Posts Tagged ‘mustard’

Unrecipe of the Week: Eggs and Asparagus

April 21, 2014

What symbolizes springtime more than stalks of green asparagus, eggs and a lemony sauce? We served this last night as a first course, but it could be a great main dish for a light dinner, accompanied by soup and some crusty bread (hello meatless Mondays!) or as an entree for Sunday brunch.

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Roasted Asparagus With a Poached Egg and Lemon Mustard Sauce:

recipe adapted from Foxes Loves Lemons

Clean asparagus and trim the tough stems. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until cooked but still crisp. Timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus, so be prepared to cook thick stalks longer, and very thin ones for less time.

In a sauce pan, heat about 3/4 cup heavy cream,  and simmer until it reduces to about 1/2 cup, and has a thick, saucy consistency; about 6-8 minutes. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a little lemon zest, a generous tablespoon of butter, 1/8 teaspoon dried mustard, and a little finely chopped fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, bring water to a boil in a large pot or high sided sauté pan, and then reduce the temperature so that it is gently bubbling. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (plain white vinegar will also do) to the water, and gently slide in the eggs. We recommend cracking them 1 by 1 into a small dish and pouring them into the water to avoid breakage. Cook 3-5 minutes. Three minutes will yield a very soft, runny yolk, and at 5 minutes it will be nearly hard boiled.  Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the eggs from the water, and place on a paper towel to drain.

To serve, place several asparagus spears on a plate. Add the egg, and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and garnish with a few tarragon leaves and some lemon zest. Enjoy!

photo: indigojonesnyc instagram

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Cutting The Mustard

February 12, 2014

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Athletes often use sports drinks and energy gels to refuel and prevent muscle cramps during strenuous activities. These costly and high sugar aids can easily be replaced by a simple fast food staple: mustard packets.

Muscle cramps are often caused by a deficiency in  acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that simulates the muscles during work. When consumed, mustard triggers the body to produce more  acetylcholine, due to it’s high acetic acid content.

Turmeric, which gives mustard it’s rich yellow hue, is thought to have beneficial properties as well. Often touted as an anti-inflammatory and a natural arthritis aid, turmeric is thought to reduce muscle stiffness and joint swelling.

Vinegar, found in prepared mustard, is another home remedy which is effective in  relieving muscle cramps. Just one packet of mustard contains the same amount of sodium as 8 oz. of Gatorade Endurance. The combination of vinegar, sodium and turmeric packs a big punch in supporting athlete’s quick nutritional needs.

If your artificially flavored sports gels and drinks aren’t cutting the mustard anymore, it might be time to try the real deal.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Balsamic Marinade

July 22, 2013

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It’s grilling season, and marinades help lock in moisture and add flavor to foods.

Whether you are tossing meat, chicken or vegetables on the barbeque, or cooking in the oven, this unrecipe will become a staple in your repertoire.

Balsamic Marinade:

Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, juice of 2 lemons, ½ cup olive oil, a big dollop or two of Dijon mustard, a couple of minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Whisk to blend. Pour over meat or chicken and allow it to marinate for several hours or overnight. Vegetables should be marinated for a very short time, to avoid getting soggy.

Kitchen tip:

Never pour leftover marinade that the raw meat has been soaking in over cooked food. Once the food has been put on the grill, use a clean plate to remove it to avoid contamination.

Bringing the leftover marinade to a full boil for a couple of minutes will kill any bacteria and allow the sauce to be safely used. Cooking it for 5 or 10 minutes will allow the liquid to reduce, and give you a slightly thicker consistency for a finishing sauce.

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photo: Glasshouse Images

 

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Perfect Salad Dressing

April 16, 2013

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Homemade salad dressing is so easy to make, and so much better than the store bought variety. A simple vinaigrette can be made with oil, and anything acidic, such as vinegar, or citrus juice.
As a baseline, dressing should be 3 parts oil, to one part acid. Depending on the ingredients, and what the dressing is being used on, that might need to be tweaked a bit. Personally, I tend to  err on the side of extra acid, preferring a little more tang to the dressing.

To make the perfect salad dressing, start out with a good quality oil. Olive oil is the most common base for a vinaigrette, but other clean, flavorful oils such as walnut can also be used.  Vinegar, or citrus juice can provide the acid.

There are lots of types of vinegars on the market. Balsamic vinegars can range from tart, to syrupy and sweet, depending on how long it has been aged. There is even a white balsamic, that has a milder taste. Red wine vinegar is a bit more tart, and half wine vinegar and 1/2 balsamic can be a nice blend. There are also flavored vinegars which add an extra element.  Lemon juice is a nice alternative to vinegar, as is lime or even grapefruit juice.

Whisking, or shaking the mixture will cause it to emulsify, thickening it slightly.
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Once you have the basic recipe, it is fun to experiment with fresh herbs or other condiments.

One of my favorite tricks is to make the dressing in a dijon mustard jar that is almost empty. Just pour the oil and vinegar or lemon juice into the jar, and shake it vigorously. The mustard left on the sides of the jar will mix in and add another level of flavor to the mix.

Once you start making your own dressings, you will never want to go back to bottled versions, which are laden with preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients.

Enjoy!

Photos:Glasshouse Images

Brrrger Joint

May 30, 2012

Fast food chain Carl’s Jr. is testing an ice cream concoction resembling a hamburger.
Dubbed the “ice cream brrrger,” the dessert sells for $1.99 at select locations in the Orange County, California area.

The “brrrger” consists of 2 sugar cookies as the bun, chocolate ice cream as the meat, and drizzles of colored icing in red, yellow and green, to depict mustard, ketchup and we assume lettuce.

While the item looks pretty unappetizing, and is rumored to look even less so in person, I can think of way more disgusting things to eat than a poorly designed ice-cream sandwich.

Carl’s Jr. says it will analyze the test data and decide if it will roll it out to the balance of the chain in the future.

Unrecipe of the Week

August 11, 2009

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Looking for a way to jazz up fish? Try this “unrecipe” for a quick mustard, and fresh herb topping for broiled salmon:

Salmon with Mustard and Fresh Herb Sauce:

Dijon mustard (about 2 tablespoons)

Chopped fresh thyme and rosemary

A clove or 2 of minced garlic

A drizzle of olive oil

A dollop of white wine

Mix the ingredients well.
Sprinkle fish filets with salt and pepper, and broil until the top is just starting to brown (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Spread the mustard mixture over the fish, and return to the broiler until the fish is cooked through.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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