We’ve had lox and pastrami the last couple of days, on bagels and rye. Neither of these sandwiches would be anything, though, without cream cheese or mustard.
I adapted a mustard recipe from one I found online, and I took my cream cheese instructions from Stephanie at Copykat Recipes. Both projects were astoundingly easy. The mustard basically involved whisking ingredients together, reducing them, and letting the mixture set overnight in the fridge.
For the cream cheese, you just pour 2 quarts of half-and-half in a 10×15 Pyrex and sprinkle a packet of mesophilic culture on top.** Stir things up after 5 minutes, cover the mixture to keep it clean, and wait 12 hours. At the end of the wait, the mixture should have taken on a smooth yogurt-like consistency.
Pour this mixture into a butter cloth sling (double-thickness) and let it drain for 10-12 hours and, voila! You have delicious fresh cream cheese!
Whole Grain Mustard (Adapted from this recipe) (Makes 1 cup)
4 tbsp. dry mustard
3 1/2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 c. water
1 c. cider vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Whisk the dry mustard, mustard seeds and water together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and spices in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Add the mustard mixture to the vinegar, bring it al to a low boil, and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture reduces and thickens.
4. Let the mustard set at room temperature for about an hour, then scrape it into a container and let it mellow overnight in the refrigerator.
** You can order mesophilic culture online. If you’re in New York, you can pick it up at The Brooklyn Kitchen.