Life in a Northern Town

Homemade Mustard

I am a condiment hoarder, everything from Thai fish sauce to horseradish. While I don't discriminate and embrace all condiments, mustard has a special place in my heart and refrigerator. A few weeks ago, I started to wonder about making my own mustard. It turns out, it is amazingly simple— buy mustard seeds (yellow and brown), add liquid, some herbs or other flavorings, let it sit for a few days, put it in the blender (a food processor does not work) and you have fresh mustard.

I was at my favorite grocery store in Duluth, Mount Royal, and spied a pile of fresh horseradish. I knew my initial foray into mustard making was imminent. I grabbed some fresh herbs and pâté (my preferred mustard delivery system) and headed back to Bayfield. I looked at a number of different recipes and realized the room for creativity was immense. I settled on two mustards: fresh herb and garlic and horseradish and Calvados. I learned one interesting fact during my research— you must use cold liquid to preserve the pungency of the mustard seeds. If the seeds are heated, the flavor will be muted and less spicy. Homemade mustard was a revelation— spicy, creamy and fresh. I am afraid this may have opened a whole new avenue for my condiment fascination.

Horseradish and Calvados Mustard

6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

4 tablespoons Calvados brandy

5 tablespoons fresh horseradish, grated with a Microplane grater

2/3 cup white wine vinegar

1/3 cup water, cold

1/8 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Put mustard seeds, water, Calvados, horseradish and vinegar in a bowl and stir to completely submerge seeds. Cover and let sit at room temperature 2 to 3 days.

Whirl mustard mixture in a blender with brown sugar and salt until smooth.

Make ahead: 2 weeks, covered and chilled.

Fresh Herb and Garlic Mustard

6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

2 tablespoon brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup water

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together mustard seeds, thyme, rosemary, garlic, water, and the vinegar in a bowl until seeds are submerged. Let sit at room temperature, covered, 2 to 3 days.

Put mustard mixture in a blender along with brown sugar and salt and blend until mixture is thick but still coarse-textured.

Make ahead: 2 weeks, covered and chilled.