kitchen firsts: homemade horseradish + potato salad

4 July, 2010 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

I seem to be on a bit of a condiment kick these days! This week I finally got around to making horseradish from scratch, which had been on my to-try list for quite awhile. I actually already bought and wasted a horseradish root once a few weeks back, but my desire for potato salad with horseradish (scroll to the bottom if you’re in it for the potato salad only!) on the Fourth of July was strong enough to send me to the store for a second root.

I initially had a little trouble motivating myself to take the time (and dirty the food processor) to make something I could buy at the store in a little jar all ready to go. But now that I’ve tried preparing horseradish myself, I have to say that making your own is fun! I totally wouldn’t judge anyone for buying it pre-prepared, and for general purposes I will still be keeping a store-bought jar on hand, but I’ve also learned that it’s really quite quick to make, it tastes fresh, and it packs a real punch (although of course you get to dilute it at your discretion when you cook with it if you don’t want it too spicy). And it keeps for about a month in the fridge so you’ll have time to use it up in all kinds of tasty preparations– I’m including recipes below for how to prepare the root and how to make a delicious creamy horseradish sauce with it (great on sandwiches, steak, or pork), as well as the recipe for my current favorite potato salad with a horsey kick. If you’ve never tried using homemade horseradish in your cooking, I encourage you to give it a try! But of course, if you are not in possession of a horseradish root or inclined to whip out the food processor, both the creamy horseradish sauce and the potato salad can be made with store-bought horseradish. I hope that either way, some horseradish might make its way onto your menu this holiday weekend! Happy Fourth of July!

Preparing Fresh Horseradish
Method adapted from simplyrecipes.com
Makes about 2/3 cup

6-8 inch long horseradish root
3-4 T water
1 T white vinegar
pinch of salt

Wash the root and peel it with a vegetable peeler. Roughly chop the peeled root into small chunks, and toss the chunks into the food processor with the water (start with 3 T, add more if it’s not smoothing out enough). Process on high until it’s smooth and only small, minced-sized pieces remain. Be careful when you open the food processor, as the fumes will be very strong and can hurt your eyes. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt and pulse again until it’s as smooth as it’ll get. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to one month.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce (for sandwiches, steak or pork)
Adapted from simplyrecipes.com
Makes about 1/2 cup

about 1 T prepared horseradish, depending on the spiciness of your horseradish and your tolerance
2 T mayonnaise
2 T sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
squirt lemon juice
about 1 T chopped or snipped chives
freshly ground black pepper

If you’ve just finished making fresh horseradish in the food processor, you can just leave a tablespoon of it in the processor, toss the rest of the ingredients in with it and give it a spin to combine. If not, simply mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

Potato Salad with Horseradish
Hybridized from the Horseradish Potato Salad and Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad via Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 big ol’ bowl

3 lbs potatoes (I’ve heard russets are best for potato salad, but I like reds and yukons too!)
1 T sugar
1 T salt
1 T white vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 or 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 T white wine vinegar
2/3 to 3/4 cup white stuff (can be mayo, sour cream, yogurt, or a combo)
minced fresh dill and chives (about 1 T each, to taste)
1 or 2 T prepared horseradish (depending on the strength of your sauce and your spiciness tolerance)
1 T dijon mustard
salt and pepper

If you are using russets, give them a rinse to remove excess dirt and then peel them. If you are using reds or yukons or something with inoffensive skins, scrub your potatoes clean. Either way, cut the prepared potatoes into even, bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot of cold water to cover, season the water with 1 tablespoon each of salt, sugar, and white vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, then drain and cool. Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs, unless you already have hard boiled eggs on hand (see instructions near bottom of recent deviled egg post).

Chop your celery, onion, eggs, and herbs. When the potatoes are cool, toss them in a large bowl with the chopped celery, onion, and eggs. Add the vinegar, horseradish (start with 1 T), dijon, and mayo/sour cream/yogurt. Stir to combine, and adjust to taste with additional horseradish or more mayo/sour cream/yogurt if you want it creamier. Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, and up to 24 hours (we found it tastiest the next day).

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