Phoning it in – Plain noodles

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So far with this blog I’ve managed to write up some family favorites, but what I haven’t yet done is the misadventure part. I think I’d like to change that, largely because it’s a more significant part of my cooking-dad narrative than this blog might otherwise suggest.

Last week, I failed to write a blog post. There are a bunch terrible of reasons for this more akin to excuses. The largest of which is that I went to a writer’s retreat and didn’t feel like it. I worked on my book, which is a satirical take on the fairy tale of true love, not cooking. I could, of course, have just written and scheduled a post ahead of time like all other studious bloggers, but, well – lazy. In fact, I was lazy all week. My crowning achievement was folding the laundry. I spent most of the week phoning-it-in for dinner, and not the sort where somebody brings you food. Dinner was a product of condensed soup, McDonalds, and plain noodles.

One lament, heard far and wide, by working parents is that about cooking. I mean, after a 10 hour day of commuting, working and generally not sitting on the couch watching TV, the last damn thing any one of us wants to do is cook. Usually, this is where going out comes in, but when you’ve got kids that are starting to eat like teens, that becomes an outrageous expense the minute such a notion pops into your mind.

When I was a kid, about the age of our oldest now, the go-to was hamburger helper. If memory serves, it was the first thing I learned how to cook. The other go-to, for a time, was also TV-dinners. To be clear, this was NOT an every night occurrence, though if you eat enough hamburger helper, it may as well have been. In my family, the solution is plain noodles. No olive oil, or pesto basil with sliced olives, sun dried tomatoes, toasted almonds and mushrooms. None of that. Just plan damn noodles. It takes roughly 5 minutes dirties exactly 1 pot and exactly 1 strainer and it’s slightly more healthy than mac-and-cheese.

At this point, you may be saying, but Dave! You could also just empty a jar of sauce into a pot and have sauce too, then you’d have a veggie to go with. To this, all I have to say is: one pot, one strainer, why the hell would I dirty more dishes if I don’t have to.

What you need

  • Some damn noodles
  • A pot of water

Directions:

Boil the water, add noodles and boil until soft, but no so soft they’re basically mush. You want a bit of firmness in your noodles. And, if you insist on being one of those pinterest parents, you can add the basil pesto, a couple cans of sliced olives, sliced mushrooms, a handful of toasted almonds and half a jar of sliced up sun-dried tomatoes.

Porcupine Meatballs

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This article appeared in the September 14, 2016 edition of the Seward Journal Newspaper, and has been heavily edited.

In Alaska, hunting and fishing permeates our various cultures, whether you’re an Anchorage dwelling vegan or a whaling captain out of Utqiaġvik. This becomes profoundly obvious during the summer and fall months, even in the most concrete urban corner of Anchorage, when folks are heading out to fill their freezer. Over the past two weeks, Moose hunting season launched, and as is usually the case during hunting season, the only Moose I’ve caught sight of are limited to the antlers from a successful hunt tied to a camouflage four-wheeler, strapped to a trailer, hitched to a truck driven by someone who hasn’t showered in a week.

Earlier this week, I was having a conversation with a co-worker about our respective dinner menus and she mentioned she was having porcupine meatballs. As you might imagine, my first question was not, in fact, “What’s a porcupine meatball.” Rather, my inclination was to ask her what porcupine tasted like and where she got it. Instead, I decided to act as though I already knew everything there was to know about meatballs, porcupines and where to get them, and what they taste like, and every which way porcupines might be rendered into meatballs and cooked. I went with the very safe “Oh, that sounds good,” before she went on to describe the recipe in some fuzzy detail. The key ingredient was not, as I’d assumed, porcupine. It was hamburger.

The lack of porcupine meat in the meatballs should have been obvious, but I just figured that I had a skewed opinion after so many years working for Fish and Game. One of the things you learn working for an outfit like that is that anything containing fat or protein is a possible menu-item. Around the point where we’d gotten around to the merits of using wild rice, another one of our coworkers approached. Now, it’s important to note that this particular coworker is from somewhere in the deep south and is not a hunter. His response, in tones suggesting he had never been one of these folks, was “Oh, sounds like when folks would cook opossum back home.”

