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Cranberry mustard is a flavored sweet mustard which enhances the flavor of many foods as a dip, sauce, or spread. Many companies produce cranberry mustard, especially during the winter holidays, and the food is also very easy to make at home. The unique color makes cranberry mustard an interesting addition to the table, and the spicy, somewhat sweet flavor pairs well with poultry and pork, among other foods.
The most basic cranberry mustard uses cooked and sieved cranberries or cranberry concentrate mixed with dry mustard to make a simple sauce. Sweeteners such as honey and sugar are usually added, and spices such as orange peel and cloves may be integrated as well. More artisan producers use mustard paste, and they may include whole mustard seeds for texture and additional flavor as well.
Mustard is a naturally spicy seasoning, and was one of the spiciest additions to food in Western cuisine before the introduction of chilies. Cranberries have a distinctly sour, tart flavor even when sweetened which brings out complex flavors in many foods. Combining the two yields a sour, spicy condiment which elevates the two individual ingredients to new levels. It is often served as a side dish with turkey dinner, and can also be used in sandwiches, for barbecue marinades, and in an assortment of other places.
To make a basic cranberry mustard at home, cook 1 cup (about 100 grams) of cranberries in 1 cup (about 240 ml) of water for five to 10 minutes, until the cranberries explode, bursting their skins. Sieve the cranberries to remove the skins and seeds, and add 0.5 cup (about 40 grams) of ground mustard, with seeds if desired. Allow the mixture to sit before adding a dash of cider vinegar, the zest of an orange peel, a dash of salt, and honey or sugar to taste for sweetening. Under refrigeration, this cranberry mustard should keep for around a year.
The variations on these recipe are, of course, quite extensive. Unsieved cranberries could be used, for example, to make a more chunky cranberry mustard which would approach the texture of a chutney. Even spicier mustards, such as those enhanced with horseradish, could also be used for a more robust flavor. Candied orange peel would intensify the sweetness, while cloves or cinnamon can make the cranberry mustard more savory. Once finished, the cranberry mustard can be used in a wide range of places, limited only by the imagination of the cook.
@sunnySkys - Cranberry mustard is delicious. I personally prefer the sweeter version with the candied orange peel and cinnamon in it, but really, the sky is the limit.
I think cranberry mustard goes with a lot of stuff well, but I really like it over chicken with sweet potatoes as the side dish. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!
I love cranberry, but I've never seen or heard of cranberry mustard! I think I've been missing out because this just sounds so delicious.
I normally don't host Thanksgiving dinner, but I do usually bring a dish to whichever family members house that is hosting. I think cranberry mustard will be one of the things I bring this year.
In the meantime, practice makes perfect, so I think I'm going to have to make some for just myself!
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