Sunday, May 11, 2014

Horseradish

We have a horseradish patch.  

It's trying to take over the world.

We decided to reduce the patch so I did a bit of research first to see what time of year to harvest the roots and some sites said spring and some said fall.    Apparently you can do either, but it's hottest in the spring.  

Here's a great site all about growing horseradish and making the sauce.

Here's another site that talks about making your own sauce.

And here's a very interesting page on the medicinal uses of horseradish throughout history.

I made some fresh horseradish sauce with one of the roots I dug up.   Easy.  Squeezy. 

This is how:

Figure these proportions:
  • 1 cup grated horseradish
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Steps:
1.   Dig the root and wash it off.
2.  Peel it with a vegetable peeler.
3.  Working quickly, cut it into chunks and toss them into a food processor or blender with vinegar and salt.  
4.  Grind until it's the consistency you want.
5.  Refrigerate.

Why work quickly?    Because horseradish is like mustard - the properties that make it hot are alkali and are enhanced by contact with oxygen.   The faster you can get the acid [vinegar] in there to neutralize the alkali, the milder the taste. 

If you like it hot, then take your time.  Grind up the horseradish without the vinegar and salt.   Admire the scenery.   Watch an episode of something on the food network.   Then add the vinegar and salt.   

This stuff really takes your breath away.    Historically it was used with red meat to hide the flavor of spoilage.  

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