Anyone who eats Prime Rib knows just how much flavor and heat that horseradish can bring to a great cut of meat. However horseradish is much more diverse than you might think. Horseradish is used in sauces, on chicken, in Asian dishes, and more. So what is horseradish and how can you use more of it in your cooking? Keep reading to find out.
What is Horseradish?
Horseradish is a plant that falls into the wasabi and mustard families. It is harvested for its thick almost carrot shaped roots that can be ground or grated and used as an ingredient in cooking sauces and other dishes. Horseradish typically has a hot bite to it, and a rather pungent yet pleasing flavor. This flavorful root is extremely low in fat and contains no Cholesterol, plus one tablespoon serving contains six percent of your daily recommended Vitamin C.
How to Use Horseradish
Horseradish can be purchased in several different consistencies; whole root, creamy, or crushed raw are the main ways that horseradish is sold. This is part of what makes this root so flexible when cooking with it. When using horseradish think of it as a seasoning. Where ever you can use onions or wasabi you can use horseradish.
- Fresh Root – Grating fresh horseradish over salads or into hummus is a healthy way to bring up the heat factor without adding a bunch of calories or fat to the dish. This technique works on sandwiches as well or you could opt for a creamy version of horseradish for a different texture profile depending on the kind of sandwich you are preparing. One example would be that grated horseradish would give a roast beef sandwich some bite, while creamy horseradish would spice up a gooey grilled cheese sandwich without tampering with the consistency.
- Creamy Prepared Horseradish – As mentioned above the creamy style horseradish works great on sandwiches. It also works well when using it to make homemade salad dressings. Creamy horseradish has other ingredients added to it to give it its creamy consistency. The heat factor for creamy horseradish will vary depending on which brand you buy, since the amount of actual horseradish in the product will vary.
- Crushed Raw – This type of product usually resembles a coarse paste and is good on fresh meats, in stews and chilies, as well as in sushi and other Asian dishes.
How to Store Horseradish
Since horseradish is a root vegetable it should be stored the same as you would store carrots, jicama, turnips, etc., in a cool dry climate. Jarred horseradish can sometimes be stored in the cupboard depending on the brand, prior to being opened, but once it has been opened it should be refrigerated.
Horseradish is one of those easily overlooked culinary wonders that is both flexible and flavorful. It is a great resource for any cook who is looking to spice things up without using peppers or onions. The flavor profile is uniquely pungent and the texture is fabulously flexible.