If you've never thought to make your own mustard, now is the time. Spring is here. Summer barbecues filled with hot dogs and hamburgers are on the horizon. In other words, you'll be needing a lot of mustard soon. Making mustard from scratch is easier than it sounds, and it's well worth your while.
The basic recipe consists of mustard powder, mustard seeds, vinegar, water and salt. You can use different kinds of vinegar and then add whatever seasoning you like. Honey is obviously a popular choice. David Lebovitz adds maple syrup and horseradish to his mustard. You can use apple cider vinegar and apples, you could add almonds or pine nuts, and you could (and should) even add beer.
The key for any mustard recipe is to let the mustard seeds soak overnight or up to two days before you get started. This will make them easy to blend. If you don't soak your seeds, you'll have to use a mortar and pestle to grind them up into powder.
Once your mustard seeds are blended or ground, you simply mix the rest of the ingredients together and voila, you've got mustard. Some recipes call for heating the mixture on the stove or in the microwave. Heating up the mixture will produce a mellower taste, while keeping things cool will make for a harsher, more astringent mustard.
The beauty of making our own mustard, of course, is that you can experiment to find the recipe that you like best. Once you've perfected a recipe, you can turn then to ketchup, which is also easier than it sounds. By the time summer barbecues roll around, you'll be able to impress all your friends with your very own homemade condiments. Or just keep 'em for yourself.
Check out the mustard recipes below and then try your hand at your own recipe!