What part does mustard play in a recipe?
When mustard or mustard seeds are used in a recipe, what does it give the final product? I've never liked the flavor of mustard on its own, so when I see it as an ingredient I end up not making a recipe. I'm learning that just because I don't like an ingredient doesn't always mean I won't like the end result.
So, you never eat pickles or mayo or deviled eggs or or curry or baked beans or barbeque sauce, etc, etc, etc. Probably many of your favorite dishes have mustard in them.
Mustard is a preservative that inhibits growth of some yeasts, molds, and bacteria. So that's probably a big reason mustard was a part of many recipes.
Mustard helps the emulsification of the egg yolk and oil in mayo, so I'm thinking that may be a reason it is used in other sauces. Here's a little about that ... look under functional charateritics...
"Mustard is used as an emulsifier, a water binding agent, and for texture control in many foods. In mayonnaise, mustard flour stabilizes oil-in-water emulsions while in meat products ground mustard acts as a binding agent which allows for easier slicing.
Mustard absorbs liquid in foods including fat and vegetable oils at rates of 1.5 times its weight in salad oil and 2 times its weight in water. This liquid control prevents undesirable separation and aids in product consistency"
While I like mustard as a condiment, I'm not so fond of the flavor when it is the star of a dish. I don't like honey mustard salad dressing or mustard sauces.
IMO, a little mustard in a recipe adds a little tang or mild heat.
This article is the best I've found on mustard and in one section sums it up
- As a spice, it enhances product flavour.
- Absorbs and holds water and other liquids, approximately four and one-half times its own weight.
- Inhibits mold.
- Improves the slicing and peeling of sausage.
- Improves texture and controls fat loss.
- Reduces product shrinkage during cooking.
That business about controlling fat loss might be one of the reasons it is often added to meatloaf. Again that was a really good article with lots of info about each type of mustard.
That doesn't take in account all the health benefits of mustard. A favorite line I read was "dine safely, use condiments".
Another good article which mentions all the above and talks about flavor. About mustard flour it says ...
" it contributes a richness and a depth of flavor that is not necessarily identified as mustard, but is essential nonetheless. Some claim mustard flour heightens the flavors of all foods, much as monosodium glutamate does. Although this has never been scientifically verified, mustard frequently appears in unlikely recipes and perhaps this is why"
Is there a type of mustard you don't like? With yellow mustard, maybe it is the tumeric that you don't like.
I do like the flavor in many dishes, but I have found that the emulsifying aspect is also valuable. I discovered this by accident - I always used to make a simple vinaigrette salad dressing by putting oil & vinegar into a cruet with salt, pepper, and herbs and shaking it. I was following a recipe once that was exactly that plus a little bit of Dijon mustard, and was amazed to see that the oil & vinegar did not immediately begin to separate after shaking!
Now I always add a bit - even if you can't taste it exactly it adds some tang and improves the consistency.
Thank you for all of your information. I love "dine safely, use condiments." Fantastic!
I've never had dry mustard, only prepared mustards. I actually hate deviled eggs and mayo - with a passion. I like the curries and just went out and bought my first jar of tumeric hoping to make curries. I'm asking because I am aware that it must be in foods I eat without realizing it.
When you say that you don't like the flavor of mustard, are you talking about dry mustard or prepared mustard? There are some significant differences in flavor.
And there's a decent chance that you wouldn't even recognize mustard seeds as mustard. In Indian cooking, they're often cooked in oil until they begin to burst, then tossed with other ingredients. They have a nutty sweet flavor with just a hint of the taste you get from dry mustard.
If you're up for it, try this recipe for Gujerati-syle green beans: Blanch a half-pound of green beans and shock them in cold water. Heat a tablespoon or so of butter or oil in a good-sized saucepan over moderate heat, then dump in a tablespoon of black mustard seeds. When the mustard begins to crackle, add a few cloves of finely-minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir and fry for a few seconds, then add back the green beans. Toss to combine, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Salt to taste. Delicious. And you'd never know it was mustard that gave it its inimitable flavor.
I, too, do not like the flavor of mustard. However, I don't like potato salad unless it has mustard mixed into it. Regarding mustard seed, I think I taste it in a well-pickled corned beef or full sour pickle. I have noticed whole mustard seeds in the pickling spice mix.
That's my theory. What do you think?