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How To Make Your Own Deli-Style Mustard

Making your own mustard mixes can be fun and interesting! The combinations are endless, delicious, aromatic and rewarding.

home-made mustard
Home-made mustard makes a great gift for a foodie. Photo credit: iStockPhoto.

Mustards are made of a basic mixture of dry mustard seeds, vinegar and seasonings. They get their distinct and varying flavours from the added vinegars, wines, sugar, herbs and other seasonings. Some prefer their mustard to be a natural pale yellow or brownish shade; others add turmeric for a vivid yellow mustard.

Your mustard can be sweet to sharp, winy, biting, hot, pungent, musty or tangy depending on your personal preference.

You can add herbs such as basil, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, sage, thyme or rosemary. I prefer using dried herbs because they stand up better to the mustard flavour. But you can also fresh herbs. Add at least 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs to this recipe.

How To Seal and Store Your Mustards

Remember to sterilise your jars before using them. Simply pour boiling water into them, then empty and allow to dry completely. After sealing your jars keep them in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks before using, to allow the flavours to develop. Use the mustard within 3 months. Once opened, the flavour will start to deteriorate, so refrigerate and use it up fairly quickly.

What Can Go Wrong With Your Mustard and Why?

If the mustard dries out on the surface, it has not been sealed correctly. Some of the flip top jars does not always seal tight. Cover the mouth of the jar with cling wrap before closing. If the mustard is left too long, it will lose most of its strength. If the mustard develops mould or an ‘off’ aroma you did not sterilise your jars properly.

Mustard Recipe Variations

  • Clove-spiced mustard – add one teaspoon of cloves.
  • Chili-garlic mustard – add 1 dried chili pepper and 1 clove garlic.
  • Horseradish mustard – add ½ to 1 tablespoon grated horseradish.
  • Tarragon mustard – add a pinch of cloves and a teaspoon tarragon.
  • Beer mustard – use 130ml beer and 70ml vinegar instead of the 200ml vinegar. Add a pinch of ginger, cinnamon and some caraway seeds.
  • Honey mustard – add 50ml honey instead of the brown sugar.
Basic Deli-Style Mustard Recipe
Prep time
Total time
  • 50g white mustard seeds
  • 30 g black mustard seeds
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 5ml salt
  • 5 ml turmeric
  • 5ml dried herbs.
  • 200ml white wine vinegar.
  1. Put the mustard seeds, sugar, salt, turmeric and herbs into a liquidizer and blend together.
  2. Gradually add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending well between each tablespoon, then continue blending until you have a coarse paste.
  3. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes, to thicken slightly.
  4. Sterilise the jars and spoon the mustard into the jars. Seal (cover with cling wrap), label (remember the date) and keep in a cool dark place for 2 weeks before using, to allow the flavours to develop.
Click to view our Chef's Pantry Recipe Archive.
Click to view our Chef’s Pantry Recipe Archive.
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Smoked Chilli Chutney Recipe

Technically this is not a chutney. It’s more like a traditional Cape Malay blatjang which is essentially a tangy chili sauce. It’s quick-and-easy to make and it will keep almost indefinitely in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Adjust the ‘heat’ to suit your palate.

smoked chilli chutney with crostini and brie
This quick-and-easy chutney is exceptionally versatile. Here it’s served with crostini, brie, and preserved figs for a delightful appetizer.
Smoked Chilli Chutney
Serve with cheese, hamburgers, fish and meats.
  • 60ml grape vinegar
  • 900g apricot jam
  • 8 habanero (or 14 birds eye) peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5ml smoked paprika
  • 5ml paprika
  1. Mix the vinegar and jam to a smooth paste.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.
  3. Bottle and let stand for at least a week to allow the flavours to develop.
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Habanero Hamburger and Hotdog Sauce

This hot chilli sauce is a firm family favourite and it never fails to get compliments. It’s based on a style widely used in the West Indies. Basically it’s habanero peppers, tropical fruit, yellow mustard, and a few other ingredients thrown in for good measure. And it’s super quick-and-easy to make.

chilli hamburger and hotdog sauce
Give your next hotdog or hamburger an upgrade with this West Indian style chilli sauce. Photo credit: iStockPhoto
Habanero Hamburger and Hotdog Sauce
  • 12 habanero chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped finely
  • 1 cup cheap yellow prepared mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Blend all the ingredients to a puree in a food processor.
  2. Bottle and let stand for at least a week before serving to allow the flavours to develop.
  3. Keep refrigerated.
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Tips for Making Your Own Bouquet Garni

A home-made bouquet garni made with fresh herbs is a powerful flavour-building tool. Photo source: iStockPhoto
A home-made bouquet garni made with fresh herbs is a powerful flavour-building tool. Photo source: iStockPhoto

As cooks we are always looking for easy ways to increase the flavour and interest of our dishes. One of the secret, healthy and nutritious, ways of doing this is to use blends of fresh herbs, spices and aromatic flavourings.

