Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mustard and Muffins

A frequent sight around my kitchen are magazines with marked recipes, a case in point:

The top of this stack was from a year ago already, and was found when attempting to de-clutter some organized, obviously, but overwhelming stacks of recipes to try in my hutch cabinet. I confess that I actually have a problem getting rid of recipes that I think I'll try someday, and it isn't until the weight of a shelf or my well-hidden stashes get filled up to capacity that I consider some clearing out and paring down.

I also find it exceedingly difficult to toss out back issues of Saveur. I think I have every issue of my 4 plus year subscription run. They are stored neatly, but recently have reached the capacity of the shelf holding them - so I need to decide what to do. You can bet that most of them contain as many flags as the issue above. But that above issue will have to stay, since it was one of my most favorite "episodes" of the Saveur 100: The Home Cook Edition.

It came out in February of 2009, and peppered throughout were condiment recipes that I knew would make the list of keepers. In the back of my mind, I thought at some point last year I would have made them all, but sadly I'd either forgotten or was busy with other things while the pile of Sadly Neglected Things to make grew steadily in the hutch.

It's such happy occurance to remember, and revisit, those brightly colored flags of the forgotten - since I just found a new obsession: Spicy Guinness Mustard.

It always amazes me how easy some of the best and most versatile kitchen condiments are among the most easy of things to create from scratch. This no effort recipe simply needs to be mixed up, rest for 24-48 hours, and then blended into spicy emulsified oblivion.

I had to include this above shot, since the Saveur test kitchen photos accompanying the original article used a bowl of the same design as this dish I use for underneath my plants. Strange coincidence.

I only needed to let the mixture rest 24 hours, since the mustard seeds surprisingly swelled to double their size. I do love the smell of vinegar, which was the predominate aroma surrounding my project so far, and I was more than a little surprised at the spiciness that emerged after the spin in the food pro. One (over indulgent, since it actually brought tears to my eyes) sniff into the top of the whirring machine and I was instantly transported to my Dad's ever present little Inglehoffer jar on the top shelf of the fridge when I was a kid.

I always think of my Dad when I eat (or now make) spicy brown mustard, and my Mom for plain yellow (preferably French's), since those are their tastes respectively. I don't think I would have thought to claim a side in this happy Mustard War until now, when I am certainly convinced that Spicy Guinness Mustard is THE mustard of choice for me.

So why Muffins and Mustard, you ask? Because last week, Deena at Mostly Foodstuffs made Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins, where she also dictated the recipe, and I remembered how much I loved them. As I was invited to a Soup Nite, this was the perfect time to remember them, and thanks to Deena, I also remembered not to over mix.

Dorie uses a cup of fresh or frozen corn (frozen in my case), and also said to use up to 1/3 cup more corn if you so desire. I opted to chop up the same amount of some of my candied jalapenos for one batch, and some piquant Peppadew peppers for the second - which is the correct choice in my book since these muffins are on the sweeter side of corn-muffindom, and they can handle it! Luckily, I had an extra muffin - the larger, more rotund, gentleman seen below:

He gets his looks, which really is more of a muffin top physique, from baking these If You Care muffin liners without popping them into a muffin tin first. I actually never knew you could bake them on their own, until reading the side of the box one day. It's a good thing to know.

Since the corn muffin scent was lingering intoxicatingly in the air as I whirred up the mustard (3 short minutes is all it takes - it took longer to clean up the dishes from the mustard making ordeal!) I knew that taste test would have an inevitable outcome:

Not bad on a sweet Corniest Corn Muffin... but even better on a plain cheese sandwich on fresh bread - my lunch of choice yesterday when I ate so much mustard in one bite I had the dreaded "Wasabi Effect". Boy-O was looking at me wondering how he got saddled with such a strange and obsessive Mami...


  1. the mustard looks great! how long does it last? do you know if it can be canned for longer shelf life?

  2. Yum. What a great idea to make your own mustard. I never thought of that but will have to try it sometime. The mustard with the corn muffins sounds amazing! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be back on yours too!

  3. I'm telling you, Woman -- Best Mustard Ever. We love our little private jar of the stuff. And those corn muffins positively rock. You're invited back over to our house again any old time you like :)

  4. Lo,
    I'm so glad since it's such a happy place to be!

  5. innBrooklyn, I did actually respond to your question earlier, and have no idea where the comment went! Not having good luck with you guys today!

    The mustard does have a 6 month shelf life, and the whole recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups. I made half a recipe, and gave a jar away, and I know the rest will not see the light of March, let alone August!

    I do think that it would be a good candidate for canning due to all the vinegar, but don't know how long it would need to process. I'll do a bit of snooping and see if I can't find out for both of us. This would be great little gifts if they were shelf stable!

  6. thanks rebecca: 6 months sounds pretty good but it would be even better if they could be canned... not that my friends will complain if i give them jars of homemade mustard! i'll see if anyone on the twitter canning groups has any ideas about processing times too...

  7. I always tear out the recipes I want from the magazines, so I keep them but not the clutter of the whole magazine. Then I file them in alphabetical order and periodically look through for new recipes to try.

    The mustard looks delicious!



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