At this point, my coworker having porcupine meatballs had to clarify that they are porcupine meatballs not porcupine-meat balls. We all had a good chuckle and went home and I spent my commute wondering what porcupine-meat balls would taste like. I don’t know if I’ll ever find out, but on the bright side, I can always have porcupine meatballs, and if you’re one of the lucky un-showered hunters or spouse of said un-showered hunter, you can use ground-moose -After you’ve had your shower.

Update April 14th, 2017

I returned to my post at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in late November, 2016. Shortly after my return, we had a luncheon pot-luck, and I decided to make porcupine meatballs. As with my initial reaction, everyone expected it was made of porcupine and was extremely disappointed when they found out I’d used boring old ground turkey.

What you need:

  • 1lb ground meat (not necessarily porcupine)
  • 1/2 C. Raw rice
  • 1/2 C. Milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1/2 C. chopped Mushrooms
  • 1 Can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 Can water

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the hamburger, rice, milk, salt, pepper,
Italian seasoning, onion, and mushrooms. Shape into about 9 balls and
place in a 9x9x2” baking dish. In a small bowl, mix soup, water & a
bit more salt. Pour the soup evenly over the meatballs and place in
the oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

Bourbon glazed salmon

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Living in Alaska, one thing you tend to get your fill of is salmon. I love salmon strips, baked salmon, salmon patties, salmon burgers, (you get the picture.) However, because I’m lazy and a creature of habit and also because I think the flavor of salmon stands on its own perhaps only needing the very moderate intervention of a dash of garlic, lemon, and dill. I virtually always cook my salmon that way. Today (two weeks ago, actually. I scheduled this post – sorry it’s a thing bloggers do, I’ve got time today), I found myself obligated to cook salmon for dinner as my wife had pulled it out to use on Friday, but gave up when the kids said, we just want to potato cakes. She also handed me a recipe involving panko crumbs and stuff. I was like, ‘No, my way is better and you all like it.’ She sighed and shook her head. Okay, fine. Maybe only I like it that way, still the panko crumb thing still didn’t sit with me. Instead, I went looking for something sort of different. What I ran across was a recipe for bourbon glazed salmon. The idea was awesome, however, me being the rebel that I am, I concluded that I couldn’t possibly lift the recipe in it’s entirety. Rather, I examined it, picked it apart and constructed my own version. here it is:

What you need:

  • One Alaska salmon fillet, I used Coho, cut into single portions (like 4-6oz)
  • 1/3 Cup of bourbon
  • 4 Tbsp Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • Alder smoked salt
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • 1/8 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Molasses
  • Avocado oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced

Directions:

Place the salmon into a baking dish and set aside. Combine the bourbon, teriyaki, brown sugar, molasses, soy, and about 2 Tbsp avocado oil in a small pot, heat until the sugar dissolves and the bourbon just starts to burn your eyes. Pour most of this over the salmon, then sprinkle with a healthy covering of alder smoked salt, garlic powder, and parsley. Allow to marinade for 1-2 hours, hold a few tablespoons of the marinade back to pour on top of the salmon during cooking.

Heat another 1-2 Tbsp. avocado oil in a large iron skillet, toss in the onions and cook until they start to become soft and translucent. Spread the onions out evenly over the skillet and place the salmon on top of the bed of onions. Pour the marinade into the skillet & over the salmon. Pour the marinade mix you held back over the salmon now as well. Cover this and let cook over med-low heat for 15 minutes (less if your fillets aren’t particularly thick. You want to turn the heat off as soon as the salmon has cooked through (it flakes easily with a fork).

Serve with wild rice, top with the onion / marinade from the bottom of the skillet.

Turkey meat-loaf bites & Cranberry dipping sauce

I’m going to be perfectly honest. This is NOT what I was aiming for. A few weeks ago, I was goofing with the kids telling them what I was going to cook for dinner. The random words that fell from my lips involved turkey nuggets and cranberry dipping sauce. Naturally, I thought this was going to be a brilliant idea. So. I was wrong, but it’s okay, because the dipping sauce was pretty good and I think it’d make a damn fine spread for a turkey sandwich. I’m giving the full recipe for both here because you could probably cook the meatloaf bites as meatloaf and top it with the spread. It’s in the realm of comfort food. Someday, hopefully, I’ll give the turkey bites another go and actually get them right. In the mean-time, here is what I came up with.

