All about horseradish > From the market to your plate
Fresh horseradish root is available year-round in most markets, but prime season is in spring.
Choose roots that are firm and have no mold, soft or green spots. Older roots will look shriveled and dry. They may even begin to sprout. These are to be avoided.
Bottled prepared horseradish is readily available in the refrigerated condiment section of grocery stores. Prepared horseradish comes in 3 ways. The most common is grated and preserved in vinegar and salt. You will find also milder versions such as the horseradish paste with a creamy texture and the grated horseradish and beet mix called chrein.
Store horseradish root unwashed in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. It begins to dry up as soon as it is cut, so if you have purchased it at the market, try to use it within a week or two for fullest flavor. Once it is cut or grated, used within a few days unless you preserve it in vinegar.
Freezing is not recommended for whole pieces. However, grated fresh horseradish may be frozen up to 6 months but keep in mind that it will lose pungency when frozen.
Prepared horseradish will last up to 3 months in the refrigerator. However, it quickly loses pungency and is best used within 3 to 4 weeks. When it begins to turn dark, it is time to toss it. Freezing of prepared horseradish is not recommended.
Be aware that horseradish should be consumed fresh, grated at the last moment. It doesn't stand up to cooking, which robs it of all its character.
- Peel with a vegetable peeler.
- Remove any overly fibrous parts.
- Immediately grate the horseradish, place it into a bowl or jar with a little vinegar or lemon juice to prevent it from oxidizing - as with potatoes that blacken quickly if not cooked immediately. But since horseradish root is usually grated raw and not cooked, it's necessary to add an antioxidant. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to the white vinegar.
To kick traditional potato mash, stir in grated fresh horseradish, ready grated horseradish from a jar, or creamed horseradish (for a slightly milder taste). (2 Tbsp. horseradish for 2 pound potatoes).
A match made in heaven
To give character to remoulade or tartare sauce
To flavor cream, vinegar or plain mayonnaise
To accompany fish, white meats and poultry.
The English and Germans are great lovers of horseradish. They are fond of pairing its piquant flavor with cold meats and roastbeef.
The pungent horseradish blends beautifully with beets for a milder and sweeter flavour than the traditional prepared horseradish. Its deep and vibrant color adds a visual spark to the signature kick of horseradish. This condiment called chrein pairs well with lamb, short ribs, gefilte fish and matzo.
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