Posts Tagged ‘mustard’

Break it down

I like recipes that have simple ingredients that I know how to either find locally or grow myself. I find myself constantly trying to break down a recipe the the point where I feel like I have the knowledge to make each ingredient from scratch, myself.

For example, I was reading a blog the other day that had a balsamic vinaigrette dressing recipe. Even though I haven’t tried it yet, it seems like a great dressing recipe, but upon reading the ingredients list my mind still wanted to know more.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Ok, I just learned a couple weeks ago reading another blog that making vinegar at home is actually fairly easy, but that was cider vinegar. How do you make balsamic? Add that to the “need to know” list to Google later.

  • 3/4  cup olive oil

I have absolutely no idea how to get any oil separated from vegetables at home, and olives don’t really grow much around Illinois. This will have to come from the store, but almost any oil could be substituted, with slightly different taste and texture resulting.

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

That sounds do-able. Google it now, “dijon mustard recipe.”  That leads us down a road to a new recipe that contains the ingredient “dry mustard.” Ok, I suppose that’s just powdered dried mustard seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle.  I have grown mustard greens before and I could do so again, let it go to seed, and collect the seeds myself.  Ok, knowledge acquired, moving on.

  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon

These herbs seem fairly straightforward to grow and save. We have thyme outside right now. Check.

  • salt and pepper to taste

Ok, two more imported ingredients that just really can’t be grown or harvested around these parts.

So now? Now I want to learn how to make Balsamic Vinegar and I’m a bit curious about how they get the oil out of olives or corn or sunflower seeds. These are the patterns of my mind.

[Thanks to The Apartment Farm for putting up with this bit of nonsense.]

Barbecue Sauce – Canning a Condiment

I had been looking for a good barbecue sauce recipe for a long time. This sauce is pretty good. I wanted a tomato-based sauce that I could make from my own garden and for the most part I found it. I did end up using one canned ingredient, because I had used up half the can two months ago and the rest was in my freezer…chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

I wanted my sauce to be very sweet and reasonably spicy. As I was cooking the recipe I found in the Ball Blue Book (1987 edition) I could taste that it wasn’t going to be NEARLY as sweet as I wanted, so in addition to the 1/2 cup brown sugar I added a heaping half cup of molasses as well. If I were going to make this again tomorrow I would jump right in with 3/4 or more.

Then again, I think if I really wanted this to be sweeter I would have to start with a sauce with less tomatoes in it. The last thing I wanted to do was to put in corn syrup. Yuck!

My biggest concern as I was cooking this was that it was going to be CRAZY spicy. There was a time while I was cooking it that I thought I had ruined it with the chipotles. After processing and opening a jar and having it on some ribs yesterday I was pleasantly surprised at how much the spiciness had settled down.

The usual disclaimer about canning at your own risk applies here. I am 100% sure that this modified recipe is a safe recipe, but I know that I have used acidic tomatoes and quality vinegar, and that all substitutions were done with like-quantities of similarly p.h.’ed items.

Give this a try and let me know what you think.

  • My garden: tomatoes, bell peppers
  • Local: onions, molasses, garlic
  • The store: celery, brown sugar, dry mustard, paprika, salt, peppercorns, vinegar, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
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