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Happy National Mustard Day! Celebrate with 5 easy recipes

Celebrate National Mustard Day with simple recipes you can make at home
5 recipes to help you celebrate National Mustard Day at home

Happy National Mustard Day! You can celebrate making your own; you won't believe how easy homemade mustard can be.

Think mustard, and you might veer first toward the bright yellow stuff you get in a squeeze bottle. Or maybe you prefer something a little less mild, as you reach for your favorite brand of Dijon or maybe a spicy whole grain.

Essentially, mustard is a combination of seeds and liquid. Soak seeds in your choice of water, vinegar, perhaps a double bock beer, until they're all softened and happy, flavor the mix as desired, then grind the seeds and, voila!, homemade mustard. (Starting the whole process with powdered mustard instead of whole seeds makes it even easier.)

I love that the condiment lends itself so readily to experimentation. Sweeten or spice the flavors here, manipulate the texture there, and fine-tune to create your own custom spread. Done right, mustard is downright magical, whether fancy or not. And nothing beats the flavor of homemade.

You're curious now, aren't you? Check out the assorted recipes below for one to try at home. You'll find everything from a flavorful beer and caraway mustard to an herbed honey mustard. There's even a recipe based on an ancient Roman mustard (those Romans liked their condiments, too). And it makes a great weekend project.

Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you’ve been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it’s a simple twist on an old technique or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, ranging from how to hold a chef’s knife for maximum control to using a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes

HARD CIDER MUSTARD

Total time: 15 minutes, plus overnight soaking time for the mustard | Makes about 1 2/3 cups mustard

    About 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) brown mustard seeds
    Scant 1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) black mustard seeds
    About 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) mustard powder
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    3/4 cup flat hard apple cider
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    1 Granny Smith or similar tart apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1. Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds and powder in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the cider vinegar and hard cider. Set aside, covered (not airtight), for 24 hours.

2. Place the mixture in a food processor along with the salt and sugar, and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground. Add the chopped apple and pulse a few times to incorporate. This makes about 1 2/3 cups mustard.

3. The mustard will be very pungent at first. Cover and refrigerate for a few days (or to taste) before using.

Each tablespoon: 41 calories; 2 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 65 mg sodium.

ROMAN MUSTARD

Total time: 15 minutes, plus 1 1/2 to 2 days soaking time for the mustard seeds | Makes about 2 1/2 cups mustard

Note: Adapted from "The Mustard Book" by Rosamond Man and Robin Weir.

    About 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (5 ounces) brown mustard seed
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    3/4 cup unsweetened red grape juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons very coarse salt, such as Maldon
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds, finely ground
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) flaked almonds
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 1/2 ounces) untoasted pine nuts

1. Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the vinegar and grape juice. Mix in the salt and cumin seeds. Set aside, covered (but not sealed airtight), for 36 to 48 hours.

2. Place the mixture in a food processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground. Add the almonds and pine nuts and pulse a few times just until the nuts are completely broken up, careful not to over-process.

Each tablespoon: 33 calories; 1 gram protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 57 mg sodium.

BEER AND CARAWAY MUSTARD

Note: To toast caraway seeds, place them in a small skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat, just until the seeds become aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to keep the seeds from burning.

    About 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) brown mustard seeds
    About 3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) mustard powder
    1 tablespoon toasted and crushed caraway seeds
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 cup flat beer, preferably stout or a dark ale
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds, powder and crushed caraway seeds in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the water and beer. Set aside, covered (but not sealed airtight), for 24 hours.

2. Place the mixture in a food processor along with the salt, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground. This makes about 1 2/3 cups mustard.

3. The mustard will be very pungent at first. Cover and refrigerate for at least one week before using, to allow the flavors to mellow and marry.

Each tablespoon: 36 calories; 2 grams protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 68 mg sodium.

HERBED HONEY MUSTARD

    2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown mustard seeds
    About 3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) mustard powder
    1 cup verjuice or Champagne vinegar
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/3 cup honey
    2 eggs
    2 egg yolks
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh fine herbs (a mixture of parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil)

1. Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds and powder in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the verjuice. Set aside, covered (but not sealed airtight), for 24 hours.

2. Place the mixture in a food processor along with the salt and honey and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground.

3. Place the mixture in a large metal bowl, and whisk in the eggs and egg yolks. Place the bowl over a large pot of simmering water and whisk the mustard base until it thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped herbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning and flavoring as desired. This makes about 1 3/4 cups mustard, which will keep for up to 1 week, refrigerated (the flavor may be a bit strong at first but will mellow as it sits).

Each tablespoon: 42 calories; 2 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 26 mg cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 67 mg sodium.

DRIED CRANBERRY MUSTARD

Note: Unsweetened cranberry juice can generally be found at Trader Joe's as well as select health food and gourmet stores.

    Scant 1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) brown mustard seeds
    About 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 3/4 ounces) mustard powder
    1/2 cup water
    3/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1. Soak the mustard seeds: Place the mustard seeds and powder in a medium glass or ceramic bowl along with the water and cranberry juice. Set aside, covered (but not sealed airtight), for 24 hours.

2. Place the mixture in a food processor along with the salt and sugar and process for 1 to 2 minutes until the seeds are coarsely ground. Stir in the dried cranberries. This makes about 1 1/2 cups mustard.

3. The mustard may be very pungent at first. Cover and refrigerate for at least a day or two before using.

Each tablespoon: 60 calories; 2 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 71 mg sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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