Grinding Your Own Fresh Horseradish

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We ran into a problem on Christmas day. We had shrimp. We did not have cocktail sauce. We had ketchup, but we did not have horseradish. Fortunately, I had some in the garden. After I ground it up, I let my three year old smell it. It made him cry and scream for about 25 seconds while dancing on his chair. I felt bad because I didn‘t expect that reaction (I had smelled it and while strong, I didn’t start screaming). In retrospect, I wish I had captured it on video.

At any rate, If you want a recipe for good cocktail sauce, here is what I like:

Ingredients:
    Some ketchup
    Same amount of horseradish

Directions:
    Mix ketchup and horseradish together.
    Eat.

I have had some with all manner of other stuff in it. I like it simple.

To make good cocktail sauce, you need good horseradish.

Fresh horseradish is fantastic. According to Garden.org:

If you're starting a new bed, wait until the next spring to harvest your first horseradish. Even with an established bed, spring is the best time to harvest -- that's when the horseradish is hottest. You can dig up some roots in the fall and store them just as you would carrots or beets, or you can store horseradish right out in the garden (year-round if you like), digging up a root anytime you're in the mood to have some fresh.

I dug mine on Christmas day and it was pretty hot.

You are looking for a good sized root. I got a couple of mediocre-sized roots.
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Wash your roots off and clean them up. You want a nice, bright, root.
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One of mine was bad. This is what you don't want.

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After you get some nice, firm, white roots, cut them into cubes and put them in your food processor.

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Basic Horseradish recipe

1 Cup Horseradish
1/2 cup white vinegar
pinch of salt

I sorta followed this recipe. I added enough vinegar to make it so that food processor could chop it up. You just don’t want it soupy.

Now comes the fun part. Give it a spin in the food processor. If you take the lid off to scrape the sides be prepared to have your eyes shut involuntarily and cry like a tiny baby. Do not take a deep breath unless you want to be coughing and hacking at the same time you are crying like a baby.

If this happens, you will know you are in for some fine horseradish.

Put the finished product in a jar and enjoy.

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This will likely be stronger than your average store bought stuff. It will keep as long as you want to keep it.

Photo Credit:

flickr