A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘mustard’

The Refrigerator Personality Test

In Food on April 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

“Show me what you store, and I’ll tell you what you are,” wrote Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons in a column last year entitled “The Refrigerator Personality Test.” I’ve known Russ for over a decade, and worked with him for at least half that long, but after reading that column learned a little more about this superb human being. Like that Russ is sentimental and hangs onto hot sauce for 20 years. That he is perhaps also fickle in love, which explains the fleeting flirtation with a tube of cast-aside yuzu-koshu pepper paste. I’ve never forgotten the story, and was reminded of it again this morning when I was looking for something as simple as a jar of Dijon mustard (we’re out) and instead found a random of assortment of condiments that included four spicy mustards of varying heat, jars of capers, lemon curd, fig paste, pomegranate syrup, two jars of Nuttzo (god forbid we run out, but seriously, it’s great in a smoothie), almond butter, pistachio and walnut oils, Sriracha, tubes of anchovy and tomato paste and several bottles of apéritifs and rosé in the refrigerator door alone. They are joined by less esoteric tubs of mayonnaise, ketchup, maple syrup, soy sauce, Diet Dr. Pepper and butter.

My refrigerator shelves reinforce that I am far less imaginative than Russ, whose fridge boasts caramelized onions, olives he’s cured, undeveloped rolls of film, Spanish pickled anchovies and Cougar Gold canned cheese. In my own icebox, I find enough dairy to start, well, a dairy: milk, buttermilk, cream, eggs, plain yogurt (sheep and cow), mascarpone, and more cheese than I could ever eat (which is a lie; I will eat it all: parm, goat, feta, blue, pecorino, Swiss, Vermont cheddar, fresh ricotta, cream cheese, shredded pepper Jack; string cheese for Tiny G). There’s more rosé, Madeira, several bottles of Japanese and Belgian beer, a bottle of Henriot, half finished jar of chocolate sauce, a jar of my aunt Margaret’s homemade peach preserves, two kinds of hummus, puréed squash and ground chicken for Tiny G’s lunch, his sippy cup of milk unfinished from this morning, bacon, a ribeye (for Mr Foodinista’s dinner while I’m at book club tonight), radishes, green onions, cured green olives, a bag of flax seeds, half a red pepper, broccoli, asparagus, basil (most other herbs come from the garden but we need to replant basil, which got attacked), cold cuts of roast beef, a couple bottles of mineral water, huge jar of Bubbies bread and butter chips, blood orange juice, tortillas, strawberries, cantaloupe and a bowl leftover cherry tomato and bocconcini with basil salad from last night’s dinner.

Now that I write that all out, it sounds like a LOT. I guess it is a lot. But in reality the depth of our fridge is pretty shallow, which I love. Items are less likely to get lost and go to waste. (Our freezer drawers are another story for another post.) And after cataloging the contents above, I think I’m going to try to cook my way through our condiments. And cheese, of course. Any ideas? And while we’re at it, what’s in your fridge????

On the Lamb

In Food on May 2, 2009 at 8:32 am


Usually when we grill lamb chops around here, we simply brush them with a little olive oil and crack some salt and pepper over. The recipe for Grilled Lamb Chops with Porcini Mustard in the current issue of Gourmet may have changed all of that. You make a paste of crushed garlic, coarse salt, chopped rosemary and spread over the lamb chops.

lambchopsThen you grill for about  3 1/2 to 4 minutes a side for medium-rare. But the pièce de résistance is the porcini mustard sauce, which would be great with steak as well. From epicurious.com:

Soak mushrooms in boiling-hot water (2 cups) until softened, about 20 minutes. Lift mushrooms out of water and strain liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve set over a small saucepan. Coarsely chop mushrooms.

Boil mushroom liquid in saucepan until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 13 to 15 minutes. Whisk in mustard, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms. Transfer to a small bowl and cool slightly. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley.


Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?

In Food on February 1, 2009 at 2:30 pm


My friend Erin is up in Portland making her famous pigs in a biscuit for the Big Game today, and like any girl who grew up in Napa and whose family produces killer Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s all about the ingredients. Erin uses either veggie Smart Dogs or chicken hot dogs from Citarella in New York (I’m calling them tomorrow to place my order). Down in LA, we’re going old school with Lit’l Smokies and blankets not biscuits (couldn’t get it together to bake), but are bringing our A game with mustard. My absolute favorite is Napa Valley Mustard Co.’s Hot Sweet mustard – it is simply the best. I also dig their Whole Grain mustard, which has mild green chiles and garlic in it. Of course it’s hard to beat Mendocino Mustard’s Seeds and Suds, which is made with Red Seal Ale. My husband likes the classic Edmond Fallot Dijon mustard, but his favorite is the hotter-than-hell mustard from Philippe the Original, which we are shamefully out of at the moment. Never mind. I count six jars of assorted mustards in the fridge as we speak, which should get us through watching Big Ben mop the floor with that goody two shoes Kurt Warner.