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Mustard madness is taking over America. Sunny yellow or golden brown, punched up with horseradish and garlic or delicately laced with honey, fruit and herbs, the array of mustards in the condiment aisle just keeps growing. No surprise: Emeril—never one to miss a culinary trend—has even kicked mustard’s status up a notch by putting his signature on a line of spreads.
But the yen for that spicy, tangy, distinctive flavor is nothing new. Ancient Egyptians popped whole seeds in their mouths as they ate, while the Romans served a ground mustard paste with their meals. Shakespeare even mentions mustard in several of his plays. Closer to home, it was over 100 years ago that French’s yellow mustard spread—slathered on hot dogs—created a sensation at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
Take Dijon mustard, the variety first made by medieval monks in Burgundy, France. Its nose-tickling heat and spicy flavor come from brown mustard seeds mixed with white wine vinegar and verjus, the juice extracted from unripe green grapes. Chinese and other European mustards are also made with brown seeds, but the liquid used can be water, beer, wine—even Champagne. Yellow “American” mustard gets its bright, relatively mild flavor from yellow mustard seeds and distilled vinegar. (Just don’t blame pesky mustard stains on mustard seeds; turmeric, the saffron-hued spice that’s a primary flavoring agent in American mustard, is the real culprit.)
Serves 6 — 30 minutes or fewer
Mustard and tarragon are a match made in France, and the combination turns mashed potatoes into an astonishing new dish. The whole-grain mustard may
be substituted with any mustard in your pantry.
2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if desired, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
Place potatoes and garlic in large saucepan. Add enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, warm milk and butter in small saucepan until butter melts.
Drain potatoes and garlic in colander, then return to hot pan. Whisk mustard and tarragon into milk mixture. Add 3/4 warm milk mixture to potatoes, and mash until smooth, adding more milk if necessary to make potatoes creamy. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
PER SERVING: 219 CAL; 4G PROT; 9G TOTAL FAT (5.5G SAT. FAT); 31G CARB; 25MG CHOL; 362MG SOD; 3G FIBER; 1G SUGARS