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Prepared mustards (Recipe: deviled eggs) {vegetarian}

Updated September 2010.

Deviled eggs

Truth, or fiction?

Isabella Martinque, on the way to her first day of work at the National Mustard Museum, came within a foot – more like six inches to be precise – of killing a handsome young man in the prime of his youth.

Luckily for both Isabella and the young man, the right front bumper of her 1993 Toyota Tercel caught only the tattered brown leather suitcase he was carrying in his left hand, propelling it onto the shoulder where it opened and spilled out its contents. Socks, underwear, jeans, a few shirts, and several books were strewn along the side of Highway 78 about a quarter mile outside the village of Mount Horeb.

Isabella had been preoccupied with her new job as chef-in-residence at the Mustard Museum. Her brain was racing, conjuring up new and unique recipes for the golden condiment. Mustard creme brulee. Eggplant a la Dijon. Fig and mustard coulis...

Truth: There really is a National Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Open to the public since 1992, the collection has grown to more than 4,700 prepared mustards from all 50 states and 60 countries, plus oodles of mustard-abilia.

Fiction: Seeds of Passion, from which the paragraphs above are excerpted, is this year's Mustard Museum writing contest. Download Chapter One, craft a dynamite Chapter Two and synopsis for the rest of the novel, and you might win $5,000.

If you do win, you'll be able to stock your pantry with as much mustard as you could ever want (and maybe some bread and a cold beer to wash it down!). No pantry needs as much as Barry Levenson has collected for the museum, but every pantry should have should have a few prepared mustards at the ready.

Prepared mustards

The mustard plant is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, related to cabbage and horseradish. The dark green leaves are cooked, like collards. To make prepared mustard, the seeds (brown, black, white, yellow) are soaked in water, which activates the enzyme myrosinase. When the desired heat level is achieved, the activation is stopped with an acidic liquid, usually wine (for stronger mustards) or vinegar (milder). The level of enzyme action combined with the particular acidic fixative used gives each mustard its characteristic flavor.

Mustard fixed with an acid can be stored at room temperature, which is how it tastes best, for 2-3 months. To prolong their lifespan, I always keep opened jars of mustard in the refrigerator.

Prepared mustards, though used primarily as a condiment, are quite versatile, and though many recipes call for Dijon, you can substitute any mustards in your pantry. From a basic salad dressing, to a marinade, to barbecue sauce, mustard has a place in almost everything except ice cream -- or am I wrong about that?!

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs

When our granddaughter Sabina came to visit recently, she brought a cookbook to share with me. Gadgetology, by Pam Abrams, is perfect for kids 4-10 years old and their adult sous chefs. The recipe for deviled eggs is designed to teach children how to use a pastry bag; the lesson for the rest of us is that almost any prepared mustard can form the flavor basis for deviled eggs. If you don't have a pastry bag, fill a ziploc bag with the egg yolk mixture, then snip one corner to create a makeshift piping bag. I've updated the egg cooking method; feel free to create your own combination of flavorings (curry? pistachio? chipotle?). Makes 8 deviled eggs; can -- and should-- be doubled or tripled or quadrupled.


4 large eggs
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp prepared mustard of your choice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Paprika or smoked paprika, for garnish (optional)


In a medium saucepan, place the eggs, and cover with water by one inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let sit for 12 minutes. Then, drain the hot water, rinse the eggs under cold water, and shell the eggs. Set on a plate and place in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

Cut eggs in half lengthwise; gently remove the yolks and place them in a food processor or small bowl. (Tip: if the egg white halves are rolling around on your plate, slice a tiny bit off the outside of the bottoms, to make them sit up straight.) Add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and parsley, if desired, to the yolks and process or mash together until smooth. Using a spatula, place the yolk mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a plain or fancy tip. Pipe the filling into the egg-white halves, swirling upward as you go.

Sprinkle eggs with paprika, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Beef, ale and onion stew
Beet and onion salad
Chicken salad with mustard sauce and lovage
"Chicks in blankets"
Wild rice salad

Other recipes that use prepared mustards:
Mustard, lemon and coriander grilled chicken breasts with lemon-basil vinaigrette, from Kalyn's Kitchen
South Carolina mustard bbq sauce, from Simply Recipes
Onion tart with mustard and fennel, from Smitten Kitchen
Boxty with mustard-chutney sauce, from Stephencooks
Lamb chops with Dijon mustard and thyme, from Blue Kitchen

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I bet there´s mustard icecream somewhere. You can buy ajoblanco ice cream in the shops these days

The only reason why I don't think mustard should be banned is because of things like deviled eggs, where I use mustard in tiny quantities so that you cannot actually taste it. Mustard is one of the few flavors that I can't stand at all. If it touches my burger it cannot be wiped off -- the burger must be thrown away.

I have this vague memory that when I was a child, I loved mustard so much that I was given a jar for my birthday (among other things!). I think the variation of flavors and textures is fascinating, and today my perspective is "the grainier, the better!"

I'm always looking for new mustards and just brought back two from the Netherlands.

There are some very intriguing mustards in Zingerman's. I think one has violet in it...And deviled eggs, quadrupled indeed!

What would we do without it?! and devilled eggs, yum :)

Mustard is one of those few things you can slather on your food without worrying about calories. With all the different varieties, I would imagine dropping the pounds before getting bored with it.

