Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mustard (Seed) Faith

“... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” - Matthew 17:20

Mustard seeds are small, hard and delicious. Faith can be the same way. Both can be expressed in a many different flavors, colors, and textures. Everyone has their favorite. When I was ten, my favorite was, “Colonel Mustard, in the Pantry, with the Candlestick.

All forms of mustard, except the last one mentioned, can be used in cooking or as a condiment. The three main varieties, featured here, show off a range of contrasting flavors and textures.

Yellow Mustard: The good old standby, it is moderately spicy and slightly vinegary. It's used most often as a condiment adorning hot dogs or soft pretzels. It can also be found in some dressings, such as the dressing for American potato salad.

Dijon Mustard: More sophisticated in flavor, this strong mustard is made from the hottest of mustard seeds and a bit of white wine. It is often used in sauces, dips, dressings, mayonnaise, and marinades.

Course-grain Mustard: One of my favorites, the flavor is usually mild, but some varieties are quite hot. Some are a bit vinegary as well. It is often used as a substitute for Dijon, giving a milder flavor and crunchier texture.

Horseradish Mustard: Usually a course-grain mustard mixed with a little horseradish, this mustard has a pungent kick. Another favorite in my house, it's used mostly on bratwurst and other sausages, as well as beef.

Dry Mustard: Very hot and pungent, mustard powder is often added to sauces, dips, dressings, and marinades. It can also be mixed with cold water or white wine and used as a paste in lieu of Dijon mustard.

There are plenty more varieties of mustard, of course. Trying different brands and mixtures can be quite an adventure. Just have a little faith.

Photo by Magda S.

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