A bouquet garni – the French term for a ‘bundle of herbs’ – is one of the most popular of these blends of herbs and spices, but it’s a lot more than a mere bundle of herbs.

It’s A Powerful Flavour Building Tool

Bouquets garnis are a powerful flavour building tool in the busy cook’s repertoire. They will assist you in creating a nearly endless variety of nutritious gourmet meals. They will help you become a domestic goddess in no time at all.

Your Aim When Making a Bouquet Garni

Your aim in should be to produce a balanced, complex flavour that makes your diner want to take another bite, not analyse it. In other words – don’t overpower your dish with the bouquet garni.

Ideas and Recipes

  • Start with the classic French bouquet garni recipe for inspiration.
  • Then take your culinary adventure one step further. Start by changing proportions, next try to add, delete or substitute herbs. You can also try the same bouquet garni with different dishes.
  • For Beef: bay leaf, parsley and thyme wrapped in an outer piece of leek.
  • For Pork: sage, celery, parsley, and thyme.
  • For Lamb: rosemary, garlic, oregano or marjoram, and thyme.
  • For Poultry: parsley, bay, tarragon, and bruised lemon grass.
  • For Fish: parsley, tarragon, thyme, and a strip of lemon peel.
  • For Vegetables: oregano, thyme, parsley and sage.
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Two Gourmet Soup Seasoning Recipes

soup seasoning on a cutting board
soup seasoning on a cutting board
These home-made soup seasoning recipes adds new heights and depth to your existing soups.

You can use these soup seasoning recipes liberally with any beef, vegetable or chicken soup. They are also great for improving bland commercial soups. If you don’t have a specific herb simply omit it. You can make the dried blend ahead of time.

Dried soup seasoning recipe:
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
½ tablespoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried winter savory

Use about 1 level tablespoon of the dried blend for every 2 cups of soup. This can go in right from the start.

Fresh soup seasoning recipe for every 2 cups of soup:
1-2 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoon chervil, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons basil, finely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Add the fresh blend about 10 minutes before serving. The lemon zest may seem like an odd ingredient but it enhances the other flavours without actually being detectable.

culinary herbs and spices

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Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe

Basil pesto sauce is as indispensable to pasta lovers as chili is to chili lovers. Tossed with freshly cooked pasta it makes a fabulous meal. It also compliments a wide variety of other foods making it a must have in any cook’s pantry.

This recipe by Chef Jerry Traunfeld, author of The Herb Farm Cookbook, is the best blender-made basil pesto sauce recipe I’ve tried to date. Follow the directions below to the letter; and you’ll also end up with a perfectly balanced fragrant and sultry pesto sauce.

Making it by hand with a mortar and pestle surely gives the better pesto sauce. But with a blender you can make a perfectly good batch of pesto in just a few minutes. And with very little effort.

Basil Pesto Sauce

Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sweet basil leaves, gently packed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a food processor (or hand held blender), process the garlic, pine nuts and salt until finely ground. About 15 seconds.
  2. Add the basil leaves to the bowl and process in spurts until no whole leaves remain.
  3. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Stop and scrape down the sides, then process for several more seconds. The mixture should be ground to a paste-like consistency but a little bit of the leaves' texture should remain. If necessary, quickly pulse the mixture again.
  4. Add the cheese and pulse until just incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately.


Follow Jerry Traunfeld (@poppyseatle) on Twitter and get a copy of his The Herb Farm Cookbook.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pesto Sauce

What is Pesto Sauce?

Pesto is a classic cold Italian basil sauce from Genoa. It’s a bright green, aromatic and full-flavoured sauce with a thick pouring consistency. The name ‘pesto’ comes from the original method of preparing the basil by pounding it with a pestle in a mortar.

What is in Pesto Sauce?

The classic Italian pesto is simply fresh basil leaves pounded with a bit of salt, a handful of pine nuts, some grated Parmesan cheese, and some richly flavoured olive oil.

Can I Freeze Pesto Sauce?

Though nothing compares to a batch of freshly made pesto it does have excellent keeping qualities. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and for longer storage you can freeze it for up to 6 months.