- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 7, 2006

I’ll admit it. Ketchup has played a big role in my life: fries dabbed in a puddle of red; a hamburger with ketchup oozing out the sides of the bun and the tepid brisket that calls for a sweet tomato finish. Yes, that’s the promise of the big red. Thousands of tiny mustard seeds, each delivering a distinctive punch, are making their way into my recipes. The potential is awesome. Unlike ketchup, which tastes sweet and tart with a reminder of tomatoes, mustard can be spicy, sharp, tangy, hot and mysterious. What I really like about mustard is how it works as an ingredient. Mustard acts as an emulsifier to bind sauces and dressings in a creamy consistency. It adds a little zip to vinaigrette dressings, dips and sauces, without a lot of added calories. And it’s convenient. You always have a little jar of mustard in the fridge, ready to add to whatever you’re cooking. One of my favorite recipes is baby back ribs basted with a combination of a not-too-sweet honey mustard and Wild Turkey. The combination of mustard and liquor — slightly smoky tasting — is a delicious alternative to the typical tomato-based sauce. Wild Turkey ribs with apple chutney 2 pounds baby back ribs 1/4 cup honey mustard 2 tablespoons Wild Turkey or other bourbon Apple Chutney (recipe follows) Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Roast in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Combine mustard and Wild Turkey. Remove ribs from oven, baste generously with mustard mixture and return to oven for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare apple chutney. Serve ribs with chutney on the side. Makes 2 servings. APPLE CHUTNEY 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 shallot, minced 1 small garlic clove, minced 1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1 tablespoon dried currants or chopped raisins 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar Heat vegetable oil in medium pot. Add shallot and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add apple, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, vinegar, currants or raisins, salt and brown sugar. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until apple is tender. If mixture starts to dry before apple is cooked, add a tablespoon of water. TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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