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Creole Mustard Recipe

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Creole Mustard is essential in the Louisiana pantry, used in many different preparations where Dijon would be used elsewhere. What would Remoulade sauce be without it? In my search for the characteristics that make Creole Mustard Creole, I found the following definition in what is one of my favorite books on Louisiana cooking American Cooking: Creole and Acadian by Peter S. Feibleman:

Pungent prepared mustard made from the spicy brown mustard seeds rather than the more familiar, but somewhat blander, yellow seeds. The seeds are steeped in distilled white vinegar, then coarsely ground and left to marinate for up to 12 hours longer before packing.

That says a lot about the preparation, but not much about the origin which is always of interest to me. I assume German Creoles were behind the earliest preparations but even more interesting to me is this passage from The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901:

Mustard is grown extensively in Louisiana, especially the large leaved or curled, which has grown to be a distinct Louisiana variety, quite different from the European. The seed is black, and is raised in Louisiana, and the plant is being more extensively cultivated every year. The large leaves are cooked the same as Spinach, or they may be boiled with salt meat and served as Greens.

Our Creole Mustard Seeds are famous, not only in making sauces, but for medicinal purposes.

The namesake as it turns out is more about the variety of Mustard plant than it is preparation. The book also contains a Creole Mustard Recipe calling for a pound of the above mentioned Creole Mustard. In addition, I also came across this page about black mustard seed that states the following:

The spicy component of black mustard seed is called ‘isothiocyanate’ and it is also found in horseradish and wasabi which belong to the same plant family.

My recipe is made with the more commonly found brown mustard seed and has an addition of horseradish which I think is a flavor must for a good Creole Mustard. In addition to the horseradish this recipe has an added punch which comes from a touch of Cayenne, as well as the garlic and crushed red pepper that I use to flavor the vinegar before steeping the seeds. Here is my homemade Creole Mustard Recipe:

From Nola Cuisine

Creole Mustard Recipe

1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 Cup Brown Mustard Seeds, crushed
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Horseradish
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Ground Allspice
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup
4 Tbsp Coleman’s Mustard powder
1 small canning jar with lid, sterilized

Place the vinegar, crushed red pepper, and garlic into a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep for 15-20 minutes then strain the mixture, discard the solids. Bring back to a boil then add the mustard seeds, turn off the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar with the horseradish, cayenne, salt, sugar, cane syrup, and brown mustard seed. Whisk in the mustard powder. Pour into the sterilized jar, put the lid on and process in a water bath for 15 minutes. When cool, tighten the lid, and make sure the jar is sealed. Place in a cool dark place and let mature for at least 3-4 weeks before using. This step will allow the flavors to marry and mellow which will not be able to take place in the refrigerator, although the mustard will need to be refrigerated after opening.

From Nola Cuisine

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which features links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Redfish Courtbouillon

From Nola Cuisine

This is the city or Creole version of the great Louisiana Courtbouillons, the other being the Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon (COO-be-yahn). The major difference in my two versions is the absence of a Roux in this one and of course the type of fish. I actually used Red Snapper for this version. Although Redfish is preferred and classic, I went with what I could get freshest.

According to the The Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901:

Those kings of the New Orleans French Market the Red Snapper and the Redfish, are used in the pride and glory of the New Orleans cuisines, a good Courtbouillon. More generally and with finer results the Redfish or Poisson Rouge is used. This Fish may always be known by the single spot on the tail. The old Creoles have a tradition that this was the fish that the Apostles brought to the Savior when he performed the great miracle of the loaves and the fishes. They hand down the quaint legend that the Savior took up this fish between his fingers and blessed it, and it was ever after a marked fish in the waters, the imprint of the Lord’s fingers having remained on the spot where He held up the fish and blessed it and offered it up to His Father. They hold the Redfish in reverent veneration, and never fail to tell the children when cooking it: ‘Those are the marks of the Lord’s hand.’

More on Redfish Courtbouillon from what I’ve said before is one of my absolute favorite reads on the subject of Creole & Cajun cooking, the long out of print 1971 Time-Life publication
American cooking: Creole and Acadian (Foods of the world) by Peter S. Feibleman:

Stop and have a bowl of redfish courtbouillon, a dish that is to the bayous and marshes and Gulf coast what a hamburger is to the Midwest. A rich brown roux has been made and combined with tomato puree, onions, shallots, garlic, celery and bell pepper. Bay leaves and allspice and red pepper and other spices have been added, and a dash of Tabasco. Redfish meat and a bit of claret have been put in and simmered gently for an hour, and the courtbouillon is served in a gumbo bowl with rice. It is red and thick and searing, and just one taste of it makes you imagine that you can stand up even to the weather.

When making your Creole Sauce for this recipe be sure to make it extra thick, otherwise the liquid the fish lets out while cooking will make your sauce watery.

Here is my recipe:

From Nola Cuisine

Redfish Courtbouillon Recipe

2 Whole Redfish, Red Snapper, or other firm fleshed fish (scaled, gutted and trimmed of all fins)
1 Cup Flour, liberally seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
1/4 Cup dry white wine
1 Recipe Creole Sauce, made with fish stock, and made extra thick
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
2 bunches fresh Thyme, 1/2 of which tied tightly with butcher’s twine
1 Bay Leaf
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice as an accompaniment

Season the fish all over including in the cavity with kosher salt, black pepper and a little cayenne. Place some of the sliced lemon and 1/2 of the Thyme into the cavity of each fish.
Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour and warm the unsalted butter in a large cast iron skillet.
When the butter just starts to brown place the fish in the pan, cook until golden brown on both sides.
Remove the fish to a plate and deglaze the pan with the white wine. When the wine reduces slightly, add the fish back to the pan and ladle enough Creole Sauce to come up the sides of the fish by half, plus ladle a little on top of the fish.
Add the Thyme and bay leaf to the pan and place some of the lemon slices on top of the fish. Cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and place into a 350 degree over for 30 minutes.

When plating, carefully remove the fish and filet gently being careful to get rid of all of the bones. An alternate method would be to filet the fish raw and use the head and bones to make your fish stock.

Serve with Creole Boiled Rice and garnish with chopped parsley, lemon slices, and a genourous helping of the Creole Sauce from the pan.

Serves 2-4 depending on the size of your fish.

From Nola Cuisine

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which is a directory of all of the recipes featured on this site!

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Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon Recipe