First of all, I must apologize for my Extreme Slackness in posting. It's like I had a mental block about the recipe inspiration. But that's not fair; we wouldn't have chosen it if we didn't think it sounded good. I think the real problem is that it has been so hot and muggy here that there is algae growing on the trees. And "creamy mustard sauce" just sounds so...heavy. I guess I'll chalk it up to timing. And perhaps a few other things, which we'll get to in a bit.
The recipe inspiration called for thickening the sauce with corn starch. I knew I didn't want anything that heavy, so I ended up cooking the vegetables in some chicken stock and mustard and enriching it with some half and half.
Anyway, I finally made an edible, nutritious but decidedly underwhelming attempt to pair a simplified mustard sauce with some mixed steam/sauteed vegetables. My thought process was: potatoes+onion+bacon+mustard=warm German potato salad. It sounded good in theory. But something went...awry. And you guys know I don't like to hide my mistakes from you, so I'm gonna share it.
Here's what I think went wrong:
- I had a bunch of Japanese sweet potatoes that I needed to use, so I diced up a couple of those along with my red skinned guys. Bad plan. The sweetness was just off putting with the mustard.
- The mustard wasn't sharp enough. And this could just be a product of not using enough. It needed more of a vinegary kick to make it work (minus the aforementioned Japanese sweets. They were awesome in hash. In this, they bombed).
- Under-seasoning. I know, right?! Me, underseasoning? But it happened. Not enough salt. Sure, I added some (along with more mustard) for serving, but it was just a Bandaid. Sigh.
- I'm pretty sure I just don't like mustard with vegetables. I mean, I always use a wee hit of mustard as an emulsifier in my vinaigrette, but having that German mustard front and center just didn't work for me.
Even The Beloved---who once blithely asked for Seconds at a dear friend's (and notoriously awful cook) house even as my mom, dad and I were frantically trying to hide our Firsts in the potted plants while simultaneously looking Stuffed to the Gills---was less than complimentary. But yes, he did eat some more when I sent some with him for lunch. With extra bacon, salt, mustard and apologies.
Sometimes our experiments work. Sometimes mine do. Honestly, most of my experiments have been successful, or at least salvageable (like That Effing Bread, remember?). This one was Not. If you guys can think of a way to use the leftovers, please don't be shy. I mean, the chickens will eat it, but I'd like to see if I can breathe new life into it before it all has to go to the chickens. So, please hit me up in the comments with your most creative ideas for saving the leftovers.
No recipe today. You're welcome. But seriously, if you do want to cook some mixed vegetables in a skillet, all you have to do is:
- choose your fat
- choose your seasonings
- choose your liquid (you'll need it if you have some vegetables that take awhile to cook, like potatoes)
- choose your food
- heat the pan
- add the fat
- add the food in order from longest cooking time to shortest.
- get some color on the food
- add the liquid, turn down the heat, and slap a lid on until the firm veggies are tender (you might add some of the more delicate veggies, like peas or spinach, well after you add the liquid. It just depends).
- Taste and season as you go.
But take it from me, if you are wondering if the Japanese sweet potato-mustard pairing is a good idea, it really, really isn't.
And that's it. Stay tuned for the next Food 52sday recipe inspiration on the 24th. Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.