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Turkey meat-loaf bites:

What you need:

  • 2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Rosemary (crush if you can)
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 3 cups Panko crumbs
  • ½ C. flour
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

Mix 1 ½ C. Panko crumbs with ½ C. flour with salt, pepper, a dash of garlic, and a dash of sage. This is going to be your breading. Mix the rest of the ingredients together, it should be a bit dry as if you’re going to make meatballs. Make little chicken-nugget shapes and roll in the breading, place on a well-oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 20min at 375, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.

Dipping sauce/turkey spread:

What you need:

  • 1 16 can jellied cranberry juice
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • ½ tsp Ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • pinch sage
  • Pinch orange zest

Directions:

Whisk all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth sauce, serve at room temperature.

Super awesome Steak and Potatoes

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A few years ago, which my belt insists was far too long ago, my family staged an intervention on my blood-pressure and Cholesterol. For a good long while after that, I exercised a lot and cut 90% of the red meat out of my diet. Hell, I cut out 100% of beer and even got close to being able to run a half-marathon. It was awesome. I felt good, my clothes fit nicely and I had lots of energy. Of course, what I didn’t have was much time. Fast forward to today, I killed my gym membership because I couldn’t make time to get down there and am struggling to get my ass out of the chair and, if nothing else, keep my weight from getting even worse.

The one change I made that I’m holding pretty well too is the near complete elimination of red meats and far more careful intake of unhealthy foods. I’ve been slipping on he unhealthy food front, but I’m holding firm on red-meat. Of course, this is super easy to do when I walk into the grocery store and peruse the meat section. I just can’t justify spending $20 for a meal of red meat. I mean, hell, who can afford that shit? (If you happen to be one of those people, I don’t want to hear it.)

Anyhow, when we do eat steak, I generally don’t, except for Christmas dinner, in which I eat a 4oz portion. I even get turkey burger when we grill in the summer. It’s seems pretty unfair for my family to have to adhere to the same standards of food intake because they don’t have problems with high-blood pressure. That’s sort of a ‘me’ issue. A good work around thus far that minimizes my intake of red-meat, reduces the cost of red, meat AND gets my family a tasty steak and potatoes meal, PLUS (and this is the real bonus) It’s a one pan meal ONE PAN. One pan means less dishes, which, you know, my wife gets stuck with most of the time, but you know, I’m looking out for her too.

What you need:

  • 4-8 Potatoes, depending on size. I like the smaller Yukon gold, you’ll want to use upward of 8 of them.
  • 1 – 1 ¼lb Steak chopped into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Parsley
  • ½ Large yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp dill weed
  • 4Tbsp olive oil (or 2 Tbsp olive oil 2Tbsp lard)
  • 1/2Tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2Tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 C. Red wine
  • 1 12-oz bottle Stout beer
  • 1 8oz package sliced mushrooms
  • Montreal steak seasoning (it’s got salt, pepper, dill seeds, and some other stuff in it.)

Directions

Rub the Montreal steak seasoning into the diced meat and brown in a well-seasoned 14” iron skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil or 2 Tbsp lard. Pull the meat off the skillet and set aside.

Dice the potatoes into relatively small pieces, roughly ½” or smaller. This will help them cook faster. Put them into a large covered bowl with onions, 2 tbsp oil, salt, pepper, and the dill. Mix well and put into the Iron skillet. Cook until the onions start to get a bit translucent. Add the Beer, red wine, Worcestershire sauce. Allow that to bubble off and once it’s cooking well again, add in the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy, and the sauce has thickened into a gravy.

Pancakes and Opinions

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Somewhere earlier this year, I committed myself to writing a post a week on this site and also having guest blogs. Guess what I haven’t done? Why? No idea. None whatsoever. I write an article every week for the Seward Journal newspaper. It would literally take me an extra 2 minutes to paste it on to the website and share. Anyhow. I’m totally ready to fix that, starting TODAY! I’ll start by going back, at least as well as I can, to some of the recipes I’ve sent into the Seward Journal and to other random crap I’ve cooked up.

