Mustard adds spice to a variety of dishes, from soup to nuts and everything in between. The flavor is pleasantly hot, but not outrageously so. Prepared mustard is the consistency of mayonnaise or ketchup. Regular mustard refers to mustard seeds or powder.
Mustard seeds are yellow or light brown. The light brown seeds are spicier than the yellow. The seeds will keep in a cool dark place for a year or longer. The seeds are crunchy and don't work in dishes where that crunch is unwanted. Use them for pickling or in marinades. Seeds are available by the lb. for bulk purchases or in small packages. Use mustard seeds to make prepared mustard.
Mustard powder is ground mustard seeds. The powder is used as an ingredient in marinades, rubs, salad dressing, stews and chilies where the bite of mustard is appreciated. If you run out of prepared mustard, substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of powdered mustard for every tsp. of prepared mustard. Mix with a liquid and then add the liquid to the recipe, or sprinkle the powder over the dish and mix in well. Powdered mustard seed doesn't work as a substitute for mustard seed for pickling, as the powder clouds the pickling brine. Use powdered mustard seeds to make prepared mustard.
Prepared from Seeds
Prepared mustard mixes the soaked seeds or powder with vinegar and seasonings. Added spices make spicy hot brown mustard, available in stores in a range of consistencies and flavors. Make your own prepared mustard by soaking 4 tbsp. mustard seeds in 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup water for two days at room temperature. Put in a blender and add 3/4 tsp. dark brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Blend until the seeds are mostly pureed but have some texture left.
Prepared from Powder
A smooth mustard is made from mustard powder. Prepared yellow mustard is stocked in grocery stores. Make your own at home by mixing 1/2 cup dry powdered mustard with 1/2 cup of liquid, such as white wine, beer or white wine vinegar. Let set at room temperature overnight. Put the mixture in a small glass bowl over boiling water. Whisk in an egg. Heat the mixture until the egg thickens the mustard. Add additional herbs or sweetening if desired.
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