Of necessity, this post is going to be brief. Firstly, it's Christmas Eve, and right now I feel more inclined towards settling down with a nice glass of wine than I do towards writing a lengthy blog post. Secondly, at the risk of repeating myself, it's Christmas Eve, and I'm fairly sure that right now you too feel more disposed to relaxing over a festive tipple than you do towards reading a lengthy post from me. So brief it shall be.
I am sharing this post at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we continue to cook with the delightful Tessa Kiros, our theme for this week being Holiday Goodies. Great theme, since I still had a few little treats that I wanted to make to give to friends, but I wanted to come up with something other than all the tooth-aching sweetness that abounds on the net right now. Don't know about you, but even though I've been managing to avoid the consumption of cookies, cakes, fudge and bucket loads of chocolate, just the sight of so much of it everywhere I look has started to give me that "over-indulged" feeling. I was looking for something more savory, and when I stumbled upon Tessa's recipe for Finnish Mustard in her wonderful book, Falling Cloudberries, I knew I'd found just the thing. This would be the perfect gift for friends who almost certainly have enough chocolate already, as well as a great item to keep in my fridge for slathering on those endless summer sandwiches.
This was a breeze to make, has a generous amount of heat, softened with a nice bit of sweetness, and would make a nice accompaniment to all manner of cold meats. I can imagine it also going well in dressings, or slathered on some nice ciabatta bread with some char-grilled vegetables.
I did make a couple of minor changes to the recipe. The first change was intentional - I used rice wine vinegar, because I wanted to make it gluten-free, but use any vinegar that you like. The other change was really accidental - the original recipe called for the inclusion of a tablespoon of olive oil, but I forgot it. Now, I don't know what difference the olive oil would have made - it seems perfectly fine without it, and in fact I didn't even realise I'd omitted it until I started to prepare this post. But if you feel so inclined, go right ahead and put it back in.
Hope you'll give this a try. As a gift I think it makes a nice change from all the sweet stuff going around, which seems guaranteed to make your gift all the more memorable.
Finnish Mustard Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Tessa Kiros from
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1/3 cup mustard powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
(I omitted this, but feel free to include it)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
(or vinegar of your choice)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Put the mustard powder, sugar and salt into a small saucepan, and mash with a wooden spoon to get rid of all the lumps. Now add the cream, oil (if using), vinegar and lemon juice, and set the pan over low heat. Stir continuously until it comes to a boil. Then cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until it has darkened and thickened - it will look like caramel.
Remove from heat, and give it a stir from time to time as it cools down. Pour into glass jars. Will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
And my tip for getting that last little bit of mustard out of the jar ... when you get down to those last traces of mustard sticking around the corners and sides of the jar, add 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, generous pinch salt, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup to the jar, shake vigorously, and hey presto - vinaigrette and no wasted mustard.
If you would like to get to know Tessa a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...
... or check out Falling Cloudberries and many of Tessa's other great titles available from Amazon or Fishpond NZ.
Lastly, in case you're wondering, Cookbook Sundays will be up and running this week as usual, but will just be a day late.