Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

Ingredients
2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.
apple1
***

1. Grind the spices together.
apple2

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.
apple3

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.
apple4

4. Add the rest of the spices.
apple6

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :
apple6b

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
apple7

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.
apple7b

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.
apple8

And the darker balsamic.
apple8b

Advertisements

Butter Chicken

Funnily enough, a butter free version of butter chicken. Delicious, tender chicken and a savory sauce. It uses both a “Butter chicken masala” pre-made mix and some whole spices.

This is a two step recipe. First the marinade, then putting everything together.

Marinade ingredients :
3 chicken breast
1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
2 tea spoon butter chicken masala
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tea spoon salt
ingredients1

Butter Chicken ingredients :
Marinated chicken
4 onions
6 black pepper corns
6 green cardamom pods
1 thumb length cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 tablespoon butter chicken masala
1 small can of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup cream
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup water
2 table spoon oil
salt
ingredients2

***

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the marinade ingredients.
marinade1

2. Add the diced chicken.
marinade2

3. Stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and set aside (several hours, up to overnight).
marinade3

4. Peel and quarter the onions. Put in a pot with water and boil for 10 minutes until soft.
onions

5. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Pour the chicken into an oven safe dish and cook for 10-15 minutes. You want it mostly cooked.
chicken

6. Drain the water from the onion and transfer them to a blender.
onions2

7. And puree them.
onion3

8. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions to the skillet.
onions4

9. In the mean time grind the cardamom, black pepper corn and star anise.
spices

10. Cook until the onions have given up most of their water and start to form a paste. You can go a bit further then I did, almost caramelizing them. Add the ground spices and the butter chicken masala.
add-spices

11. Cook for 2 minutes to fry the spices a bit and make them fragrant.
spices+onions

12. Add the tomatoes.
add-tomatoes

13. Add the cream.
add-cream

14. Take the chicken out of the oven­.
chicken2

15. And using a slotted spoon transfer the chicken to the sauce. You want to leave behind any water or “broken” marinade. Stir in and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
add-chicken

16. Add the ground almond. Stir it in, it will thicken the sauce. Add the water to loosen it up.
add-almonds

17. Serve with warm naan bread.
serve

Spice Poached Pears

A delicious, light desert. Also easy to make and can be made in advance. The pears will keep for well over a week if kept in the syrup.

Ingredients
8 Bartlett pears
1/2 cup honey
1 Yunnan pepper
13 black peppercorns
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half
Zests of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
2 star anise.
4 cup of water + enough to fill a large bowl
ingredients

***

1. In a large soup pot, combine 4 cups of water with the honey, spices, orange peel and the juice of half a lemon. Warm gently and stir until the honey is dissolved.
liquid

2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of half a lemon.
water

3. Peel the pears, slice in half and remove the core.
peel

4. Put the pears in the water with the lemon juice. This prevents them from changing color.
bath1

5. Once all the pears are ready transfer them to the spiced liquid. Try to keep them in an even layer.
in-liquid

6. Using the lid of a smaller pot, push them into the liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pears are tender when poked with the toothpick but still holding their shape.
lid

7. Allow to cool in the syrup, then cover the pot and cool completely in the refrigerator.
cooked

8. When ready to serve, heat about 1 cup of the syrup and reduce to about 1/3 cup.
syrup

9. Transfer the syrup to a double boiler and melt some chocolate into the syrup.
chocolate

10. Spoon the warm chocolate sauce over the cold pears.
serve

Duck Confit

Rich, slightly decadent and surprisingly easy to make Duck Confit. The garam masala and ginger add wonderful aroma to the duck.

It needs slow cooking, at low temperatures, otherwise it because tough and dry, so plan ahead to have plenty of time.

Ingredients
2 duck legs
1 table spoon sea salt
1 garlic clove, roughly peeled and the cloves separated
1 average knob of ginger, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 table spoon of whole Garam Masala
1 star anise, broken in pieces
1 table spoon whole pepper corns
3-5 table spoon of duck fat (optional)
1 cup of basami rice
Green and yellow beans, to taste
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 250F

2. Place the duck legs skin down in a large pan, over medium heat. Add the salt. Cook until the legs are brown and begin to render fat. Reduce the heat and continue cooking for 15 minutes,

sear1

3. Turn the legs over. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
sear2

4. Prepare the ginger and garlic and mix together all the spices.
aromates

5. Add the ginger, garlic and spices to the duck legs. Once you start smelling the spices, transfer to a large dutch oven (or other lidded oven safe container). Add duck fat as needed to make sure the legs are swimming in fat.
add-spices

6. Bake for 1 hour to 1h30, until fragrant and the meat is detaching easily from the bone.

While the duck is baking, rinse the basmati rice until the water runs off clear. Boil 2 cups of water, add the rice and turn the heat off. Cover and allow the rice to absorb the water for 30 minutes.

Also rinse and steam the green and yellow beans.
bake

7. Allow the duck to rest a few minutes when taking it out of the oven. Serve with the rice and beans.
serve

Pulled Pork

Delicious tender pulled pork. The recipe is easy, but it does require some time. There is two parts to the recipe. The first is the spice rub that goes on the meat. The second is the BBQ style sauce the meat is covered with.

Made this for a family picnic. Everyone seemed to love it. It does, however, make for a lot of pork. Adjust quantities as you see fit.

Ingredients
2 kg of pork shoulder, in two pieces of roughly 1kg each
1 Boston lettuce
6-12 buns of your choice

For the rub :
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

For sauce :
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup cola
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 heaping tea spoon of brown sugar.

ingredients1
ingredients2

***

1. Grind the whole spices with a mortar and pestle, if not already done. Then mix together all the spices (for the rub section above).
spice-rub

2. Measure two tablespoon of the spices and set aside. Rub the remaining spices on the pork. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate over night.
spices-on-meat

3. Heat the oven to 325F. Remove the cling wrap and wrap tightly in aluminium foil (you want to prevent the juices from escaping the meat). Put in the oven for 6 hours.
wrap

4. About 30 minutes before the pork is done cooking, mix together all the sauce ingredients plus the reserved spice mix in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce darkens and has reduced.
sauce-combine

5. Take the pork out of the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Then remove the aluminium foil.
cooked

6. Using two forks pull the pork apart into long shreds. Mix the meat with half of the sauce while both are still warm.
pulled

** Optional step : drive 2 hours to picnic.

7. Assemble the sandwich. Put a leaf of Boston lettuce at the bottom on the bun, pile in as much meat as you care for. Spoon some of the sauce unto the top of the bun as condiment.
assemble

Chicken Broth – experiment #1

This isn’t a recipe as much as a recording of what I did, so that I may do it better in the future. Basic recipe taken from : http://chefmichaelsmith.com/Recipe/homemade-chicken-broth/

Notes for the next time I make this:

  • Don’t use red onions – it makes the broth a lot darker.
  • use a bit less water
  • Salt earlier.

Ingredients :
2 medium onions (unpeeled), cut into eights
2 carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
1 chicken carcass
a sprig or two fresh thyme
a tea spoon of peppercorns
some sea salt.

***

1. Put everything into the pot except the pepper corns.

2. Cover in water

3. Bring to a boil. A lot of scum will raise to the surface. Drop the heat to a simmer and skim the scum.

4. Simmer until it looks done. Add the peppercorns once the broth starts taking some color.

5. Strain and put into jars.