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Fresh Horseradish Has The Best Flavor

Laura Carnie The Spokesman-Revi

Dear Laura: I’ve been growing horseradish for two years and plan on digging the roots this year. Could you tell me how to preserve and use it? Do you have a recipe for homemade horseradish sauce? - Bob, Troy, Mont.

Dear Bob: Dig horseradish roots as needed during their dormant time - fall, winter or early spring. The best flavor is obtained when they are harvested after thorough freezing. You may also dig the roots in the fall and store them in sand, as you would carrots. Other storage options include freezing, drying or pickling. Fresh is best. Dried or frozen horseradish becomes bitter if kept too long.

To dry horseradish, wash and grate or slice. Dehydrate on a tray in a dehydrator according to manufacturer’s directions, or in an oven at lowest heat setting, until horseradish is brittle. Powder in blender or food processor.

To reconstitute dried horseradish, combine 1 tablespoon powder in 2 tablespoons water; let stand about 30 minutes before using. To serve as a sauce, mix with about 1/2 cup heavy cream. Season with salt, sugar and a bit of vinegar, to taste, just before serving.

To pickle, harvest good-size roots. Wash, scrape or pare to remove skin, and mince or grate in a food processor. Pack loosely into small sterilized jars. Cover with a brine made with 1 teaspoon plain or pickling salt and 1 cup vinegar. Seal and leave for about 4 weeks before using. If preferred, whole washed roots may be immersed in white wine vinegar.

Pickled horseradish and the following Fresh Horseradish Relish lose potency over time. Flavor is greatly reduced when heated.

You may also wish to prepare horseradish jelly, mustard and a variety of horseradish sauces. Here’s a selection to start your collection.

Fresh Horseradish Relish

Sometimes called prepared horseradish, this tasty low-calorie relish makes a flavorful base for sauces, salad dressings and sandwich spreads. It’s also a great seasoning addition for stews and roasts.

3 pounds fresh horseradish, peeled and grated fine

1 raw beet, grated fine, optional for color and taste variety

1-1/2 cups white vinegar or white herb vinegar

Pack grated horseradish (and beets, if desired) into hot sterilized jars. Fill to the top with vinegar. Cover with a tight seal and store in a cool, dark place. Allow 1 week to mellow before using.

Horseradish Jelly

Adapted from Judith Choate’s “Gourmet Preserves,” Grove-Weidenfeld Publishers. Used primarily as a garnish for cold beef, meat salads or pot roast, this jelly originated in old England and was used by the Shakers.

1 cup grated fresh horseradish

1 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh sage

3-1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup liquid pectin

Place horseradish, vinegar, sage and sugar in heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a hard boil. Add pectin; return to full rolling boil. Boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat; skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Pour immediately into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars. Adjust lids according to manufacturer’s directions then process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: 3 half-pints.

Horseradish Mustard

Adapted from Barbara Hill’s “The Cook’s Book of Uncommon Recipes.”

1 cup dry mustard

3/4 cup white wine or tarragon vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh horseradish

Combine mustard, vinegar, water, sugar, and onion powder. Slightly crush caraway seeds, then stir into mustard mixture. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for several hours.

Mix eggs and olive oil together in a small saucepan; add mustard mixture. Cook slowly over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens - about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add horseradish; stir well.

Pour into a covered container and refrigerate. Allow flavors to blend for at least a day before using. Because the recipe includes eggs, it must be stored in the refrigerator between uses to prevent spoilage.

Yield: 1 cup prepared mustard.

Tomato Horseradish Sauce

Recipe from the Horseradish Information Council

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 cup sliced onions

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 pounds canned, peeled, whole tomatoes, drained and quartered

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup chopped horseradish

1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 dashes hot pepper sauce

Freshly ground pepper, to taste Melt butter in a small pan. Add onions and garlic. Saute until wilted. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, horseradish, thyme, salt, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Pour mixture into blender and blend until medium-coarse. Serve hot with pasta and broiled or poached fish, chicken or turkey.

Sweet-Hot Chinese Dipping Sauce

Recipe from the Horseradish Information Council.

1 cup orange marmalade

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 teaspoons fresh grated horseradish or well-drained prepared horseradish (relish)

1 small piece ginger root, pressed or pureed

Blend all ingredients. Serve at room temperature with egg rolls, spareribs, ham or roast pork. , DataTimes MEMO: The Cook’s Notebook appears regularly in the IN Food section. Laura Carnie, CFCS, food consultant from Coeur d’Alene, welcomes reader’s comments and questions. Write to The Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Laura Carnie The Spokesman-Review

The Cook’s Notebook appears regularly in the IN Food section. Laura Carnie, CFCS, food consultant from Coeur d’Alene, welcomes reader’s comments and questions. Write to The Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Laura Carnie The Spokesman-Review

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