Tag Archives: mustard

Braised Rabbit In Belgian Ale

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Rabbit is one of those meats you either love or hate; I’m in the camp that loves it. I don’t cook it often but whenever I do I find myself wondering why I don’t cook it more often. After all, it is readily available fresh in Belgian markets. And rabbit is a versatile meat-it can be grilled, baked, or fried in the same ways one would cook chicken. But my favorite method is slow cooking it in a stew or a braise.

Now that the cooler weather is upon us again braised meat is the perfect dinner. This recipe, adapted from Simply Recipes, is easy to make and the ultimate in comfort food. And when using real Belgian ale, I like to think of it as a quintessential Belgian fall dinner. Serve the rabbit over a parmesan infused polenta or other starch that can soak up the juices.


1 2 1/2- 3 pound rabbit cut into 6 or 7 serving pieces


1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

6 whole garlic cloves, peeled

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 1/2 cups Chimay or other Belgian ale

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • Place the rabbit on a large plate and sprinkle on both sides with salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Place the flour on another plate and dredge the rabbit pieces in the flour.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the rabbit in a single layer. Brown on both sides for 5 to 6 minutes per side without disturbing. Remove the rabbit to a plate.
  • Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown.
  • Add the garlic cloves and thyme and cook until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the ale. Simmer for 2 minutes then add the chicken stock. Season with the salt and pepper.
  • Return the rabbit to the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Cover the pot and reduce the temperature to low. Cook for 45 minutes or until the rabbit is cooked through and tender.
  • Remove the rabbit to a platter and keep warm.
  • Increase the temperature to high and reduce the liquid by one third.
  • Reduce the temperature to low and stir in the mustard and sugar.
  • Return the rabbit to the pot and rewarm.

Serves 4-6


Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops


It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Pan sauces are my favorite way to dress up an otherwise simple piece of meat. And as this recipe, adapted from a Cooking Light magazine shows, pan sauces are the quickest way to infuse your meal with flavor. Here orange juice and mustard are reduced into a syrupy sauce while you pan sear your pork chops. Everything then goes in the oven to finish cooking. While your actual cooking time will depend upon the thickness of your meat, the meal is fast. Serve it with a side of vegetables and a starch of your choice and dinner is ready in no time.


1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

4- 6 ounce boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Juice of 1 lime

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Combine the orange juice, brown sugar, orange zest and mustard in a small heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until syrupy.
  • While the juice mixture is cooking, heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. (I prefer to use a cast iron skillet).
  • Add the oil to the skillet, swirling to coat.
  • Evenly sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pork then add it to the pan.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn the pork over then add the onion wedges to the skillet.
  • Pour juice mixture over pork and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140°.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and drizzle with the lime juice before serving.

Serves 4

In Search of Mustard In Ghent


Because recipes are good but great food finds are even better, I’m sharing my recent mustard discovery that I first wrote about on my other blog.

Mayonnaise or mustard? For me, unless it is with frites, or French fries (an oh so tasty but not so good for you habit I’ve developed since moving to Belgium), the answer is always mustard. But of course not just any mustard will do. French’s mustard, the standard bearer that is synonymous with mustards in the United States, will never cut it for me. Now give me a smooth and tangy Dijon or a rustic mustard filled with tiny seeds that pop when you bite into it and I’m a happy camper. Actually, with the exception of the afore mentioned French’s, there are few mustards I’ve tried and not liked and I’m always open to trying a new version. So when I heard about a little mustard shop in the Belgian town of Ghent I knew I had to check it out. After all, two of my favorite food and travel resources– the New York Times and AFAR magazine — have all written and raved about the mustard. I did and now not only do I know what all the hype is about, I can say I am a fan.

The Tierenteyn’s have been making their mustard in Flanders since 1790 and today the tiny Tierenteyn Mustard shop is centrally located on Ghent’s Groentenmarkt. Two Tierenteyn brothers started producing the mustard and a popular story has Napoleon and his soldiers discussing its virtues. Who knows if this is fact or urban legend but the mustard’s popularity has transcended centuries with the secret recipe has since been passed down from one generation to the next. Made of dark mustard seeds as opposed to the light ones found in Dijon mustard, the seeds were originally hand ground, making the cost of the mustard accessible only to the wealthy residents of Ghent. Today the process is automated but the resulting product is just as delicious and coveted by mustard lovers from all walks of life.

Walking in the door of Tierenteyn is like stepping back in time and reminded me of visiting an old fashioned pharmacy. The mustard “factory” is located in the basement of the building with the small shop above it at street level. As I discovered it can quickly become crowded when a hoard of mustard seeking tourists descends. Floor to ceiling shelves are lined with blue and white crocks of various sizes. You can select the size you want and a friendly shop clerk will fill it with mustard. Or you can opt for a plain glass jar with a screw top but splurge on the crock since it is just so pretty and really adds to the experience.

