Monday, May 7, 2012

Yes, Honey, it's Mustard

Honey is more than that sweet yellowish generic syrup - there are probably an infinite variety of  honeys, based on what the bees have been feeding on. Some are dark, some are light; they all have distinctive tastes.

Grampa's Gourmet Tamarisk Honey from Fooducopia is a dark honey with deep flavor that reminded me just a little of molasses. Maybe a little caramel. Definitely complex.

When I started thinking about what I could made that would highlight that flavor, I was thinking about drizzling it over biscuits, or using it in a barbecue sauce.

But drizzling isn't a recipe, and I thought it might get a little lost in the barbecue sauce. I wanted something where you'd actually taste the nuances of this honey.

I was thinking about a honey glaze on some kind of meat - ham or pork, maybe.

And then I hit on the perfect idea. Honey mustard. With a good dose of honey.

This would be perfect on a ham sandwich, as an addition to a hot potato salad, or slathered on a pork roast or ham prior to cooking. It's so simple to make that you don't need to make a lot of it - you can whip up as much as you need right before you need it.

And there's another good reason to make just as much as you'll need in a few days. The mustard will lose its potency the longer it's stored. The heat of this mustard also depends on the mustard you start with. Fresh mustard powder will have a good kick, but that jar in the back of the cabinet that's been languishing for a decade will be like sawdust.

While I suggest using this fairly quickly, it's best to let it rest just a little while, to give the dry mustard a little time to hydrate just a little bit. A half-hour is fine, or you can make it the day before, if that works better for you.

This is enough for a few sandwiches, but if you need more, you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe to make as much as you like.

(Very) Honey Mustard

2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon Grampa's Gourmet Tamarisk Honey
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 pinch salt

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more vinegar or a bit of water to thin it out.

Refrigerate any unused portion. It's likely it will thicken as the powdered mustard hydrates even more. Add more water or vinegar to thin it to your desired thickness.

For more information on Fooducopia, see the tab at the top.