So, what is today’s adventure in undernourishment? How about something totally beyond mundane… Pancakes. Pancakes are easily recognized as one of the main staples in the standard dad cooking play-book. As such, we’ve all got pretty specific ideas about how to cook pancakes. There are two basic approaches, mine, and everyone else’s, which might possibly be like mine, in which case it’s correct. To start, the right way NEVER involves oil. None at all. Oil and pancakes are like oil and a grease fire. You would not add oil to a grease fire, so why would you add it to pancakes?

The best part of cooking pancakes like this is that it’s dramatically cheaper than cereal & milk. I think we’re pushing $5/box for the good stuff? Sure, you can get the cheap stuff for, um, cheaper, but the problem with that is that the cheap stuff tends to be less filling and so your children eat more, which more or less negates the cost savings. Plus, you can’t get around the volumes of milk needed to drive a cereal breakfast. If you triple this batch and refrigerate the results, it’ll keep three pre-teens fed for at least a week. Instead of spending $20 on three boxes of cereal and a gallon of milk, you’ve spent probably a total of $5 for the week.

What you need:

  • A pinch of salt, like less than 1/8th tsp.
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 C. milk
  • 1 ¼ C. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately with a whisk, then whisk them together. It’ll be a bit lumpy and that’s fine, so long as it’s not too lumpy.

Pour 1/8th-1/4 C. mix on to a hot, ungreased, non-stick grittle. I do mine at a medium-low, but it’s going to depend a lot on your stove top. Cook until the edges are dry and the bubbles on top are starting to pop, then flip. Cook for another minute or so. That’s it. You’re done. If the tops are too dark when you flip, turn the heat down, if they’re too pale, turn the heat up.

 

Poke

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For a while now, I’ve been hearing folks talk about poke (pok-ee). I had absolutely no idea what that means, and googling this particular food is not easy. Needless to say, when one of my interns said her poke is the best, and offered to share the recipe, I jumped at the opportunity. She even offered to bring some in, which she hasn’t yet done, but I expect she’ll do just that when we’re all least expecting it. Now, recipe in hand, I have a much better idea of what poke actually is. Basically, it’s raw ahi tuna in lime juice and other stuff that you serve with sticky rice, and it’s pretty damn good. Better than that though, it’s dead easy to make. When I say easy, I mean like the hardest part is cooking the rice to go with it. Since rice is my #2 specialty behind plain noodles, I totally have this one in hand. So, without further ado, here’s Zay’s most excellent spicy poke:

What you need:

  • Two tuna steaks (about a pound) – make sure these look good. you are going to be eating them raw.
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • Lime Juice – I’m not sure how much, but you should use a fair amount.
  • 1/2 Sweet yellow onion
  • 3-4 Green onions
  • 1/2 Avocado

Directions:

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To start, cube your tuna. If you do this while they’re still a bit frozen, it’ll be much easier. Dice your onions and avocado. Put everything into an air-tight container and mix well. Set it into the fridge for one to two hours, then serve on sticky rice. If you want, you can make spicy may to serve with it (50/50 mayo and Sriracha)

The truth of the matter is that I virtually never do things as prescribed and heavily substitute, in part because I will have forgotten ingredients and in part because I want to do it my own damn way (sorry Zay!) So here is how I did it this afternoon.

  • One Tuna Steak (I got a case of the cheap-skate at the grocery store)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Hot Chili Sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon/Lime juice mix
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 3-4 Green onions
  • 1/2 Avocado

My recipe was good, and had just the right amount of heat for me. That said, I highly recommend following the directions to use half a sweet yellow onion. It was good, but I can see that this wasn’t as good as it might have been. Either way, it was totally worth doing again!

Dessert with a Dairy Allergy

image1Before I start, I want to make it clear that I’m fully aware that you can get all kinds of awesome desserts without a hint of dairy. But let’s all be honest with each other. The very best dessert selections basically consist of the following ingredients with sugar and vanilla: Cream, butter, and Eggs.

