Thursday, January 25, 2007

Orange Marmalade Mustard with Tuna

The Mustards Tasting is over, which means that the ration of food thoughts in my life can direct more towards the blog again rather than be completely immersed in my tasting. I think the most surprising taste combination for me and one of the combinations that pleased most people at the tasting was the clementine marmalade mustard. It's a very simple combination, about half of a very good marmalade (in this case a San Giuliano Clementine Marmalade) and a good dijon mustard. That taste combination happens to transform the taste of tuna into a new realm, which makes me think it would be not only a surprising addition into a tuna salad but also could quickly be transformed into a glaze or a sauce to serve with a tuna steak.

Following is a recipe for one of the mustard desserts, a spiced chestnut cream, from The Compleat Mustard by Rosamond Man and Robin Weir, which I wouldn't copy so directly if the book didn't happen to be out of print. We didn't taste this dessert at the tasting, I just rearranged the flavors so we could appreciate the combination and I could show everyone what mustard does to chestnuts (makes them taste like chocolate). At the tasting I just pureed candied chestnuts, dijon mustard, and a dash of cocoa powder and whipped it into mascarpone to inspire the cooks at the tasting to go explore (that's part of eating fearlessly), but the original recipe is:

8 oz chestnut puree
4 oz unsalted butter
4 oz sugar
2 teaspoons cacao
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1/4 pint double cream, whipped
6 fl oz cream, chilled, to serve

Heat the puree with the butter and sugar, stirring constantly until melted. Add the cacao and mustard powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Whisk in the whipped cream very thoroughly, then spoon into small bowls...and chill overnight. Serve with chilled cream handed round separately.

This could be altered in such a way as to use prepared mustard instead (I certainly would because I could then create dozens of variations on this by using different mustards). A prepared cognac mustard would do interesting flavor changes to that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mustards 101

French Mustards and Vinaigrettes, with Solomon (that's me)
Wednesday, January 24th, 7-9 pm
Zingerman's Deli-Next Door, $20/person
Call 734-663-3400 to reserve your spot(s)!

I'm obsessed with mustards. I've been studying them for months now, hunting down obscure books to learn more about them. Join me to learn more about mustards than you thought possible and to create/taste some incredibly intriguing and flavorful vinaigrettes.

Here's what the tasting "menu" will include...

a review of how made mustard is created
anchovy mustard
quince mustard
aioli made with avocado or artichoke, anchovy and mustard
a couple of mustard butters
orange marmalade mustard
honey mustards
a chestnut, cocoa, mustard and cream dessert
a moustarde violette, mascarpone and honey dessert

We will also use several different vehicles (i.e. apples, pears, cauliflower, broccoli, clementines, bread, salamis) to enjoy the mustards.

If all of the above seems a little strange, remember,

Eat fearlessly!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cheese Reality TV

I'm mainly a Dry Goods guru, so I don't often speak of cheese, but...

Cheese Reality TV

They say 'good things come to those who wait' – well West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers are so proud of the year it takes for their perfect-tasting cheddar to reach maturity that they have put a single cheese on a
round-the-clock webcam for the whole world to see.

From 1 January 2007 you will be able to log on to and watch one of our handmade-on-the-farm West Country Farmhouse Cheddars maturing, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The West Country Farmhouse Cheddar featured is one of just 14 UK products to
carry the prestigious Protected Designation of Origin status, ranking it alongside world famous food and drink treasures such as Champagne, Parma Ham and Cognac.
At the site you will be able to examine the delicate intricacies of the mould on our beautiful cheese as it develops and download a bespoke screensaver snapshot of the cheese for your computer.