Moroccan Parcels




My friend Andrew, made a Moroccan Filo Pie for Christmas dinner with his family. It was essentially a recipe for a vegetable nut roast with Moroccan flavourings.

I got a text from Andrew on Christmas Day to say they had made enough to feed 5000 and so I got lucky! His mum had an eureka moment and used up the left-over nut roast, by making pasties.

These were so yummy that I had mostly eaten mine by the time I thought to take a photo and Graham's pasty was long gone!

Moroccan Parcels

10 shallots
1 butternut squash
2 red peppers
1 medium aubergine
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5cm piece of ginger
400g can chickpeas, drained
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
125g peeled almonds, toasted
125g shelled pistachios
75g butter, melted
salt & pepper
1 pack of shortcrust pastry


Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180c/350f. Line baking trays with parchment.

Cut the shallots into wedges, deseed and dice the squash, cut the red peppers into strips and dice the aubergine. Mix together with the olive oil, spices and garlic, toss well, then place in the oven in a roasting tin for 20 mins.

Peel and finely dice the ginger and mix in a bowl with the chickpeas, chopped coriander, toasted almonds and pistachios. Stir this mixture into the roasted vegetables, season with salt & pepper.

Cut shortcrust pastry into squares, spoon a little filling onto one side and fold over into a triangle, seal with a little water or milk. Pierce a couple of slits in top, as air vents. Then brush the triangle with a little milk or beaten egg. Place the triangles onto baking trays and cook for about 30 minutes, until golden.

These would be gorgeous served hot with all the Christmas trimmings, but are equally delicious cold with some hot mango chutney.

Thanks Andrew and Andrew's mum!

What a great recipe for my 100th post!
18

Chocolate Milk with Pear & Ginger




I served this luxurious hot chocolate drink on Christmas morning. I felt it was a bit early to start on the fizz, but wanted to hand out something a little special that would perk us all up at such an early hour.

Chocolate works so well with pear. It almost tastes like a dessert and the ginger gives it a wonderful warmth. I used dark chocolate for this. So much nicer than cocoa for that real chocolate hit.

None of us drink coffee or tea, so this was a great choice and we'll definitely be having it again.

If you do need that caffeine hit, you could add a little coffee to this recipe.


Chocolate Milk with Pear & Ginger

Ingredients

200ml semi-skimmed milk (or coconut milk)
40g bar 70% dark chocolate
1 ripe pear
1/2 piece of crystallised stem ginger (I used, 1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger)


Method

  1. Break the chocolate into a small pan, add the milk and heat gently until the chocolate has melted.
  2. Peel and core the pear, then cut into quarters.
  3. Add the pear, chocolate milk and ginger to a blender. Whizz until smooth.
  4. You can drink this warm or cold.

Serves 2





Look at that. A lovely, velvet smooth hot chocolate drink, that tastes luxurious!

While we were enjoying our chocolate drinks, we were opening presents. Christmas music was playing in the background and my cat was having a great time playing with the wrapping paper.

What is it with cats and wrapping paper?





I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will try my wintry chocolate drink soon.


9

Merry Christmas




I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are!

Love
Jacqueline
xxx
9

White Chocolate Truffles with Peppermint


Winter wonderland on a plate!

These gorgeous little snowballs got the thumbs up from everyone. They didn't last 5 minutes!

They are so soft to bite into, through the powdery, white icing sugar. It's lovely when you discover a little bite of mint in among the sweet white chocolate!

I used Bassett's Mint Creams for these truffles.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

White Chocolate Truffles with Peppermint

Ingredients

125ml double cream (1 small pot)
150g white chocolate (1 large bar), broken into pieces
25g strong hard white peppermints (5 mint fondant creams)

Method

  1. Melt the cream and chocolate gently for 4-5 mins until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool.
  2. Whisk the cream mixture until thick and then put in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  3. Put the mints into a plastic bag and crush, using a rolling pin. Scatter pieces into the cream mixture. If the mixture is firm enough, roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls in some icing sugar. If a little soft, chill in fridge or freezer for a while before rolling.
  4. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Makes 20 truffles


13

Blueberry, Maple Syrup and Oat Smoothie


I dipped into the Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book again. I have made this one 3 times, so far!

Blueberry, Maple Syrup and Oat Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 an apple or 25ml fresh apple juice
a punnet of blueberries
2 dessertspoons of maple syrup
250ml of bio-yoghurt
a small handful of oats
pecan nuts to serve


Method

  1. Cut the apple into wedges and put them through the juicer. 
  2. Add the apple juice, blueberries and the maple syrup to the bender and whizz until smooth. 
  3. Add the yoghurt and oats and pulse twice. 
  4. Serve sprinkled with chopped pecan nuts.

