When you’re looking to expand your cooking repertoire, you don’t have to get too far out of your comfort zone. How about just incorporating one new ingredient? Our first idea: learn about cooking with horseradish. It has a strong, prickly flavor, and it will give a lot of character to your classic meals.
Horseradish is a member of the mustard family and is, in fact, a root which you will grow to love in time. It is similar in appearance to parsnip and releases a distinctive aroma when it’s bruised or cut. The flavor is hot and peppery. Like we said, it’s from the mustard family, but the taste is so much stronger and potent! It might actually make you cry a little, at least that’s what happens with the extra hot and punchy sauces my mother prefers, during family occasions. So how about cooking with horseradish? Here is a sweet guide for this peppery food!
6 tips and tricks for cooking with horseradish
1. It works well with beef and fish
Turn the horseradish into a hot sauce and place it on the dinner table when cooking roast beef and venison. Or even fish like tuna, smoked trout, and mackerel (just replace the mustard sauce with horseradish sauce). Those are the flavors that go best together. You can add a touch of it to your favorite dish, for a punchy new layer of taste. But be careful with the quantities and always taste, taste, taste! Horseradish can also be a big help for a favorite stew which has lost its steam and you can always make some horseradish steak tartare. Another great idea? Use the horseradish in a dry rub.
2. Find it
Horseradish can sometimes be a bit difficult to find fresh at the market. So try the farmer’s market or a specialist supplier. Better yet, why not try to find it online? Of course, you can get a ready-made sauce, but most of the time we would recommend the healthier method.
3. Prep the sauce just right!
So horseradish is practically a root and you need to transform it into a sauce. How does that process go? Peel it with a vegetable peeler or even a knife, if you like the old-fashioned way. Then grate it – as finely as possible. This is where you need to protect your eyes because grating horseradish can be a worse experience than dicing onions. When grated, it releases vapors which can sting your eyes.
4. Make the sauce!
You have two options here! You can either mix the grated horseradish with cream and get creamed horseradish sauce. Or, if you enjoy extreme sensations taste-wise, you can choose the... nuclear option (in the best way): mix the grated horseradish with oil, which gives you hot horseradish sauce, which has a stronger flavor and a thicker consistency.
5. Learn how to store it
You can keep the fresh horseradish root in a paper bag in the fridge for up to one week. If you’re not sure you will have time to cook, then chop the root into little pieces and freeze them until you need it. Remember that cooking the horseradish destroys its flavor. And also, only grate it before you actually use it. Otherwise, it will lose its strong, pungent flavor.
You can also make the horseradish sauce with vinegar, water, and salt, and keep it in the fridge, in a closed container for up to 6 weeks!
6. Drink it!
Yes, you heard that right! You can use horseradish in alcoholic cocktails, to great effect! The best option? One Bloody Mary to go, please! Mixed with tomato sauce, vodka, and celery root, horseradish will complete the drink and bring it some extra sting.