Photo: Aleksandrova Karina, Shutterstock
As a hungry kid, I was obsessed with Trader Joe’s (now discontinued) Hot & Sweet Mustard. I was attractive. It was cute. It was really good on slices of salty deli ham. It is not anymore.
How to use dried mustard
If you ask someone how mustard “tastes”, they can tell you that it is both “hot” and “sour,” which is not entirely true. This half-truth is sometimes perpetuated by well-meaning food writers who tout mustard as a “secret ingredient” that can cut through wealth with its “acidity” while claiming that “yellow, Dijon, …
Sweet and tangy mustard isn’t exactly rare, but I haven’t found one that matches the TJ’s offering, which I adored as Tween. Fortunately, I found a way to make an even more aggressive scammer. By harnessing the sinus cleansing power of dried mustard, you (and I) can make super-flavorful, super-sweet, ham-worthy mustard with just three ingredients, one of which is water.
Water actually plays a key role as it activates the enzymes that release the pain-causing molecules in mustard. (I’ve tried making this mustard with just two ingredients, but you just can’t leave out the water and expect the same effectiveness.)
I made this mustard with both honey and maple syrup, and I prefer the maple, which doesn’t dominate the mustard like honey. (You may prefer honey, though; give it a try and see.) Aside from water and some sort of syrupy sweetener, all you need is dried mustard. I especially like S&B, which you can find at any Asian food market or order online. You can also add a little salt and / or white pepper to suit your taste buds – I like a pinch of each. The recipe below makes a single serving – enough for a sandwich or a couple of chicken tenders – but can be easily enlarged. (It does lose its potency when seated, however, so don’t bother to make a whole bunch at once.)
Super spicy super sweet mustard
2 teaspoons of dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon of water
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
Pinch of salt (optional)
Pinch of white pepper (optional)
Mix the mustard and water in a small bowl and stir to a paste. Add the syrup or honey, stir to combine, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir everything again, season to taste and season with salt and white pepper if you wish. Enjoy the authentic Claire Lower Tween experience with deli ham slices.