This summer my wife developed a pretty bad chicken egg allergy to accompany an already irritating milk allergy. Which, no problem, we’ve got ducks – take that chickens! Unfortunately, ducks stop laying when it gets to be winter, and so at the one time of year when we really need them, nothing. Those feathery bastards just waddle around the yard and eat. So, all the expense without the benefit.  Anyhow, this leaves us without eggs at a critical time of year, so I’ve got a trifecta a of problem – no butter, no cream, no eggs. That knocks out entire kingdoms of desserts. Basically, this leaves me with Oreo cookies because they don’t actually appear to have any nutritional content whatsoever, therefore they’re pretty near to hypo-allergenic.

So, instead of just handing my wife a carton of Oreos, which would have been fine, but not particularly festive (even if I got the peppermint ones), I made them slightly more sexy and called it pie. The interesting thing about this recipe is that it’s frikkin’ good. The texture is good, the flavor is good, and if someone didn’t tell you it was vegan, which they would because nobody is going to serve you a vegan dish without making damn sure you know it was vegan, you might not even know it was vegan. That said, I did pull the guts of this from another cook, so here’s the credit for that: http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/vegan-chocolate-pudding/

What you need:

  • 1 package of double-stuff Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 stick of fake butter, flax-seed stuff works fine
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1/3 C. Cocoa powder (Dark is best)
  • 1/4 C. Cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 C. Unsweetened cashew milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (you will use 1/2 for filling, the rest for whip-cream)
  • 1 Can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated, and unshaken – treat this very carefully.
  • 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar

Instructions:

Start by putting your beaters and bowl into the freezer. I just stick mine outside, much colder and doesn’t take up freezer space.

image7Empty most of a package of Oreo cookies into a food processor, about 30 cookies. The reason you use the double-stuff is that the filling helps the butter-replacement as a binding agent. I did try the skinny ones, and I didn’t like it as well. Melt the butter and pour over the cookies then grind into a pulp. This is a bit of a pain and you might find that just putting the lot into a gallon ziplock bag and pounding the ever-loving crap out of it with a rolling pin also works just fine.

image6Press the cookie stuff into a pie-crust shape inside a 9″ pie-pan, then set it into the fridge to set.

image2Make the whip cream by opening two slits into the bottom of the coconut milk can and then opening the top. Scoop out the heavy solids into your cold bowl, and leave behind any extra fluid. Beat this until it’s smooth, add 1 tsp of vanilla and 1/2 C powdered sugar and beat until it’s whip cream (stiff peaks). If it starts to get watery again, you may have over-beat it – either way just stick the whole mess back into the fridge to set, it’ll be fine.

image4The final bit is to make the chocolate pudding filling. This happens fast, so be vigilant. Whisk together the corn starch, cocoa powder and 1/2 C. Sugar, put this into a small sauce pan and slowly add the cashew milk over a medium low heat with a whisk, once it’s all together and seems to have mixed, switch to a rubber spatula, stirring constantly, make sure the mix is coming out of the corners of the pot. It’ll start to thicken first around the edges and it’ll be lumpy. Keep stirring. It’ll thicken about the time you ask yourself how much damn longer do I have to stir. Since we’re putting it into pie, thicken just a bit more than you might for any other pudding. Remove from the heat and pour into the Oreo cookie crust. Paste it back in the fridge to set. That’s it. You’re done and you’ve only dirtied 95% of the specialty cooking items you own. Anyhow, that’s it, just top with the whip-cream when you serve it.

Enjoy!

When the kids get old enough

Today I totally forgot to pull anything from the freezer for dinner. If it weren’t for the two very nearly expired packages of tofu and a huge bag of stale rice, we’d have all starved. Well not really, the kids would have eaten marshmallows and I would have counted the 500 or so calories contained in a beer sufficient for a meal.

In addition to the tofu, we also had some veggies. Veggies + rice + tofu, topped with whatever sauces came out of the Asian section of the grocery store = Stir Fry.

