Create your "signature" mustard
Homemade mustards are often far hotter and more intensely flavoured than commercial preparations. They can also be mild and delicate. What is your mustard profile and what does it say about you? Never thought about it? Then lets get started…
Start with fresh mustard seeds
Like all spices, fresh seed has the best flavour. And as far as flavour variances go, there is a significant difference between the flavour and heat level of the different seed types, yellow, brown and black, with black and oriental being the hottest.
Choose a texture
When used whole, the seed does not have a sharp flavour, but rather adds a mild tang. Once whole seeds are ground their unique flavour comes out. Mustard’s heat is created when ground or crushed seed comes in contact with moisture. Fresh seeds can also be plumped in liquid and then processed in a mortar and pestle or food processor.
Dry toasting mustard seeds releases the oils and brings out the flavour, but over cooking will make the seeds bitter. Browning seeds in oil adds piquancy to the oil.
Dry mustard should only be mixed with cool liquid so the pungency can develop. Enzymes in the dry mustard must have a chance to combine and react for about 10 minutes. Hot water will kill the enzymes and adding vinegar too soon will stop the reaction, preventing the full flavour from developing. Wait the 10 minutes before adding the rest of the flavour ingredients.
To prepare a hot mustard, use a cold liquid at the ratio of 2 to 3 Tablespoons of liquid to ¼ cup of dry mustard powder. Water makes the hottest mustard of all.
To tone down the spiciness of a mustard, thin it with a little milk, mayonnaise or olive oil. You can vary the mustard flavour by adding sugar, pressed garlic, fresh tarragon, or other spices to a powdered mustard before adding the liquid. When the mustard is well blended, pour it into a container and top it with a lemon slice to keep it fresh longer. Replace the lemon slice weekly. Seal the container with a tight-fitting lid, and store it in the fridge.
The sky is the limit when it comes to adding flavour with different liquids. All kinds of vinegars, beers, sakes, wines, and liquors may be used.
And a dash of that…
Popular complementary flavours can include garlic, dill, horseradish, onion and honey. But what about citrus, berries, herbs, tequila or ginger? There are so many combinations: maple and bacon, balsamic and cracked pepper, chipotle-lime, wholegrain and stout, cranberry-port, honey- tarragon, whole grain whiskey, chili-cilantro, cognac, green peppercorn, roasted garlic, horseradish.
English mustard—Dry English mustard is a combination of ground black and white mustard seeds and a little wheat flour colored with turmeric. Add vinegar as the liquid. For a spicier taste, substitute white wine. This is often served with roast and cold meat.
Pale Dijon mustard– is made predominately of the ground black mustard seed with the dark husk removed, white wine or champagne and spices of your personal palate choice. It is used in and for sauces and dressings while not discoloring them. Then Wait… and Serve! It’s important to understand that mustard preparations need to age before they reach their ideal flavour. Newly prepared mustard is most pungent, and may even taste somewhat bitter. Age preparations in a sterile glass jar with a tight-fitting glass or enamel-lined lid, set in a cool, dark place (but not refrigerated) for 3 to 8 weeks or longer, until the desired flavour is achieved. At that point, your signature mustard can be stored in the refrigerator, where refrigeration will retard any decrease in pungency.