Even without kids around constantly, my fridge door is forever opening and closing. I’ll get inspired in the middle of the day and get something started as a break from work; not to mention that no salad is complete without my own dressing, sandwich without putting together a quick spread and I keep cold water for drinking always at the ready.
My mustards take up 2 special shelves in my fridge. I think they are supposed to be butter and condiment shelves but come on…butter can be stored somewhere else and is easy to find. Salted and unsalted; not a ton of variety; certainly no need for it’s own shelve(s)!
When I’m shopping, the condiments are what I enjoy perusing the most and I admit I’ve spent WAY more than I should at Williams Sonoma or Whole Foods if a mustard sounded appealing. But I’ve discovered a little secret. It is so easy to make your own. Of course making your own could mean a ready supply of something basic but even more fun? Do something wild. I just ran out of a plum mustard that I loved so had no qualms about trying a cherry variety. Subtlety sweet but with a definite tang it’s going to be great as a snack with pretzels or used in conjunction with pork or beef.
Ingredients are wide open but the one most important thing I discovered was how important it is to find a place to buy bulk mustard seeds. I compared prices at the grocery store and Savory Spice Shop and the 2 oz bottle at the store costs about the same as 8 oz bulk. Definitely worth the effort if you think there is any chance you will be on a ‘mustard makin’ binge like me.
I decided to go with a blend of seeds; half yellow (sometimes called white) and half brown. It not only makes a great flavor profile but I just love the way it looks when I leave some of the seeds whole during processing. I typically use cider vinegar with about 5% acidity and I like it in this application. Typically you mix equal parts vinegar to seeds but if you use a vinegar with less acidity you might have to add a bit more. I’m anxious to try something with balsamic vinegar; I’ll add it to the cider vinegar because it is a bit sweet but I just know it will make a stellar end result.
Port Wine Cherry Mustard and My Personal Obsession
A wonderful combination sweet and spicy mustard; perfect for snacking with pretzels or as a condiment with pork or roast beef.
- 1/2 cup port wine, plus extra for adjustments
- 4 oz fresh Bing Cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
- 2/3 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp local honey
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- Combine cherries and port wine in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer until cherries are soft; approximately 15 minutes.
- Put the yellow and brown mustard seeds in a non-reactive container and cover with the vinegar and allow to sit until the seeds have absorbed all of the liquid, about 4 hours or overnight.
- Once the seeds are ready, add all of the ingredients to a processor and process until it's to your liking. I like to leave some of the seeds whole but you can process until completely smooth too.
- Add more port wine if mixture needs more liquid.
- Fill small, sterilized jars with mixture and seal with lid. Store in refrigerator for up to one month.
I've been putting the mustards into small jars and not putting them through a canning process, just keeping them in the fridge. If you want to try canning them, please follow instructions for your area and be sure to check the ph of the finished product to insure a satisfactory result.