Condiments to the Rescue — Mustard

Some eating establishments cook vegetables as though they are punishing them for existing and punishing you for selecting them despite all the other available menu options.  I usually pick the veggies from the menu, but have lived to regret it on occasion.  Sometimes I think they cook the veggies without even the suggestion of salt just to say they are healthy even though they taste so bad they might as well have left them off the menu.  My restaurant cheat is an odd one I know, but it works in a pinch.  If I get veggies that taste horrible, but I know I need to eat them to stay on my calorie goal for the day, I break out the condiments.  Although ketchup is supposed to be the catch-all condiment, it’s constant companion, spicy mustard is actually my veggie saver.  It has acid (a flavor which is often overlooked in cooking) and just enough salt to give the flavor punch to veggies that are sorely lacking.

Mustard is one of my favorite flavor cheats.  I always have a few bottles of different types of mustard in the pantry because it’s useful for more than just hot dogs.  Just a tablespoon or two give that added kick to sausage and peppers.  And seriously… who can deny the greatness of “real” Honey Mustard?  I love using whole mustard seeds to my spice mixes.  It’s great as a part of dry spice mixes.  When I need a quick side, I find that potatoes roasted with a good spice mix is always a crowd favorite.


Potatoes Roasted with Mustard Spice Mix

5 pounds potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground sumac

Preheat oven to 400F.  Slice potatoes  into about 1/4-inch thick rounds.  On a large sheet pan (or two), spread out potato slices.  Drizzle oil and spice mix over the potatoes.  Mix the potatoes and spices around until all the potatoes are coated with oil and spices (hands are easiest for this).  Roast in oven for about an hour.  Check to make sure the potatoes are as crispy as you like them before you remove them from the oven.