Thursday, May 12, 2011

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Rowley’s House Mustard — with a Filipino Twist

I like a spot of mustard.

For more than 20 years, I’ve been making my own. I started around the same time I began brewing my own beer. I was old enough to buy mustard; not so much the beer. Sure, I still buy unusual or specific mustards — moustarde au violette, creole, Scharfersenf, or Dijon — but whipping up a batch of perfectly respectable homemade stuff is fast and cheap. It’s also so easy that I often make it just by eyeballing ingredients.

I’ll make several different kinds over the course of a year, but I’ve become fond of incorporating Sukang Iloko, a Filipino sugarcane vinegar that’s become the workhouse vinegar around here for sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes — and it’s cheaper than bottled water. Check with local Asian supermarkets, but if it proves tricky to track down, other vinegars such as rice or white wine stand in just fine.

Here’s my eyeball method for making our house mustard: pour an equal measure of yellow and brown mustard seeds in a large jar (maybe a little heavy on the brown seeds). Cover with two fingers of cane vinegar and let the whole mass soak. If the seeds are particularly thirsty, top off with more vinegar the next day. After 3-5 days, transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender), then add mild mustard powder, a bit of salt, and a few tablespoons of honey. Blend to crush the seeds lightly. Store in clean glass jars. It’s ready to use as-is, but benefits from a few days’ rest.

If you’re more comfortable with specifics, try this:
Rowley’s House Mustard

½ - ¾ cup black/brown mustard seeds
½ cup yellow mustard seeds
1 - 1½ cup Filipino cane vinegar
½ cup yellow mild mustard powder
1 Tbl salt
3-4 Tbl honey

Soak mustard seeds in vinegar 3-5 days. Add remaining ingredients and blend the whole mass in a blender for 5-12 seconds until the seeds are lightly crushed. Store in clean glass jars.
You can store this mild mustard at room temperature in the cupboard or pantry, but the coolness of a fridge seems best to preserve its fugitive bite.


FrankO said...

i love making mustard, and it's true, it's so cheap and easy to make, why would you ever buy anything but the most unusual ones. for a day-to-day mustard, make it for sure.

Matthew Rowley said...

I must use nearly 8 times as much mustard as I do ketchup — it's just so good to have around. In fact, lunch today was a ham on rye sandwich made with a few slices of last night's ham (glazed in blood orange marmalade and crushed speculoos cookies), a bit of cheese, and this mustard. All I needed was a nap (th opening for which, of course, slipped away before I realized it).