I'm never without a jar of Dijon mustard in the fridge, not a poncy small jar either, but a giant size. I've always found when making mayonnaise that a teaspoon of mustard helps the emulsion stay stable in the crucial early stage. One thing that I would say and it is most definitely personal preferance, is that for the most part I don't have much time for the tricked up mustards, wholegrain is about as far as I stray from the smooth, singular mustards of Dijon, though I do profess a soft spot for English mustard, *wiping tear*.

Lobstersquad, if there is one out there, I'm not sure I'd want to try it -- unless it had chocolate in it, too!

Zoe, so sorry that you don't like mustard.

TW, when I was younger I didn't like the texture of grainy mustards, but now I've grown into them.

Tanna, that's the fun of traveling -- finding new tasty tidbits to bring home!

Callipygia, Zingerman's has great stuff. I haven't tried the violet one, but I'll look for it on their site.

Kelly-Jane, I agree -- good stuff!

Susan, I learned when I had to start watching carbs that most mustard has no carbs, and ketchup (my other love) has a few. So I switched to mustard on sandwiches, meats, etc.

Neil, mustard in mayo helps the taste as well as the emulsion. I love Dijon, but I'm also loving the spicy wasabi mustards that are becoming more popular now. But that English mustard can be soooooo hot!

I absolutely love mustard, Lydia - and these versions are completely new to me!

I have never kept my mustard anywhere except in the fridge~ dang if I didn't learn something new.
I wonder if I should try substituting mustard for my Marmite? People say they eat it on toast!

OOOuuu! Deviled eggs! They sound good:)
I stay away from wasabi mustard though, it gets straight in my nose, it's way too hot!:)

I've been to the Mustard Museum. In fact, we made a special trip because my husband loves mustard so much (granted, we only live 3 hours away from it, but still...)

It's a pretty crazy place to visit. There are walls and walls of mustard on display (sent in from all over the world), and even more varieties for sale. Everyone who works there is extremely nice (it's Wisconsin, we're good at that), and will tell you everything you want to know about a particular mustard. You can try any kind you'd like, and there are lots of great recipes to be found throughout the store portion of the museum.

And yes, they have Mustard Ice Cream. We tried it. Vanilla swirled with a sweet, caramel-y mustard...and, if I remember right, it was actually quite good!

Patricia, these are all locally produced mustards in New England, one in Rhode Island where I live, one in Maine, and one in Massachusetts. When I really looked at how many different kinds of mustard I have in the pantry, I was shocked! Probably 10 or 12, not counting Dijon and good old American yellow mustard (the kind we put on hot dogs)!

Sandi, I saw your Marmite post -- and then today I saw Marmite in an upscale supermarket when I was wandering the aisles looking for something more mundane. I would definitely trade Marmite for mustard any day!

Valentina, deviled eggs are really delicious, even if there's nothing devilish in them. My friend Bev, the deviled egg queen of the neighborhood, never puts anything spicy in her eggs. But when I make them, I can't help myself.

Shannon, I'm thrilled to know more about the Mustard Museum. I didn't realize you can taste any of the mustards there. And there really is mustard ice cream? How cool!

We were just at that museum last weekend! We were in the Madison area for the Horribly Hilly Hundred bike ride and I was looking for other things to do in the area.

I, too, have fond memories of the Mustard Museum!! I like their phone number:1-800-GET-MUST.

Dana, I'm amazed at how many Pantry readers have beaten me to this museum! From Shannon's description it sounds like great fun.

Lucia, you too? Am I the last person to get there??? Thanks for sharing the phone number -- it's a hoot!

Hmmm... I'd like to visit this mustard museum. Sounds like it'd be different and interesting.

So what happened to Isabelle and the guy...

I like the deviled eggs recipe.


Paz, we'll have to stay tuned to the Mustard Museum writing contest to see how Isabella's story ends! (Happily ever after, I'll bet...)

I love mustard and usually have 8 or 10 in the pantry. Then we go to the mustard store and I go nuts!
I do have to be carefull, though. The Euro variety (of Dijon, for example) are much hotter than the made for U.S. versions. Great for (ahem) cleansing sinus!

oooh look at all those wonderful mustards! i recently got onr thatwas laced with herbs de provence that i have to find a use for. i'm stumped!

i adore mustard, can't imagine life without it. I must try that caramel mustard! And deviled eggs? Don't put a plate of those in front of me and expect me to be ladylike and only eat one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie, I didn't realize that European Dijon was hotter -- that's really good to know. (For cleansing sinuses, I use a hot sauce from Trinidad -- I do love hot stuff, but this was way too hot for me!)

Aria, mustard with herbes de provence sounds lovely. How about a vinaigrette with that over some sliced cooked potatoes?

Sher, the caramel mustard is amazing -- sounds like it would be super-sweet, but it's not over the top. I love it with grilled chicken.

Lydia,I dragged my family to the Mustard Museum last summer during a road trip to Wisconsin. Mustard is one of my "hoardable" pantry items, and the museum was well worth visiting. Hundreds of mustards are available for sampling...so much fun!

Karen, I think back to when our kids were little -- could I have gotten them to go to a mustard museum? I doubt it! But now that so many readers have recommended it, I can't wait until my travels take me to Wisconsin, so I can put this on my to-do list.

When I was little, I would climb up on the kitchen unit to reach the cupboard that housed the Colmans French Mustard. Once I had my prize, I would sit down and eat it with a teaspoon until I was invariably discovered!

Holler, what a lovely memory! My palate as a child wasn't nearly as sophisticated as yours!

I LOVE ChickenBeef noodle with loads & loads of mustard it's so lush

Chicken Beef, want to share a recipe?

Those deviled eggs look really yummy!

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