You know that feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something in a really clever way? That's how Dijon mustard makes me feel. This jar of mustard can seriously make you feel like a genius in the kitchen once you know how to wield its tangy, savory power to make a huge impact on nearly everything you're cooking.
It's pretty much the ultimate "secret ingredient," making your vinaigrettes creamier, marinades easier, and your mac and cheese more elegant — even if that mac and cheese comes from a box.
We're keeping tabs on all ways to whisk, stir, spread, and dollop a little bit of Dijon magic into your cooking, and we want you to join in.
Get to Know Dijon, the King of All Mustards
Mighty mighty Dijon! Think of Dijon as the softer, creamier version of the yellow mustard you commonly squirt on hot dogs. It has a gentler acidity, thanks to white wine (yellow mustard gets its tang from white vinegar), that still manages to make the flavor of everything it comes in contact with a little brighter. Got Dijon? Here's what to do with it.
1. Make a better vinaigrette.
Dijon mustard work as an emulsifier in vinaigrette, meaning it helps the oil blend into the vinegar without separating. We're smitten with Dijon mustard in vinaigrettes and have mixed it with mayo and yogurt for this two-minute salad dressing, this sauce for cabbage, and as a sauce for braised veggies.
2. Whip up the world's easiest marinade.
When I'm in a rush and need to make dinner fast, I throw Dijon, mayo, lemon juice, honey, and something spicy (usually a shake or two of Cholula) in a zip-top bag and marinate chicken breasts or thighs. Cook them in the oven, on the stovetop, or even on the grill until they come to temp and you're looking at a free-form dinner you can serve with a big salad.
When you need some guidance on proportions, see how this same principle comes into play with maple mustard chicken, honey curry chicken, or this glorious recipe for balsamic and mustard glazed chicken thighs and figs — which is pretty much as sexy as chicken can get on a weeknight.
3. Bread chicken, pork, fish, or even ribs.
The three-step breading process can give you an incredible crispy, crunchy coating on foods, but sometimes that's just too many dirty dishes. Next time try coating your chicken, pork, fish, and even ribs with Dijon and then sprinkle over some breadcrumbs or a spice mix. You'll be astonished by how well this works!
4. Make a 2-ingredient sandwich spread.
You know Dijonnaise is just mayo and Dijon mustard, right? But hey, who needs the mayo? A swipe of mustard alone is all you need for this killer apple and cheese sandwich. Pass the white wine, please.
5. Whip up a magic summer sauce.
Dijon is one third of the trifecta of delight that makes this easy, three-ingredient sauce our favorite partner to grilled chicken, pork, and roasted veggies.
6. Jazz up soups.
If you normally tip a bit of vinegar or squeeze some lemon into your soups to wake them up a bit, try stirring in some Dijon. Start small — remember there are no take-backs when you add too much — and you'll never skip this addition when making chicken noodle soup again.
7. Mix it into eggs.
Eggs love some Dijon. Whisk it into the mix for scrambled eggs, quiche, frittatas, and casseroles, and you'll see eggs in a new, more interesting light. This is our go-to trick for more sophisticated egg casseroles.
8. Use it as a base for your next galette.
Beware of the soggy bottoms! When making a savory pie, galette, or crostata, slather the bottom with Dijon. It adds flavor and works as insulation to avoid the mush.
9. Try it in mac and cheese.
Mustard shows up in many mac and cheese recipes — especially those that begin with a roux — but friends, have you added a dollop to that box of Annie's? Even the blue box can't escape the upgrade a whisper of Dijon can create.
10. Add it to homemade mayo.
Homemade mayo is pretty simple, as long as you've got an immersion blender. Dijon mustard makes mayo delicious while muting richness.
11. Put it in slaw.
Got boring coleslaw? Whisk some Dijon into the vinaigrette. It adds creaminess without having to rely on dairy.
12. Toss it with roasted potatoes.
Three words for you: Dijon roasted potatoes. This is one of our favorite minimalist sides, and it packs a massive flavor punch. The cold potato leftovers are incredible if you're into that kind of thing.
13. Make a glaze for ham and other things.
You're only five ingredients away from go-anywhere, do-anything brown sugar glaze for chicken and pork — but it really shows off on a holiday ham. While brown sugar takes the lead in this glaze, it's buttressed by the balancing acidity of Dijon.
14. Make French mustard chicken.
What do you get when you combine affordable chicken thighs with a creamy, Dijon-mustard spiked sauce? One of the tastiest one-skillet chicken dinners you can cook up on a weeknight.
15. Make a very easy pan sauce.
Dijon mustard works as an emulsifier in a pan sauce that starts with the drippings rendered from cooking meat. Its flavor pairs well with everything from chicken to steak, which means it's the staple we reach for anytime we want to make that weeknight dinner feel a little special.
Okay, I know we missed a few things. How do you use Dijon mustard in your cooking?