Guest Author - Asha Sahni
If you enjoy mustard (hot, English mustard) you’ll love The Colman’s Mustard Cookbook. It provides innovative and flavoursome dishes, many of which are simple to make. It is written by Paul Hartley who has created cookbooks centred on a variety of staple English foods including Heinz Tomato Ketchup, HP Sauce and Marmite. The book boldly proclaims on the back cover that it is the hottest food book in years!
One of the key things to know when embarking on this cookbook is that Colman’s mustard is available in different forms – the most common being traditional English mustard in a jar and mustard in powder form. The recipes utilise both types of Colman’s mustard. Bear in mind, if you have not eaten it recently, that this mustard is hot and a little can go a long way. It is an ingredient that often seems to sit in storecupboards suffering infrequent use – this cookbook will have you unearthing your Colman’s and giving it pride of place in your kitchen!
Many of the recipes focus on foods that seem perfect matches for mustard including beef, fish and sausages. Yet they often have an unusual twist, for instance Roast Rib of Beef with Malayan Mustard involves spreading a paste of mustard powder, ginger, chillies, garlic and vinegar over the meat before cooking.
Sausage recipes include Giant’s Canapés, Sausage & Cider Hotpot and Venison Sausage Potato Puff. There are fish and seafood dishes using cod, haddock, mackerel, monkfish, mussels, prawns and salmon. There are variations on established favourites – for instance Chive & Mustard Bread is made in much the same way as garlic bread. The book includes recipes containing mustard for cheese sauce, cheese soufflé, chocolate cookies, dough balls, mayonnaise, pasties, piccalilli, rarebit and vinaigrette.
The Colman’s Mustard Cookbook is not just a recipe book, it is also a book which delves into the history of this wonderful food. Illustrations include old adverts for Colman’s Mustard with slogans such as Used in the royal kitchens and Meat needs mustard. There is a timeline of Colman’s (established 1814) at the back of the book. You will not find photographs of the recipes, so if you are someone that likes a cookbook with pictures showing how the finished dish can look this may not be the book for you. Scattered throughout are anecdotes and facts related to Colman’s mustard – apparently in 1901 Captain Scott took one and a half tons of Colman’s English Mustard on his voyage to Antarctica...
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mustard. I borrowed the book from a friend who was adamant that I give it back as it is regularly in use. Even if you do not follow the recipes exactly The Colman’s Mustard Cookbook is likely to give you ideas for how to use this hot and tasty condiment in your cooking.