Friday, October 22, 2010

Mustard and Peppers

I'm pickling peppers tomorrow.  Athanasia brough home some jars and 2 gallons of vinegar.  It should be fun.  And this time, I'll make sure to wear gloves.  When I did this last year the burning sensation didn't go away for several days.

My goddaughters' father (I don't know how to spell it it, but the relational word in Russian is kum.  He is my kum.  His wife is my kuma.  I am told that the relationship is considered closer than first cousin but more distant than sibling.  The practicality of it is that my sons are not allowed to marry their daughters in the Orthodox Church) gave me this very interesting Roman mustard recipie.  I can't wait to taste it.

The Romans are the first to be credited with making mustard in the way we know it today. Earlier civilizations, notably China and Egypt, used mustard seeds whole as spices.
This recipe is adapted from Apicius, and it is about 2,000 years old.
The result is a heady mustard — I used black mustard seeds, which are stronger than normal American mustard — balanced by the richness of the nuts. It’s almost like a peanut butter-mustard mix, with a little vinegar tossed in. It is excellent with roasted or cold meats.
Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 cup black or brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt

  1. Grind the whole mustard seeds for a few seconds in a spice or coffee grinder, or by hand with a mortar and pestle. You want them mostly whole. Add the chopped nuts and grind into a paste.
  2. Move everything to a bowl and add the salt and cold water. Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vinegar and stir well. When the vinegar is incorporated, pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge. Wait at least 24 hours before using. Mustard made this way will last several months in the fridge.

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