Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weird food

I walked into Whole Foods the other night to pick up milk and pastrami. On my way in, the first produce table I saw had berries and kumquats for sale on it. I've always been curious about kumquats and I'm trying to eat a healthy variety of things these days, so I picked up a bucket, intending to research them once I got home. Before I had time to do research, I ran into my friend Bea, who is a weird food connoisseur. My friend Bea knows all about food. I asked her the other day if she'd ever had kumquats, and she not only had eaten them, she had stories of her dad's parrot eating them and her family making kumquat-ade out of them, and generally surprised me completely with her knowledge of things kumquat-related. We started talking about what I was going to do with my golden bucket of kumquats, and she suggested I make some of them into mustard and serve them with pork chops by altering a raspberry mustard recipe that she had.

Tonight, we were supposed to grill with our friends Kristen and Jake, but their refrigerator became belligerent and quit working today, so they were busy salvaging their perishables and waiting on the repairman. I hadn't had time to buy all the necessary things for the real raspberry mustard recipe, so I altered the recipe and improvised AT THE SAME TIME. If you've ever seen me cook before, this is nothing new. In fact, I'd say it's the reason I bother owning cookbooks in the first place, so I can ignore their instructions and make their food my own way.

Anyway, Test Kitchen recipe #1 was a resounding success.
Kumquat Mustard
2/3 c. whole kumquats
3 Tbsp. deli-style or brown mustard
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1/3 c. orange juice
1/3 c. rice vinegar (any mostly-sweet vinegar would do)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/3 c. honey (to taste)

Put all ingredients together in a blender. Start with half the honey. Blend well on high until smooth. You want to make sure any kumquat seeds and peels are thoroughly blended in. Taste, add honey if needed. Once desired flavor is achieved, transfer to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Rose grilled the pork chops to medium and we served them on a bed of this sauce with a drizzle of sauce on top and a green salad on the side. Yum!

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