Friday, December 6, 2013

Spice Up Your Nose With Horseradish - December 6, 2013

It took me many years to adjust to the heat of spicy peppers and I'm still not a fan of Scotch bonnets or other crazy hot peppers.  But, I have always loved the heat of horseradish.  If you go too crazy it really does rise up to your nose and make you sneeze, but just right and it creates a spice or heat with a bit of sour that I love.  Even so, I never thought of horseradish as something I could actually grow until I met a local farmer who grows horseradish as their major cash crop right here in Louisville.

I investigated and found that in addition to the great taste, horseradish has some other benefits. The biggest is the fact that I haven't found a predator in our area.  Rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks are consistently stealing our tomatoes, greens, rhubarb, beets and other plants, but none have taken a liking to horseradish.  It doubled in size the first year after planting but did not create any off shoots.  You have to wait until you have two frosts in the Fall to harvest and that just happened here about a week ago.  I carefully dug up the tap (or major root) and found one nice offshoot which I broke off and brought inside.

You can keep horseradish in the fridge at least a week without bothering and it will be fine.  In fact, it isn't even spicy until you start slicing or peeling and exposing it to air.  When you are ready, you can peel and then just place in a food processor to break up, but you will get a kind of lumpy result. The best solution is a microplaner (also the best tool for ginger).  Just be prepared that once you start grating, the flavor begins to get stronger and keeps doing so until you submerge in vinegar. Eventually, it will make you cry and your nose will drip, so have your vinegar mixture recipe ready first and then begin grating.

Homegrown Horseradish
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 root horseradish

Mix all ingredients except horseradish root in a small jar.  Peel and grate the root and as it gets the appropriate heat, drop into mixture.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

If you search previous blogs, you'll see that my favorite use of horseradish is either a great bloody Mary or my friend Mary's horseradish dip, but just to add something new, I tried these great green beans with a bit of kick:

Ballgame Green Beans with Horseradish Sauce
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 T. olive oil
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. horseradish
1/2 tsp. sugar
pinch of ground mustard
1 lb. green beans

In small bowl, stir together garlic, olive oil, mayonnaise, horseradish, sugar, salt and nutmeg.  Steam green beans until cooked, but still crunchy.  Transfer to medium bowl and pour sauce over them.  Let cool and transfer to sealable container.  Refrigerate until ready to serve or pack to take to the ballgame.  Serve green beans chilled or at room temperature.

One year ago - Jam Cake and Cider Caramels

No comments:

Post a Comment