How did you miss experiment number 1? Easily. I hadn’t posted about it yet.
Well, there I was reading A Mad Tea Party‘s back catalog of entries, and I came across this piece about the joys of mustard oil, and I was intrigued. A few months later, I decided to give it a try and dropped her a comment for help finding the piece and looking for suggestions, and she has generously become my guide to this new-to-me lipid.
So I went to my local Indian grocer and located the mustard oil – all of which was explicitly labeled at massage oil, not for consumption. So I went to the guy behind the counter and commiserated with him about the evils of US Customs and their regulations on importing foodstuffs, but I was assured that it was good quality and edible and just the thing I was looking for.
So experiment 1 was going to be with the mashed sweet potatoes served at Cooking with Catladies. Only not only did I decide that they didn’t need any oil, but also I found the taste of the mustard oil surprisingly strong. Straight out of the bottle, it tasted of dark green, earthy things – sort of like gnawing on the very dark tip of leeks. Which I do, so it’s not a deal breaker, but it did put off subsequent experiments.
So I wrote a comment to the original inspiration for the experiment, and I asked her if it was supposed to taste like that (just in case). And heard back that it was indeed, and that high heat cooking mellows out the flavor.
Well, I do surprisingly little high heat cooking. It’s the combination of my love for electric ranges and my love for non-stick cookware. Yes, I know I have no class. I’m okay with that, and it’s easy to make rice and wash dishes.
But I’m still excited about the mustard oil.
So when I was looking for something to do with two scrawny remaining potatoes, I reached for the mustard oil.
I poured 2 teaspoons of mustard oil into a pan, and turned up the heat.
When the oil had spread out, I added 1 tsp mustard seeds (and propped a larger skillet over top because they pop up and get everywhere otherwise).
After the mustard seeds were popping away gleefully, I threw in 2 potatoes, cut into pieces just a bit larger that 1cm squared; 1 diced yellow onion; and 2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and sliced.
When the onions became limp, I added 2 minced cloves of garlic and a frozen cube of minced cilantro.
I added some curry powder, and that dried things out a bit too much, so I added water. I had the feeling that dicing a fresh tomato into the mix would have been the perfect option here, but I didn’t have any fresh and a can would have been too much.
The end product was tasty. Actually, it was a little too oily, but the oil flavor was mild and delightful and it was not strong at all.