Literally the hardest part of cooking stir fry is cutting stuff up. But!!! My kids are now old enough to be handed a knife and pile of veggies and told to proceed in whatever fashion they deem sufficient. Victory. All I had to do was fry the tofu and poof cut up zucchini, peppers and squash magically appeared on the cutting board.

It really feels like all those nights of cutting up pork chops into pieces so small they require an electron microscope to actually see have finally paid off. Best part – they didn’t bitch about dinner. If only every night could turn out so well.

Homemade Mustard

**This article first appeared in the 10/19/2016 edition of the Seward Journal**

I was digging around trying to work out what might be a good recipe
for the week, and I got to thinking about Christmas looming just a
couple months down the line. I think this is mostly because I’m the
sort of guy who sets three alarms to get up on time. I’ve got my
super-optimistic 4:45, then the more conservative, but equally
unlikely 5:30, and then there’s the 6:05, “no-seriously” alarm that
usually does the trick. I think about Christmas gifting in the same
way. In October, I start thinking stuff up and typically find myself
scrambling around the day before the Christmas party with the gift
exchange to find something interesting. One year, I was so desperate
that I just stuffed all of the things necessary for beer and brats
into a gift bag and called it an ‘Authentic German Taco’ kit. Without
the fancy made-up label, it would have looked vaguely like I forgot
about the gift exchange and simply chose a bag at random from my most
recent grocery trip and labeled it a gift. Which is, in fact, what
happened there. Also, don’t Google “German Taco.” It will not go well.

Anyhoo, to get on with it, hunting season never really seems to end in
Alaska. Just a quick review of ADF&G regulations is a tangle of
confusing times, dates, geographical areas, and species. The bottom
line is that someone is always hunting moose or caribou in Alaska.
Always. Two highly popular products of those hunts are jerky sticks
and summer sausage. If you were one of the lucky ones to have gotten
game this year, odds are good you had some of these done up, and
there’s an equally good chance you’re going to give a bunch of them
away. I love these things. What I really love about them is the
giftable factor. However, I tend to think, when it comes to gifting
food, a kit is better than, say, a bag of dried meat. This is where
the mustard comes in. The best part of mustard is that you don’t
actually need moose jerky sticks to go with it. Any mix of sausage,
crackers, and cheese will accompany just fine, and will simultaneously
allow you to procrastinate right up to nearly the last second, while
still managing a thoughtful and creative gift.

Depending on how you do it, mustard only takes a couple of days, plus
the time it takes to dig up the mustard seed, probably something like
an online order. So, with about two months to go before actually
needing your awesome homemade mustard, and plenty of time to worry
about it, you can safely procrastinate and still have more than enough time
to get it all together.

Now, a word on the physics of mustard. The spiciness of your mustard
depends largely on two factors. The first is the temperature of liquid
you soak it in. In the world of mustard, cold liquid equals hot
mustard. Second is the type of mustard seed, going in order of
spiciness from yellow/white to brown to black. You can adjust the
recipe as desired to control for how spicy you want it.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup yellow/white mustard seed
  • 1/3 cup brown mustard seed (again, more brown or add some black for a
    spicier mustard)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. honey (add more if you want a sweet/spicy mustard)

Directions:

Put whole mustard seeds into a large jar with vinegar and water. Use
icy liquid for more heat. Close the jar, shake well, and set in a
cool, dry place for about three days. I put mine on the counter, but
if you keep it in the fridge, it should help develop the mustard
flavor better. Keep an eye on the mustard. If it starts looking dry,
add a bit more vinegar; my experience is that you’ll need to splash in
something like another tablespoon in total. After about three days,
put the mustard and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor
and blend. The less you blend, the chunkier your mustard will be. I
like to guarantee some texture, so I set aside a few tablespoons of
whole, un-ground seed after it’s soaked and hand-mix them back in.
When you’re mixing, if you find it’s a bit too dry and evades proper
blending by sticking to the side of the food-processor, add a bit more
vinegar. If you’re inclined, add a few splashes of bourbon to this mix
– it adds a nice flavor. With all of the salt, vinegar, and mustard
seed, this should keep for a considerable amount of time at room
temperature, but it can go bad, so it’s best to refrigerate.

Enjoy!