Monday, September 23, 2013
Making your own horseradish is easy and pretty neat. You need to take a few precautions with the spicy root, but the end result is great and you can control the heat to make it mild or super spicy.
All you need is horseradish root, vinegar, ice water and salt. For equipment you'll need gloves, a peeler, a sharp knife and a food processor or blender.
I brought my food processor outside for this project. The fumes of the fresh horseradish are really strong. You might even consider protective eyewear (like large sunglasses or even goggles) if you have sensitive eyes. Mine were watering outside.
The horseradish root looks just like a root. It grows underground. I found mine in the local gourmet market, but it is sometimes available in grocery stores. Look for a root that's not too dried out and free of mold.
Put on your gloves to peel the root. I keep a box of thin vinyl gloves on hand for chopping hot peppers or other messy/dangrous kitchen jobs. You could also use thick rubber gloves or whatever you have to protect your fingers from the pungent flesh.
The horseradish should be bright white and firm once peeled. Chop it into 1-inch pieces.
Still wearing gloves, put the horseradish in the food processor.
Process the horseradish until it is finely chopped, adding a little cold water to create a paste. Avoid fumes coming from the feeding tube while the food processor runs.
Now the horseradish will become hotter the longer it sits. Adding the vinegar stops it from becoming hotter. So for a mild horseradish, add the vinegar right away. For a hotter horseradish, leave it for a few minutes before adding the vinegar.
I waited three minutes and added two tablespoons of vinegar. It is pretty hot!
Place the horseradish in a clean jar and store in the fridge. It's amazing with beef and great in recipes. So easy!