This is the first time in years that I’ve attempted to make chutney. Why did I wait so long? It makes a perfect gift for the holidays.
It all began last Thanksgiving. Per usual, I waited to the last minute to shop for the ingredients I needed to prepare my offerings for the feast, (the very day before). So I ran into the grocery at the absolute busiest time & day of the year.
My job was to bring the sauces. I was running a half marathon on Thanksgiving morning, (an Atlantan tradition) so I was off the hook to prepare the full feast. I only had to make a cranberry sauce as well as a hollandaise sauce. Easy, right?
I needed fresh cranberries among a few other things & wouldn’t you know, they were out of cranberries! I even asked the produce man to double check the back. He assured me that they were completely out. I truly did not feel like trekking to another store, fighting for a parking spot, with the likelihood of the same thing happening there. So what do I do!? I improvise. At least I thought I would.
This is what I grabbed & saw a recipe for a sauce on the back, (recommended to be served with Belgium Waffles of all things) & thought, “why not?”
Side note: My late father LOVED cranberry jelly with his Thanksgiving turkey, so when I picked this up, I instantly thought of him… the little things.
Needless to say, I didn’t end up having enough time to make this, (again with the procrastination – a New Year Resolution for sure)! I thought I’d have some time after my run that afternoon to pull it off. Nope. But I did pull off a makeshift blended hollandaise which turned out to be fantastic!
A couple of weeks went by & I see this cranberry jelly everyday, staring at me from my pantry. I kept thinking, what am I going to do with this!? Then it dawned on me as I looked around my kitchen to see exactly what I needed to make a marvelous chutney, with my own spin! Yes!
Honestly the last time I made a chutney was in my Cooking Skills II class at Le Cordon Bleu. I have to admit every class was my favorite, but this was a fundamental class to learn all about the mother sauces. Although Chutney is not a mother sauce, it is a versatile one that could be eaten with different types of fowl, game & as mentioned before, waffles! Sauces are the period at the end of a sentence. To me, every main dish should be accompanied with a flavorful sauce!
I’m sad to say that my beloved culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu will be closing all of it’s campus’s in the US for complicated reasons, (mostly to do with financials), yet I can proudly say that I gradated Magna Cum Laude & will hold my experience learned there close to mind. I gained an incredible amount of knowledge from culinary skills to building new relationships with those I worked so closely with. I developed not only an education, but many friendships that I will cherish forever.
Back to Cranberry Chutney!
I had the perfect ingredients to make this native to India sauce!
I added the Jelly to my pot along with a splash of water. Then I started prepping my fruit, a golden apple & orange with its zest. I grated a large amount of fresh ginger in the mix along with a bit of brown sugar. I finished it off with some chopped pecans. Oh my yums. The aroma coming from my kitchen attracted my guys to come & check it out. First question asked, “what is a chutney?” My answer is, “a sauce reduction of fruit, sugar & spices or ginger.” The key to defining a new type of food to a ten year old is to keep it simple, highlighting known & already liked ingredients by him, thus a greater turnout for the interest for a taste. Score! The verdict is in folks, he likes it!!
Guess whats for lunch?
Pretty darn tasty if I must say so myself!!
This is a GREAT gift idea, btw! If I hadn’t waited to long before the holiday to make this, I would’ve sent this out to my friends & family. BUT that means I’ll have a huge head start for next year! If your reading this & your a friend or family member, the cat’s out of the bag, you’re getting chutney for Christmas.
Thanks for reading!