Posts Tagged ‘inkeeping specialists’

Kitchen Corner: Chutney – Making the most of the local harvest

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

#Kitchen Corner: Chutney – Making the most of the local harvest

 

By Carol Edmondson, Innkeeping Specialists, www.innseminars.com

Whatever fruit or nut crop is ripe in your area you can take advantage by creating a simple and delicious chutney that guests will love as an accompaniment to most any sweet or savory breakfast.  Chutney has been around for well over 100 years and is a sweet and savory preserve made from an open ended list of possible ingredients.  Follow today’s popular return to local ingredients and use what you grow or what you find in your urban or rural farmers market.  If you want to make a big batch go the market at the end of the day and buy very ripe or slightly bruised fruit at a great price.  The trip to the market is a great learning experience since farmers, fishermen and food people of all kinds know so much about their products.  If you live near a city market frequented by chefs, go very early in the morning and watch the pros make their wholesale purchases.  You’ll be amazed at who is there.

The following is a formula (and some suggestions for ingredients) for a perfectly delicious chutney.  Feel free to double or quadruple this recipe except for fresh herbs which should be increase only by half.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh fruit like apples, cranberries, peaches, pears, cherries, pineapple, apricots, grapes, bananas, dates, mangos.  If fruit is large, cut into ½ inch dice and remove seeds and pits.  Leave skins on all but the pineapple, bananas and mango
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or ½ cup agave, maple or brown rice syrup
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion minced
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Triple Sec or any cognac or brandy you like
  • ¼ cup apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon each, sea salt, nutmeg and ground cloves or coriander
  • Coarsely grated zest and juice from one orange or two limes
  • 1 tablespoon each fresh sage and rosemary minced fine or herbs of your choice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios

Preparation: Put all the ingredients into a large heavy non reactive sauce pan (stainless or porcelain coated pans work well)  You can mix two or three fruits though my favorites are single fruit chutneys.

Bring to a soft boil and immediately reduce the heat to medium/low.  Cook uncovered until the fruit is soft and the liquid begins to glisten from the natural pectins in the ingredients.  About 20-40 minutes depending on the fruit.  Cool in the pan and refrigerate covered.  Chutney will thicken as it cools.  Serve at room temp with breakfast.  Feature the local ingredients you use on your menu.

Some great flavor combinations:

  • Cranberry, walnut with Grand Marnier and fresh sage.
  • Pineapple, pistachios, cognac and fresh rosemary
  • Bananas, pecans, vanilla vodka and dried herbs de Provence

 

Carol Edmondson owned and operated an award winning 14 room B&B Inn on Cape Cod for 12 years. Carol and her husband Tom, a commercial real estate broker, formed Innkeeping Specialists in 1994. Their consulting partnership focuses on finding inns for clients and teaching their “Innkeeping from the Innside” seminar. Carol has developed and presented several PAII conference workshops, currently chairs the Cape Cod Bed & Breakfast Committee, and is a member of the PAII Advisory Board. She was formerly a marketing executive with a Fortune 500 high-tech firm and holds a degree in finance and marketing. Contact Carol via email at inninfo@yahoo.com or visit her website at www.innseminars.com.



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