Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mustard tips and Cheese Mustard

I love mustard.  Can't get enough.  At my house, I have Chinese hot mustard, smooth dijon, whole grain mustard, yellow mustard, sweet hot mustard and sometimes others in my fridge at all times.  I love all of them differently, and cannot use them interchangeably.  At Palo Alto Grill, we have many kinds as well, and we even make two of them ourselves: Cheese Mustard (recipe follows) and Chipotle Mustard (Recipe).  We use it in everything from Caesar Dressing to Dijon Demi-Glace on our Fried Chicken dish.  There are two basic ways to make mustard, depending on whether you want to start with powder or seed.  The choice determines the final texture of your mustard.

The mustard, (powder or seed) is usually hydrated in a combination of water, vinegar, beer, and/or wine.  

For seed mustard, hydrate in a combination of the above liquids and allow to hydrate for at least 8 hours before blending to desired texture.

Mustard as a raw ingredient has a few interesting properties.  When it is first mixed or pureed, it has a bitter character which gradually ripens and dissipates over time.  The spiciness in mustard comes from compounds too chemically bound for us to taste, but over time, as fermentation allows those bonds to simplify, we perceive an increased spiciness in the mustard.  To allow this spiciness to develop, avoid refrigeration or the addition of salt until desired spiciness is achieved.  Both refrigeration and salt will stop the development of mustard's kick.  It may need to ferment 1-5 days for proper flavor.

When guests arrive at Palo Alto Grill, our gift to them is our bread course, comprised of fresh, house-baked baguette as well as one of our specialties - Epi Pretzels.  (Epi referring to their shape, like sheaves of wheat)  To accompany these pretzels we make a cheese mustard, and here's how its done:

1 cup Dry Mustard Powder
1 each Beer
4 each Eggs
2 Tbs Sugar
1/2 cup Malt Vinegar
1.5 pounds Cream Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Malt Vinegar
2 each Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt, to taste.

First, mix the whole eggs, sugar and mustard in a bowl with a whisk.  Add the beer and the first 1/2 cup vinegar.  Cook over a double boiler until thick, about 25 minutes.

Once thick, add the cream cheese in chunks and whisk smooth.

We add more cheese flavor by making a parmesan puree.  This is done by pureeing the parmesan, second 1/2 cup malt vinegar, egg yolk and Olive Oil until smooth.

Whisk the two cheese sauces together and adjust salt to taste.

The Epi Pretzel is a signature part of the Palo Alto Grill experience.  Our pastry chef bakes loads of them fresh every day.

Sick, right?

See you soon...


  1. Rich loves Epi bread, he calls them mini baguettes. I think real baguette tastes better.
    this makes me want to make bread again. :)

  2. Anything with cheese is going to be good. Pretzels and cheese mustard? A thousand times better. Thanks for putting a little bit of fun into our dinner.