Sunday, April 17, 2011

Preparing Fresh Horseradish Sauce

If you observe Passover, you probably know that horseradish is often the bitter herb served at the seder. It's very easy to prepare fresh horseradish sauce, but what stops some people from doing so is the intensely sharp pungency of the freshly cut and shredded root, both in terms of the odor and the oils. If you choose to tackle a fresh horseradish root at home, here are some handy tips for doing so, and for making a simple horseradish sauce:

*Buy horseradish root that's not too large, with skin that is unblemished and smooth. Older, larger roots are more fibrous and bitter.

*Before peeling, chopping or shredding the horseradish, it's best to put on a pair of plastic gloves and some sort of eye protection (glasses, goggles or even sunglasses) to protect your eyes and skin. Basically, treat fresh horseradish with the same respect as you would a fresh habanero pepper. You may also want to open the kitchen window, or even do the peeling, chopping and shredding outside.

*The easiest way to shred or grate horseradish is to peel the root, chop it into small chunks, and process in a food processor. You can also use a hand grater. The more finely shredded or processed, the more pungent the flavor.

*If using a food processor, turn your head away before removing the lid. Trust me, your eyes and sinuses will thank you.

*To make a simple horseradish sauce, simply add vinegar (white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or even lemon juice instead of vinegar) while processing--1 cup of shredded or grated horseradish to 1/2 cup of vinegar generally works. Most folks also add salt to taste, and some recipes even call for a little sugar, or the addition of shredded beets (which provide lovely color and earthy sweetness to help temper the bitterness).

*You can store homemade horseradish sauce in a lidded glass jar in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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