A Little Mustard in Your Cocoa?

Colman's Mustard Spicy Hot Chocolate

These days, it’s pretty hard to get me to bat an eye at the craziness of any particular recipe, but I have to say this press-y email caught my eye when it made the suggestion that when it comes to your hot cocoa, “chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla combined with mustard creates a perfect combination for spicing up this simple yet decadent treat.

Really? Mustard in your chocolate? That just doesn’t sound right to me, but I’m willing to try anything once…Has anyone made this before?

Mustard-Spiced Hot Chocolate

2 cups milk
2 ounces (half a bar) of bittersweet chocolate, broken into chunks or grated
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick of cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa extra
A sprinkle of Colman’s Powdered Mustard
A pinch of salt
Optional (lez be real, not optional): A dollop of brandy and a little whipped cream.

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Who Doesn’t Love Fried, Melty Cheese?

Editor’s Note: Meet our new contributorS, Kara and Marni Powers of Twin Tastes. Born just two minutes apart, Kara and Marni love putting their own twists on classic dishes inspired by their family, travel and surroundings. They blog about recipes created from mixing and matching ingredients in their shared tiny kitchen in the North End of Boston, and we’re stoked to have them as Endless Simmer’s first tag-team bloggers.

Our best meals abroad take place in tiny tavernas, taperias, bistros, hole-in-the-walls, or any kind of no-frills eatery filled with non-English speaking diners where everyone appreciates one thing: good food. In Cyprus tavernas, many locals enjoy meze dinners where friendly waiters bring out plate after plate of traditional Mediterranean dishes. They often start with a thick slice of one of Cyprus’ featured cheeses, halloumi. If you have never tried halloumi, think of the best qualities of feta and mozzarella combined into one delectable cheese. Its mild, salty taste and firm texture makes it ideal for frying or grilling. The Cypriots often enjoy it served simply grilled, drizzled with honey or topped on salad or fruit. When heated, the outside gets nice and golden and the inside is smooth.

Our take on fried halloumi incorporates a citrusy caper vinaigrette. Once the cheese hit the pan, our apartment was filled with a nutty aroma. Who doesn’t love melted fried cheese?

Fried Halloumi Cheese with Lemon and Caper Vinaigrette

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Friday Fuck Up Redeemed: Tomato and Egg Success Story

On Friday I left you with my most recent Fuck Up (and a discussion on whether or not we should continue using the word fuck). I’m awfully glad I did, because we actually figured out why my open omelet, which I’ve successfully made before, turned to mushy, gross shit.

Last week I started the egg dish with the tomatoes warming on the pan, oozing out all sorts of acidic liquid. I added the eggs into that big, ol’ mess, and the eggs never set. I had no idea why. But from some reader advice here and on Facebook, I learned that I should add the tomato at the end.

Advice highlights:

Jenna: Did you de-seed your tomatoes? The omelet looks really watery, and the extra water from the tomatoes could cause the eggs to break like that. And then you’d be steaming the egg bits in their excess water, which would totally mess up the texture.

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Deviled Eggs: Not Just for Parties

With all of our recent drooling over deviled eggs, I became a bit manic about boiling some eggs and stuffing them with tons of mustard. Deviled eggs aren’t too much work, but it’s usually not something one makes just to keep around the house. Well, I’m putting forth a movement for everyday deviled eggs.

It’s a perfect, portion-controlled, and healthy (compared to potato chips) snack for a quick nibble of protein and creaminess. I don’t add anything too fancy: simply mashing yolks with some mustard, horseradish, a touch of yogurt, salt and pepper. They keep for a few days and I dust with paprika right before eating for a fresh kick. (I also cut up a few—egg salad on demand—to fill a charred whole wheat tortilla wrap with lettuce, avocado, green garlic and extra mustard.)

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Avoid Your Mother (Sauces)

Don’t worry about not mastering the French or Chinese Mother Sauces, you can easily create a creamy and tangy dressing from a few items in your fridge. In an I-need-to-make-dinner-in-30 minutes attempt last night, I buzzed around mustard, tahini, horseradish, hot sauce, manchego, oil, the slightly-cooled pasta cooking water, salt and pepper for a quick sauce on top of Israeli couscous with asparagus, almonds, avocado and green garlic.

The sauce turned out really well and I sourced it all from some hidden gems just in my fridge. Here are some more ideas on how to get the most from all those jars taking up shelf space.

5 Fridge Finds for Better Sauces

1. Mustard

Mustard makes everything better. It adds a creamy texture and a zingy flavor. And just like the New Kids On the Block, there’s a member of the mustard family out there for everyone. We usually keep a  dirty (aka spicy or brown) mustard, a grainy (with mustard seeds) dijon mustard and have recently purchased the British nose-stinger Coleman’s. Each has a unique flavor that can match lots of cuisines. And I’m currently in the market for a super hot Chinese mustard (suggestions welcome), maybe as a coating for eggplant?

2. Tahini

My dad is the only person I know that makes (veggie-filled) hummus on a weekly basis. Most people let their sesame paste sit until the next infrequent hummus affair. Tahini brings depth and thickness, and almost has a raw nut butter flavor. It plays well with plenty of other items, easily blending into a sauce with lemon and cumin, miso and cilantro, or feta and scallions.

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Royal Endorsed Products You Should Own

We continue our extensive coverage of the Royal Wedding by bringing you an assortment of Royal Family sponsored food and drink products. What is a Royal Warrant you ask? From the horse drawn carriage itself, they are:

… a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years to HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales.

So those obscure looking crests on that packet of tea you have in your cupboard — it means you drink the same crap as The Queen,  her husband whose name I forget, or Prince Charles. For some reason the rest of the Royal clan aren’t worthy of sponsoring products — either that or we just don’t care. And in case you were wondering, The Queen Mother (may she rest in peace) also had her own endorsement deals — she was partial to a bottle glass of Bombay Sapphire from time to time. So if you plan to eat and drink like a Queen during this royal season, don’t forget the…

Colman’s Mustard

A staple in any fine kitchen, Coleman’s mustard was endorsed by The Queen in 1964.

Tanqueray Gin

Not long after her coronation The Queen was quick to appoint her favorite tipple. Tanqueray Gordon & Co Ltd. was given the Royal honor way back in 1955.

 

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Carb Attack: Mac ‘n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese

As some of you may know, our very own gansie has been on a mission to find the best grilled cheese in DC. One place she hasn’t yet ventured is my kitchen. What you see above is a mac ‘n’ cheese grilled cheese. Only you ESers would appreciate something as beautiful as this and wouldn’t mind that it means you have to hit the gym or an extra hour or two (or in my case actually going for once).

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