How frequently do you use mustard? Hmmm, have you ever given a thought to how frequently we use this condiment? It is a condiment that many people do not care for because of the pungent, spicy taste. Many recipes are made just a little tastier with the addition of a couple of tablespoons of this bright yellow condiment. Most recipes specify whether to use dry mustard or prepared mustard, some don’t, and if they are not specific, it general means to use the prepared type. More and more recipes are beginning to ask for a specific type of prepared mustard, i.e. Dijon, spicy brown, etc.
Mustard is a plant of the genus Brassica, in which several other food plants are also found. This includes turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards and broccoli. The principal source of commercial mustard is B nigra, it is an annual that grows two to three feet tall, has stiff stems, bright yellow flowers and smooth narrow pods.
Dry mustard is a yellow powder and is made from the ground seeds of the mustard plant. The seeds of white mustard and the Indian or Chinese mustard are also used. None of these are indigenous to the United States. Chinese mustard and Japanese are used in salads, using the first large lower leaves.
For many years ground mustard seed has been used as a condiment. It can be used alone or combined with other ingredients as it is in prepared mustard. In ancient times, it was used as medicine by Hippocrates. Mustard is used as an emetic and in the time of our grandparents, as a “mustard plaster”, placed on your chest when you had a bad cold and cough. (I can remember my parents placing them on my chest under my flannel nightie to help clear the congestion in my chest).
Mustard seeds are used frequently in pickle and cole slaw recipes, as well as in some salad dressings. Homemade mayonnaise has a small amount of dry mustard as an ingredient.
Dry mustard can be really pungent and spicy if you use the least bit too much in your recipe. As with any spice or condiment, use it sparingly until you get the taste you want. It is much easier to add more than it is to try to remove some when you have added too much.
1 can Spam®
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup dill pickle relish or finely chopped dill pickles
2 or 3 very finely sliced green onions (optional)
1 to 1½ tablespoons prepared mustard
Use a coarse grater and shred the Spam® (You can use a food processor, but be really careful because it’s very easy to over process and you will have a paste!)
Add the celery, dill pickles, the green onions (if used) and the mustard; stir to combine and then add as much mayonnaise as necessary to spread easily. This makes great sandwiches, and can also be eaten with chips or crackers.
Company Pork Chops
6 to 8 center cut pork chops (1/2 to 3/4-inches thick)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup catsup
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Lightly season pork chops and place in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, mustard and catsup and spread over pork chops; slice lemons and put 1 or 2 slices on each pork chop; bake until pork chops are no longer pink in the center.
Now for dessert!
1 can prepared pie filling
10 to 12 flour tortillas
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup tap water
1 stick butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar/cinnamon mixture
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease or spray a 9x 13 baking pan or dish.
Place 2 tablespoons pie filling on a tortilla and roll it up, placing it in the prepared pan, seam side down. When all the filling/tortillas are used, melt the butter or margarine and mix it with the cup of sugar and the cup of water; stir together and pour over the rolled tortillas. Cover pan with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes; remove foil and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture and place back in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, serve hot or cold, either for breakfast or with ice cream or whipped topping for dessert.