Favourite Five Mustard Recipes

Spadeforkspoon Favourite FiveMustard is a great ingredient offering piquancy to many a dish. It is a member of the Brassica family of plants which has tiny round edible seeds as well as tasty leaves. Its English name, mustard, comes from a contraction of the Latin mustum ardens meaning burning must. This refers to the spicy heat of the crushed mustard seeds and the French practice of mixing the ground seeds with must, the young, unfermented juice of wine grapes. Although mustard was considered a medicinal plant initially, it has become a staple of many food cultures. Prepared mustard dates back thousands of years to the early Romans, who used to grind mustard seeds and combine them with wine to form a paste not much different from the prepared mustards we have today. It’s a store cupboard essential and here are my favourite five uses of mustard.

Mustard Soup  – This is a delicious soup which I first tasted in Amsterdam. It combines the piquancy and texture of wholegrain mustard with a silky smooth creme fraiche based liquor. Simple to make and a great winter warmer.

Cheese and Mustard Scones – Cheese scones are one of life’s little pleasures; especially so when served warm and the butter melted slightly on top. The addition of a little grain mustard really brings out the cheesiness, and gives them a slightly more sophisticated flavour. My son has recently been diagnosed as coeliac, so this recipe is for gluten free scones, but the addition of mustard to your usual cheese scone recipe would work. Combine 275g gf plain flour, 50g ground almonds, 3tsp baking powder, 2 tsp xanthum gum and 1 tsp salt in bowl and rub 100g butter into the dry mix to make breadcrumbs. Add 100g of whatever cheese you have around (generally cheddar and Parmesan in our case). Combine 2 eggs with a tbsp wholegrain mustard and 125ml yoghurt. Pour this into breadcrumb mix and bring the ingredients together with a fork. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and flatten to 3cm thick, before cutting out into scone shapes. Transfer onto a baking sheet, brush the tops with a little milk and grate a little more cheese on top. Cook for 10 minutes at 220 °C. Leave to cool slightly before eating.

Piccalilli – This has been my food revelation of the year. For years I’ve seen the yellow pots of Piccalilli on sale and thought they looked over processed and not too tempting. Then early in 2013 I had a dish in Bridport which had a delicious Piccalilli accompanying pig’s head croquettes. It just worked so well. So, when I had a glut of veg at the plot, I made some of my own and it’s been in constant use ever since. As well as vegetables from the plot, it uses a combination of English mustard powder and mustard seeds to make a simple punchy preserve.

Mustard mash – A simple use of wholegrain mustard to give the humble mash a bit of a twist. Boil, drain and mash your potatoes, before adding a knob of butter and a spoonful of wholegrain mustard. It goes brilliantly with sausages, but would work with other meats too.

Mustard and Honey Dressing – This is our ‘go-to’ dressing. Throughout most of the year we have a jar of this in the fridge. It’s speedy to make, lasts a few days, and really compliments a range of salad leaves. To make, just add the following to a jar with a screw-top lid: 3tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 clove of garlic crushed, 1/2 tbsp honey, pinch of salt and sugar and a few twists of black pepper. Cap and shake vigorously to emulsify. It can be easily upsized for the summer months, when there isn’t a day that goes by without salad featuring on our plates.

mustard dressing
What ways do you use mustard in your cooking?

 

 

 

Favourite Five Marmalade Recipes

As I have blogged previously this month, I love marmalade and enjoy nothing more at the start of my day than a slice of thick-cut white toast spread with chunky marmalade. However, marmalade is an ingredient that can be used for a range of recipes, lending both sweet and savoury dishes some of its bittersweet brilliance. So here are my five favourite uses of marmalade as an ingredient.

Marmalade cake  – The marmalade gives this cake a lovely moist texture. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin and preheat oven (170°C). Cream butter (175g) and sugar (175g) until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Gradually add 3 eggs.  Sift in flour (175g), pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder and gently fold in.  Add marmalade (3 tbsp.) and milk (2 tbsp.)Spoon mixture into tin and bake for about 50 mins until golden brown and firm. Warm 2 tbsp. of marmalade and brush over the top of the warm cake. Leave to cool completely. You can add icing once the cake is cool.

