From Basic to Bold

There is nothing wrong with eating good, basic food.  We all do it, all the time.  It tastes just fine on its own, and we are quite happy with it as is.  But …. there is also nothing wrong with walking on the wild side and turning that same good basic food into something BOLD and EXCITING either.  I love walking on the wild side, not just with my foods, but in life in general.  I love to walk that fine between the two sides, which allows me to enjoy the best of both worlds.  With food, it is easy to liven things up by adding a big, bold, zesty sauce to something, or to turn up the heat a bit by adding some peppers or hot sauce, or to even just shake things up by doing something different and adding a new twist.  I thrive on this.  I do it all the time.  To me, I’m just having fun and playing.   I did just that with my ham and some corn on the cob to add a new twist to two great foods.

Ham and corn on the cob are American staples and favorites all over the country.  I love both of them too.  But I also love to make and serve them in new ways as much as I can also.

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I often serve ham with some kind of a mustard sauce.  To me, ham and mustard goes together like peanut butter and jelly.  They are two great tastes that go well together.  However, just because I serve ham and mustard sauces together quite often does not mean that I don’t also vary the sauces.  This time, I made a triple mustard sauce with garlic and jalapenos.  It gave the sauce just enough of a kick to wake up the taste buds, without turning up the heat sensors to much either.

Spicy Garlic and Triple Mustard Cream Sauce

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1/2 cup Dijon mustard

2 TBSP whole grain mustard

2 TBSP cup spicy brown mustard

1 TBSP garlic

1 large jalapeno, diced fine

2 tsp dried Aleppo chilies, optional

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine.

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Mix everything together except the heavy whipping cream.

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Heat the cream in a skillet until it just starts to boil, then add the mustard mixture and combine well.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes.  Then serve over ham, pork or chicken.  Although I love mustards, especially the three I chose to use, sometimes that much mustard flavor can be a bit overwhelming, even for me, so I like to cut that by adding cream to the sauce.  If you prefer the strong mustard flavors all on their own, add the cream, or not, to your liking.

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I served my ham with the spicy garlic mustard sauce with the left over patatas bravas from Easter, Happy Easter/Passover and spicy corn on the cob flavored with chili lime butter, along with a glass of a cool chardonnay with hints of apples and melons.

Chili Lime Butter

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1 stick of cold butter, cut into large chunks

1-2 TBSP fresh cilantro

1-2 TBSP lime juice

1 tsp dried Aleppo chilies

3-5 chipotle peppers with sauce

 

Mix everything together except the butter, either in a mixer or a food processor, until everything is combined well.  Then add the butter and mix again, making sure all the butter is incorporated into the mixture.  If you add the butter with all the other ingredients before blending them together first, the acidity of the lime juice will break down the butter.

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Once you have made the compound butter, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

IMG_6362Once the compound butter as set, use it to add some kick and pizzazz to your favorite foods.  I used it on corn on the cob.  I rubbed the spicy butter all over the corn and then wrapped the corn in aluminum foil and baked it in the oven for about 20 or so minutes, until the corn was done.  You could also do the same thing and cook the corn on the grill as well.  When the corn is cooked, carefully unwrap it from the foil and pour off all the melted butter back onto the corn, to make sure none of the flavor escapes.

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Once the corn is ready, enjoy it as a side dish to your meal.

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Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

9 thoughts on “From Basic to Bold”

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