You may remember me offering a little hint about the DIY gift that we’re giving to the bakers in our lives. Did you think that we forgot about everyone else though? Here’s a quick, painful easy thing that we’re giving to some of the more meat-minded family members. If you happen to be into charcuterie then this would make a good pairing (people on our gift giving list, interpret this however you’d like! Don’t over think it though, it may ruin the surprise)
Horseradish, straight from the root
You will need:
- a horseradish root
- white vinegar
- salt and sugar to taste (a pinch of each)
- a food processor
- the discipline to not smell your root as you are handling it
Rinse the dirt off of the root.
Chop it up into pieces.
At this point you will be tempted to smell it, but don’t.
Put it in the food processor.
Pulse until everything is finely minced.
At this point you will be tempted to smell it again, but don’t!!
Now this is where it gets fun. You see, isothiocyanates is a type of mustard oil that is held inside the horseradish that makes it so spicy. Adding vinegar will stop the enzyme reaction. That means the longer you let your puree sit before adding vinegar the hotter it will be. Let it sit around for a little bit then add a couple spoons of vinegar, enough to saturate it. Mix it around. The amount of vinegar you have depends on how much root you used, but it’s not complicated: if you add too much and there’s extra liquid just strain it out after it’s mixed.
Like most other prepared products, store bought horseradish often contains other junk that’s not necessary [eggs, citric acid, high-fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, artificial flavorings, and preservatives]. You don’t need ANY of those things. Simply add a dash of salt and a splash of sugar if you want. At this point you can gauge it by taste.
Spoon the finished product into your jar.
The sooner you eat it the fresher and hotter it’ll taste. The more times your horseradish is exposed to oxygen the more heat it will lose.
Now it’s your turn: Leave me a comment and let me know whether you had the discipline to avoid smelling it.