City Palate

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5 Quick Ways with Brassica Mustard
Jan/Feb 2009

Although this isn’t your standard Valentine’s Day fare, your sweetie will love you for making this good food. It’s from Chef Desmond Johnston, co-founder, with his sweetie Karen Davis, of Brassica Mustard. These two decided that far too much of our good local mustard seed was heading to France, only to return here packaged for our grocery store shelves. They took matters into their capable hands and created excellent grainy, country-style mustards flavoured with cranberry honey, roasted garlic, horseradish and dill. Made in Calgary!

These mustards are well-suited to flavourful, hearty winter cooking, whether or not you’re in seduction mode. Also, because the recipes serve 4, you’ll have leftovers. More good food for more seduction on not-Valentine’s Day. For additional recipes and where to find Brassica Mustard, go to www.brassicamustard.com.

1. Dill Mustard Spiced Pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. In a large, heavy skillet, melt 3 T. butter and add 3 T. water, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1/2 t. each salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg, and 1/4 c. Brassica Dill Mustard. When the sugar is melted and the mixture begins to boil, add 3 c. pecan halves and stir everything together. Pour the pecans onto the baking pan and bake 20 minutes, until the mixture is foaming. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Break up the nuts and serve.

2. Meatballs with Brassica Horseradish Mustard

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine 2 lbs. ground pork, 1/2 c. rolled oats, 1 egg, 2 T. puréed roasted garlic, 4 T. Brassica Horseradish Mustard, 1 t. dried chile flakes and salt and pepper. Mix by hand until well-combined. Form the mixture into golfball-sized meatballs. In a heavy skillet, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat until hot. Sparsely place the meatballs in the skillet and brown on all sides. Don’t crowd the meatballs or they’ll steam instead of brown. Remove, reserve, and cook the rest. Place the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. OR, place the meatballs in your favourite tomato sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Garlic Mustard Roast Chicken

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse a 3 lb. chicken under cold water and pat dry. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1 large onion, peeled and quartered, inside the body cavity with 4 garlic cloves and a small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs. Carefully spread 4 T. Brassica Roasted Garlic Mustard under the skin on the chicken’s breast without tearing the skin. Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then pour 1 c. water in the pan and roast for 45 more minutes. Remove and let rest 15 minutes. Carve and serve with your favourite accompaniments.

4. Glazed Harvest Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and cut 1/2 rutabaga, 1 medium-sized yam, 2 parsnips and 1 carrot into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. fireweed or buckwheat honey and 2 T. Brassica Cranberry Honey Mustard. Toss together and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on a baking pan and bake 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. In the same bowl, toss the leftover oil, honey and mustard with 1 small fennel bulb, sliced thin, and 8 pearl onions. Add the fennel and onions to the vegetables in the oven, stir, and bake another 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

5. Cranberry Mustard Glazed Duck Breast

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse 2 duck breast halves in cold water and pat dry. Score the fat on the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the duck skin-side-down 8 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat in an oven-proof sauté pan. Drain the rendered fat (keep it in the fridge for later use) and turn the duck meat-side-down. Roast it for 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the duck and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, using the same pan, add 2 T. Brassica Cranberry Honey Mustard, 1/4 c. cranberry juice and 1/2 c. honey, and bring to a simmer. Let the glaze reduce for 5 minutes, then add 2 T. butter. Remove from the heat and whisk until the butter is incorporated into the glaze. Season with salt and pepper, slice the duck and serve sauced with the glaze.