Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy (Basil-Shallot) Mustard Day!

It's Mustard Day and to celebrate this should-be illustrious holiday, I am adding another installment to my series, The Basil Chronicles.

I have made mustard before and it's so easy it makes me wonder why I ever buy it since it's so delicious. This recipe also fulfills the requirement of late - basil. Only 3 tablespoons. Desperate steps....every little bit?

Everything I needed to make this oh-so versatile condiment was in the pantry so it came together quickly.

The only time consuming, though totally hands-off, aspect was the soaking of the mustard seeds in apple juice, water and vinegar. I think I let them go a bit longer than needed - maybe 8 or so hours?

Next, a quick spin through the food processor. In hindsight, I should have used a mini prep. I made only a single batch and the quantities weren't really enough to let the processor do it's job crushing up the softened seeds.

Cooking about 25 minutes over a double boiler, allowed the mustard to thicken. 

Next time I'll increase the cooking time for greater thickening and use a more appropriately sized means for crushing the seeds.

No big deal. After a flavor blending resting, my turkey sandwich didn't care one bit and neither did I.

And, I'm down 3 more tablespoons of basil.


Basil-Shallot Mustard
The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol W. Costenbader

2/3 cup apple juice
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup light mustard seeds
3 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 T. shallots, minced
2 T. light brown sugar
1 t. salt
1/4 t. allspice

Combine the apple juice, vinegar, dry mustard, water, and mustard seeds in a glass or ceramic bowl and stir, mixing well.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Process the mixture in the bowl of a food processor until the mustard seeds are coarsely ground. (see notes above)

Cook the mixture in a double boiler over simmering water, adding the basil, shallots, sugar, salt, and allspice. cook for 20-25 minutes. The mustard will thicken as it cooks. (see notes above)

Pour into sterile jars. Cap and seal.

Allow the flavors to marry for 2-3 days before using. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 month unopened.

Yield: 5 pints

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