'A: Processing the jars definitely makes the mustard less spicy--thanks for pointing that out.

Julia: It's fun, right? It's something I never thought about making but it's a good, easy project.

TSG: Aw, thanks! I hope you have a great holiday!

LENORENEVERMORE: Thank you so much!

Donna said...

Can't wait to open the mustard and try it in the pasta prima donna, this time we'll make it for you! Yea!

Emily Anne said...

What a creative gift! I know I would love it. ;) You actually could tear it up and eat it right there if you gave the receiver a few pretzels.

Love your blog! :)

Lisa said...

Emily: Oh my gosh, pretzels! What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? Next time for sure. Thanks for reading!

Mike said...

Mmm... this looks good, Lisa! Why do I love mustard so much? Is that weird? When I was a kid, my neighbor used to smear yellow mustard on his chocolate cake. What can I tell you, it was Missouri. Miss you guys!

Lisa said...

Mike: Chocolate cake? Eww! We have a jar at home with your and Jo's name on it. Do with it what you will. :) See you soon hopefully!

Kim said...

This is a very novice question, but since I have never preserved anything before I'll go ahead and ask it: when you boil to close, do you completely submerge the jars or just partially?

Lisa said...

Kim: Hi Kim! When you boil the jars, make sure the lids are tightly closed and yes, you submerge them completely.

Julie said...

Dear Lisa - thank you for the fantastic idea. My mother and I made mustard (we added some honey to cut through the heat somewhat) when I was in Tacoma for Christmas and they made adorable and tasty gifts for relatives and friends. Yay! -Julie

Lisa said...

Julie: Yay! So glad it worked out.

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