So what does the mustard taste like? The mustard is smooth and golden but unlike most American style mustards it is tangy and hot; almost biting if you are too eager in your first taste. My initial reaction was that it had the heat of a good Chinese mustard or even included horseradish (which it doesn’t). It isn’t quite Dijon but it is close; Colman’s mustard is similar but again, not quite the same. For me, this is what makes Tierenteyn mustard unique and oh-so good; I’ve never had anything quite like it. I’ve slathered it on sandwiches, added it to homemade salad dressings and even used it as a marinade for meat. Any way I use it I love it.

Made without added preservatives it doesn’t have a long shelf life but will reportedly keep in the refrigerator for about two months. They don’t ship and the only place to buy it is at their shop. So if you’re in Ghent stop in with cash in hand (they don’t accept credit cards) and try some for yourself. As I’ve almost finished with my crock I know I’ll be heading back soon. After all, I need to get my fill while I’m in Belgium since that’s a long trip from the U.S. to buy mustard.

If you go:

Tierenteyn Mustard Shop
Groentenmarkt 3
Ghent, Belgium
+32 92 25 83 36

Open Monday-Friday 0830-1800; Saturday 0900-1230 & 1300-1800
Cash only; no credit cards accepted

Honey Mustard Chicken Drumsticks

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I’ll be honest; I’ve never been a fan of any meat that is still on the bone. I’m not sure what prompted this dislike but I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid meat that is on the bone and when that isn’t possible I will quickly cut it off of the bone before serving it. Even when eating a steak, I studiously avoid eating any of the meat that is actually touching the bone. Glenn calls it one of my food quirks and I guess it is.

So you can imagine how surprised he was when I served up a patter of these chicken drumsticks for dinner last week. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised myself. I had been browsing the meat section in the local Carrefour with Sidney and when I asked him what he would like to have for dinner, he pointed to the chicken drumsticks. Looking at them I saw that they were not only organic but they were plump and meaty looking and I immediately began thinking about how I could cook them. (I should also add that they were feather free which after living in Albania for the past two and a half years, where chicken in the grocery stores was scrawny and only partially plucked, seeing fresh and clean meat is exciting).

Cooking up dinner that night I was reminded of how easy, and varied, chicken drumsticks actually are to cook. I mixed up the glaze while the oven was pre-heating then baked the chicken while I fixed my sides. From refrigerator to table dinner was done in less than 45 minutes. Not bad for a weeknight meal.


8 chicken drumsticks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup organic honey

1/4 cup whole grain mustard

3 tablespoons pomegranate infused red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on the prepared baking sheet and generously sprinkle with the salt and black pepper.
  • In a small bowl combine the honey, mustard, and red wine vinegar. Stir with a whisk until well combined.
  • Brush the glaze over the top of each chicken drumstick then sprinkle the garlic powder over the top of each piece. You should have a small amount of the glaze left over.
  • Bake for 20 minutes then brush the chicken with the remaining glaze. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until browned and cooked through, approximately 10 additional minutes.

Seves 4

A Trio Of Sauces: Honey Mustard, Chimichurri, & Ginger-Soy

Top to bottom:  Honey Mustard, Chimmichuri, Sesame Soy

Top to bottom: Honey Mustard, Chimichurri, Sesame Soy

I’m a condiment fanatic.  Our refrigerator door is always crammed with bottles and jars of sauces, dips, and pickled items that can take ordinary foods to a whole new level.  One type of mustard or vinegar is never enough for me since each has its own flavor profile that makes all the difference in their respective dishes.  Because of my love of discovering new condiments, our nomadic lifestyle is a mixed blessing for me.  While our travels allow me to discover new sauces and condiments that enhance my culinary repertoire, having to pack up and move–and therefore empty our refrigerator– every couple of years is hard.  Leaving behind wonderful the wonderful sauces and such is just so upsetting.

But not all condiments need to be purchased; in fact the best ones are those that are whipped up by hand in my own kitchen.  Combine a little of this and a dash of that and you have magic in a bowl in minutes.  This trio of sauces highlights just how versatile condiments can be.  All three take just minutes to make and while they can be used immediately, taste better after they sit for an hour or so.  The ingredient ratios are just suggestions as you can add more or less of an ingredient depending upon your own preferences.  If you love garlic, add more. If you aren’t a fan of Dijon mustard, substitute a stone ground one instead.  Experiment with different combinations of fresh herbs.  Dip cooked meats or vegetables into the sauces a al fondue style to bring a variety of flavors to the table that will be sure to please all palates.  Chicken or pork is particularly good when dipped in the ginger soy and honey mustard sauces.  Or marinate a flank steak in the chimichurri sauce before grilling.  The combinations and possibilities are endless so let your imagination go wild………….


1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Allow to sit for 1/2 hour before using.

Yield 1/2 cup


1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

3 tablespoons cilantro

8 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro.
  • Place in shallow bowl and using a stick blender puree until combined.
  • Add the garlic and continue to puree until smooth.
  • Add the remaining ingredients puree until combined.
  • Allow the sauce to sit for at least 1/2 hour before using. Adjust the salt and pepper before serving.

Yield 1 cup


1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

5 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons warm water

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Sriacha

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Allow to sit for at least one hour before serving.

The sauce can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to one week. Return to room temperature before using.

Yields 3/4 cup


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