Jalapeno Cilantro Mustard: ORIGINAL RECIPE
Mixing up a batch of mustard is always a nice little thing to have going on and this recipe for Jalapeno Cilantro Mustard is perfect example. Unlike other high maintenance, time-sensitive dishes, (Hey Mr. Jelly with your "bring to full boil for exactly one minute" rule, I'm talking about you) mustard is happy to do its thing on your schedule.
You soak the seeds in an acidic liquid of your choice (plain or cider or wine or infused vinegar, full strength or partially diluted with water or beer or something) for a couple of days. Or a week. Or two weeks. It's not going anywhere.
Take your time, no worries. Click to check out my mustard video.
Mustard seeds, vinegar and dried spices don't spoil, happily living out their seemingly eternal lives in the pantry in quiet solitude. Combined, they make delightfully inhospitable environment for any lurking nasties hoping to invade your sumptuous dishes. Germs don't stand a chance.
Add the seeds and dried spices to a bowl and pour vinegar just to cover ("obsess the seeds" as Minty Marchmont might say.) Check back later that day, or the next day. All that vinegar absorbed? Renew the vinegar obsession. Look in on the proceedings and repeat until the seeds have taken in all they can.
The process will take three days at least. But once they're plumped and pumped, they'll patiently wait for you for the final grind.
Now it gets interesting. Mustard seeds are feisty in flavor an remarkably hard, even after swollen with liquid. So depending on how coarse you want the final product to be, plan on at least 10 minutes on high in a food processor with a sharp blade, more time for smoother. Just keep the machine humming until you get to the consistency you want. This batch took 15 minutes.
If you want dried fruits to be totally incorporated into the mustard, coloring it as with the Cranberry Rosemary Mustard recipe, add them in the initial soak. If you'd prefer visible chunkettes, add them later in the grinding process. Your call.
One last thing: While Cuisinart is the accepted term for food processors (a la Xerox, Kleenex, Band-Aids), and the good folks at Cuisinart make very fine products, my preferred machine is a Braun. It has bowls and attachments for processing, mixing, kneading, whipping, blending, ice crushing, even a nifty slot to French cut green beans. Not inexpensive but it has served me well for over a decade. I love it. Treat yourself.
Combine in a big bowl, add white vinegar to cover by 1/2", then over three or more days, keep adding vinegar just to cover as the seeds absorb the vinegar. (They soak up a lot.)
When they're completely sated and can't take another drop, the seeds are ready to be ground until the mustard reaches desired consistency. I like mostly smooth paste with still some whole seeds showing. A little rustic.
Fill sterilized jars. If you're intending long-term storage a five minute boiling water bath won't hurt, but I've found a clean jars and lids are sufficient for either larder or fridge.
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