English ingredient: colman’s mustard

LONDON - I thought I would try something new. I want to look at key ingredients from England and find ways to incorporate them into interesting and tasty recipes that can be made by just about everyone. I enjoy food and there was a time when I could actually cook fairly well, but that skill has become rusty due to inactivity. I’m hoping that now that I have an apartment with a dining room, that perhaps I’ll be inspired to begin cooking and baking again.

I’ve actually started stocking up on baking supplies (I’m thisclose to making cupcakes) as that’s a fun pastime for me and I’m also slowly buying key spices and herbs. Now I just need to find people to cook for! Hmm, maybe that cute guy at work? …but if not, well, I’m hosting book club on Thursday, so perhaps I’ll try make something then, but I’m not making any promises.

Today, I wanted to introduce you to a very English ingredient called…

Colman’s is something that my father always had in the kitchen and it’s a mustard powder that he used for a lot of dishes. You will probably find Colman’s in most homes here in England and it’s relatively inexpensive.This is perhaps the second time in my life that I’ve owned this product and I’ve only ever used it for the recipe I’m planning on sharing with you. I’m not an enormous fan of mustard as some of them can be quite strong but I will say that I do enjoy American mustard with my hot dogs.

So, back to my recipe. As it’s summer time, it’s salad time and like you I can’t eat salad unless there is dressing. This is a great salad dressing and if you make it once, you’ll want to make it again.

POPPY SEED DRESSING

Mix all the following ingredients together and chill before serving.

2 tsp poppy seeds

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

1 tbl onion powder

1/2 tsp colman’s mustard

1/2 cup sugar

Let me know what you think of the salad dressing. I know, that’s a lot of sugar, but it tastes really good. I’ve got a few more dressings I’ll share with you later. Till then, happy cooking.

Don’t shrug off Shrove Tuesday

LONDON – Today is Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday. It’s the day before the beginning of Lent when Christians consume pancakes, using the main foods available i.e. sugar, flour, eggs before beginning the ritual fasting. Even I got into the swing of things thanks to successful ad placing by Waitrose. The UK is no stranger to mass consumerism and holiday-themed marketing and so for the past week or so we’ve seen plenty of well-placed pancake mixes and ingredients in shops around the city. I admit I fell for it.

There I was, reaching for the boxes of two different types of just-add-water pancake mixes, one American and the other British. I even threw in a jar of nutella. Now I love a ready pancake mix. They’re easy and they make life easier. But once in a while it’s nice to pull out the flour and start measuring ingredients yourself. So, I decided for this post, I will share two pancake recipes that are fun and flop proof.

British Pancakes 

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Water
1 egg
Pinch of Salt
  • Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. The batter will be a bit runny. Let sit for a few minutes.
  • Heat up a frying pan and melt some butter making sure it covers the entire surface.
  • Pour some batter (about 4-5 tbl) into the pan and spread it all over the surface but be careful not to make it too thin.
  • Let it cook and when it is brown on the underside side, flip it and cook the second side.
  • Remember the first pancake rule! It’s typically a dud. But soldier on and you’ll be enjoying these pancakes in no time.These pancakes are fun for including topings such as fruit and ice cream or fruit and cream or maple syrup. You typically role them up and then eat them with a knife and fork. This is not a burrito!
American pancakes
We’ve all seen enough movies to know that Americans like their pancakes and they like them with bacon. It’s a weird combo that I’m yet to try out. But perhaps they’re onto something. I’m not sure.
But perhaps this recipe will be perfect for giving the pancake and bacon thingey a try.
Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tbl sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
  • Mix all these ingredients together
1 cup Milk
2 tbl butter
1 egg
  • Mix in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients and mix again.
  • Heat the frying pan and melt some butter.
  • Drop 4-5 tbl of batter in the pan and cook. When bubbles form and pop, flip over and cook.
  • First pancake rule applies with American pancakes – so expect a dud.
  • Enjoy Canadian maple syrup on these babies.

Did you try the recipes?

Which one did you prefer?