I can be a bitter person but I generally don’t enjoy bitter foods. However, I cooked pork for the first time in months after receiving in a subscription meat box I ordered, and had a flash of inspiration that a honey-mustard sauce was needed. I only recently learned that the yellow in mustard is from the inside of the mustard seed, so I ground up some mustard seeds in my mortar and pestle and added vinegar, salt, honey, avocado oil and pepper flakes. I then emulsified the entire mixture in my blender and added it to my pork, spinach and rice dish.
The meal had an bitter flavor but it was a pleasing sharpness rather than a blunt bitterness that can overpower all the other flavors. I’m still amazed by the fact that the reason spicy mustard looks the way is does is because it made of crushed seeds. My mind never questioned why it looked the way it did before! What’s your latest culinary creation?
I”m a pretty adventurous eater, so it’s rare for me to find a food I haven’t already sampled. The current crisis, however, has led me to purchase dried unsweetened fruits that are allowing me to experience new flavors. My favorites so far are jackfruit and pineapple.
The only dried tropical fruits I had as a child were coated in a thick layer of sugary syrup. I’ve never liked fruit-based desserts so they did not appeal to me. Fruit dried with nothing added is a completely different experience. The jackfruit reminded me of Fruit Stripe gum, and held its flavor for more than the three seconds the gums used to. The pineapple had an almost jerky-style savoriness to it. I love that I can get nutrients I need while learning to appreciate new textures and scent journeys. What’s the most recent new food you tried? What did you think of it?
For today’s simple pleasure, I made my own recipe which is an Americanized version of aligot, a French cheese and potatoes dish. I’ve always enriched my mashed potatoes with a lot of butter and milk, but, after adding cheese one day on a whim when I wanted to test my blender capacity, I am hooked on this combination.
4 Russet potatoes, cubed and boiled
1 brick (8 oz.) Monterey Jack cheese, cut into small cubes
1 can evaporated milk
2 TBS butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut up the potatoes and boil in salted water to cover on the stove. As soon as you finish cooking the potatoes (around 30 minutes on the stove), drain and place them into a blender* or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. If you do not have a high-powered blender, I think you could also melt the cheese into the butter/evaporated milk and then rice the potatoes into the hot liquid before mixing vigorously.
The potatoes will seem a bit loose at first but will firm up quickly. Serve with a protein and greens. Have you ever tried aligot? If so, what is your favorite cheese/potato combo?
*Make sure you have enough liquid as I nearly burned out my blender with this recipe. Leftover potato water can be added as needed.