Marmalade Breakfast Booster Bars – This is a great and adaptable recipe, based on one created by Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall. I’ve blogged a bonfire version before, but it’s also delicious when the lemon zest is swapped for a few tablespoons of bittersweet marmalade.

Microwave Marmalade Puddings – A steamed pudding is a thing of comfort and we often covert one, only to realise that the time taken for it to be made is just too long to wait. This microwave version is often employed in our house when we can’t make a steamed pudding quick enough. Put 100g of sugar, margarine and self-raising flour in a food processor, along with 2 eggs and 2 tbsp. of  milk. Whizz and then pour into a large microwaveable basin (or individual basins) on top of a good 2 tbsps. of marmalade (or any other topping like syrup). Cook in the microwave for 5 minutes and leave for a further minute or so, before devouring with the aid of custard!

Marmalade Glaze – A really good sharp marmalade makes an easy glaze for meat, especially for pork chops. Brush the glaze on before panfrying.

Marmalade Breakfast Booster Bars – Bread and butter pudding is a classic, and also a good way to finish off a slightly stale loaf. Grease a ovenproof dish with a little butter, then fill with marmalade sandwiches and a sprinkle of sultanas. Mix 400ml of milk with 2 lightly beaten eggs and a tbsp. of sugar. Pour the liquid over the sandwiches and allow it to soak in. Sprinkle a little more sugar over the top and bake for 35 minutes or so at 180°C til golden and crispy.

What ways do you use marmalade in your cooking?

Turkey is not just for Christmas

Turkey is the mainstay of many a Christmas Day meal, but what about the turkey as a source of meat and protein throughout the year? I love turkey and always think it should appear on our dinner tables more, whether roasted (or even better post Christmas cold leftovers), or using minced turkey. So I’ve decided to post my five favourite turkey meals (the first of a monthly series of Favourite Five posts highlighting five microrecipes on a theme). This month’s list is not a definitive five, but I think turkey should (to paraphrase a famous advertising campaign) be for life, not just for Christmas.

favourite five

Turkey meatballs – I’m a big fan of meatballs, and turkey mince makes a really great, light, version. They’re also simple to make, combine turkey mince, a handful of breadcrumbs, a little grated parmesan, sweated onions and mixed herbs (I used a mix of dried herbs from the allotment). Once combined, form the mixture into small meatballs. Brown in a pan, then pour a tomato sauce over the meatballs and cook in the oven for ten minutes.Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Sliders – The kids are big fans of these. The basic mix is similar to the meatballs above, combining turkey mince, breadcrumbs and some mixed herbs. Make into small patties and cook on a griddle pan, so they get charred edges. We tend to serve them in a small bun with a bit of melted cheese on top, gherkins and a red onion relish.

Turkey Noodles – Another family favourite. Combine a tbsp. of honey, oyster sauce and soy, mix and then grate a little fresh ginger into the liquid. Cut some turkey breast into dice and add to the sauce. Slice peppers, onions and cabbage into thin strips and stir fry until cooked with a bit of bite, add the turkey from the marinade and continue to fry until meat is cooked through. Pour in the remaining marinade and then add straight to wok noodles and cook for a couple of minutes before serving.

Turkey Schnitzel – Use a large piece of turkey breast. Place it between two layers of cling film and then use a rolling pin to flatten the breast to 5-8mm thick. This makes it much easier and quicker to cook the meat. Dust the meat in flour, then a beaten egg, and finally cover in breadcrumbs. To cook the turkey, place a knob of butter in a large frying pan and heat until bubbling. Place the meat into the butter and cook for a few minutes on each side; turning when the breadcrumbs are golden.

Turkey and Ham Pie – This is a classic way to use up leftover turkey after Christmas, but a good recipe for anytime of year really. Slowly cook a chopped onion and some thyme in a little oil until soft and fragrant. Stir in a little flour and cook for a short while before adding half a cup of stock. Continue to stir as the liquid thickens, then season. Add cooked turkey and ham in bite size pieces and combine. This is the pie mix. To top you could use mash (as in a shepherds pie), but I tend to use a shop bought puff pastry. Pop in huge oven for 30 minutes and you have a delicious pie.