One generous serving

Well I think there is enough for two, but maybe that's because I added a banana to the smoothie.


Innocent call this one a thickie, a breakfast thickie and indeed it is! The longer it sits, the thicker it becomes, probably because of the oats swelling up. It will last you right through until lunchtime!

I am buying lots of blueberries just now while they are half price and popping the whole punnets in the freezer. I was hoping to have a nice little stockpile for over the winter, but I just keep using them up. Blueberries are so delicious!
26

Red Pepper Hummus





























I switched over channels on TV, just in time to catch the lovely Nigella Lawson, making some scrumptious red pepper hummus for a party. It took her just a few minutes, so I thought that is the recipe for me and it seems it may just be the one for Charlotte over at the Great Big Vegetable Challenge. Charlotte has issued a challenge for some quick vegetable recipes in her Q for Quick Veg Quest!


Red Pepper Hummus

1 jar red peppers, drained
2 tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp soft cheese
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red chilli, deseeded
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
freshly ground black pepper


Whizz up all the ingredients and top with some reserved chickpeas and sprinkle with paprika.

Serve with fingers of carrot, cucumber, red pepper and tortilla chips

Makes lots!

Takes about 5 minutes!

I didn't take down the ingredients at the time, so the measurements may be different from Nigella's, but boy, is it good! Graham and his friend Paul have scoffed most of it already. Graham with tortilla chips and Paul with Chicken, so there, it is versatile too!
15

14 Days to Christmas

Here are some more ideas for Christmas gifts. It is nearly upon us!



















How about a duct tape wallet! I kid you not, these adorable wallets are made from duct tape! There are several designs to choose from. They are $22 each over at Adorkable Crafts .






















What about these cute nesting bird magnets. A snip at $7.50 over at Modishoppe.















Why not make some Summer Fruit Jam. Put it in a jar, add a pretty label and some ribbon. Voila, a homemade gift that is ready to give and it doesn't need to mature, like chutney. You can use frozen fruit for this jam, which makes it an affordable gift, made with love!
























How about a limited edition linocut print for £45, by our very own Celia Hart, over at Purple Podded Peas blog.


















Or a flip book of happiness. Simple animation at it's best and a great stocking filler. £3.95 from Muji.

I hope you have fun preparing for Christmas.

Disclosure: I did not recieve any of these products for review or recieve any payment. These are merely my suggestions.
6

Vanilla Bean Smoothie

I really need to perk myself up during the winter, so I have decided that my juicer needs a bit more action!

























Yoghurt, Vanilla Bean & Honey Smoothie

4 large apples
2 tsp honey
8 tbsp bio-yoghurt
1/2 vanilla pod


Cut the apple into wedges and put through a juicer. Put the apple juice, honey and yoghurt into a blender. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the blender and pulse twice. Don't overblend, as this makes the yoghurt thin down.

I like to grate some nutmeg over the top of the smoothie, but this is optional.

Serves 2

This recipe is from the Innocent Smoothie Recipe Book. I borrowed a copy from the library yesterday. There are so many yummy recipes to help top up your daily portions of fruit and veg.

I am looking forward to trying:

Chocolate Milk with Pear & Ginger
Mango & Basil
Strawberry, Meringue & Creme Fraiche (this one sounds really sinful!)
Ginger Beer & Mango
Blueberry, Maple Syrup & Oats (a breakfast smoothie)
Pineapple, Blueberry & Ginger


Fruit Heaven!

Disclosure Statement: I did not receive this book from the publisher to review, this is my own copy. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
11

Middle Eastern Stew


This Middle Eastern Stew of Chickpeas, Potatoes and Carrots is from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey.

A good friend of mine, very kindly, gave me a copy as a gift. It has been great bedtime reading so far, but it was time to try out some of the recipes and time to stop drooling over them.


Middle Eastern Stew

3/4 cup dried chickpeas, picked over, washed and drained (I used 1 can of chickpeas)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 lb potatoes, cut into chunks
(I used 3 medium potatoes)
1 medium carrot, cut into slices (I used 2 medium carrots)
4 canned plum tomatoes + 1 cup liquid from the can
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
(I used coriander for more flavour)

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water to cover by about 3 inches.

In a medium pot, bring the chickpeas and 2 1/2 cups of water to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the chickpeas are very tender.

Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir and fry until the onions are brown around the edges. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Put in the potatoes, carrot, chickpeas with their cooking liquid, tomatoes, tomato liquid, salt, thyme and 1/2 cup of water. If the tomatoes are very tart, add the sugar to taste. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook gently for 45 minutes. Sprinkle parsley over the top before serving. Serve hot.

Serves 4 - 6

I left it to the last minute to decide I was going to make this recipe. I didn't have time to soak the chickpeas, so I used a can of chickpeas instead. Therefor, I didn't have cooking liquid, so I just added a little extra water. It worked fine.

This was a lovely stew, I liked the fact that the carrots and potatoes were in large chunks and the chickpeas held their shape. I only cooked the stew for about 50 minutes and this worked because I used canned chickpeas. I think I would like to add a little turmeric and chilli powder next time, to spice it up a little, but I will definitely make it again!
14

Vegetable Soup to Warm the Old Cockles



This is a great winter soup, I make it thick, so it is more like a vegetable stew. It's is lovely with a chunk of crusty, buttered bread!

Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

I onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
2 leeks, sliced,
1 turnip, chopped
2 pints vegetable stock
fresh herbs
salt and pepper


Method

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until softened. 
  2. Add the chopped vegetables and cook on low for 10 minutes, stir frequently. 
  3. Add the vegetable stock and leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4-6

And it does warm the cockles of your heart! Especially if you sprinkle too much cayenne pepper on top!
10

30 Days to Christmas

I hope you didn't throw anything at the screen just then!
Maybe if I share some ideas with you you may relent!

Here are some of my ideas for Christmas presents:
























For something a bit special, how about a piece of wooden art. Hand cut, painted and collaged by the super talented Gypsy and Twink.

























This one is for the cooks among us, Mrs Beeton's Board Game.


























I thought you might like these knitted cake tree decorations. Great if you are cutting down on calories!




Or how about a limited edition piece of artwork by Christopher Wright.



















Then, there are these gorgeous Japanese fabric, covered bookmarks. Perfect for a stocking filler. Such a bargain price too!



















Last, but not least, why not add that personal touch by making some of Nigella Lawson's Chocolate and Pistachio Fudge.

Hope you are all organised for Christmas! I am slowly getting there.

I wonder if I could bribe someone to do all the wrapping for me?
15

Hot Mango Chutney

 

I'm busy jarring up more preserves! This time it is a Hot Mango Chutney. This chutney, like most, is supposed to improve with age, but I have tasted it and it is absolutely gorgeous! It isn't too hot, but that could be adjusted easily.


Hot Mango Chutney

Ingredients

2 large mangoes, peeled stoned and chopped into chunks
2cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 small red or green chillies, seeded and chopped, leave the seeds in for more heat
175g/6oz onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
450g/1 lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
600ml/1 pint white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
225g/8oz demerara sugar
225g/8oz granulated sugar






Method

Put all the ingredients except the sugars in a preserving pan or a large heavy-based saucepan. bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until the fruit is beginning to soften.

Add the sugars and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.

Cool the chutney slightly, then spoon into jars, cover and seal.

Makes 3lbs
(I managed to fill 4 jars, as you can see from the photo!)




I got this recipe from Good Housekeeping: Preserves by Joanna Farrow. This has been the one preserve book that I keep going back to and I had a huge pile of them from the library! I bought a cheap book on preserving, but honestly, I wish I had paid that bit extra and bought this one. The even more annoying thing is that it is now 1/2 price on Amazon! But I am not going to give in buy it, I shall just copy down the recipes I want and keep my pennies for Christmas!
16

Pimp My Potato




Charlotte over at The Great Big Vegetable Challenge has challenge me to take part in a baked spud match!

Charlotte, her son Freddie and daughter Alexandra have reached the letter P in their journey around the alphabet of vegetables. They are about to wave tattie bye to the common potato. So here we go with my entry!

Pesto Power
on a Potato!




I sauteed a handful of mushrooms in some olive oil, with a little garlic and seasoned the mushrooms well. I stirred in a few spoonfuls of pesto, a glug of double cream and a handful of torn basil leaves. And hey presto or should that be pesto, a creamy green sauce that is utterly delicous!

It got the thumbs up from Graham, hope it get's the thumbs up from you too!
15

Fake Mini Cheesecakes


This is more of a serving suggestion than a recipe!

I went downstairs, to have a break, I was catching up on my mail and there was Graham making himself a snack of hovis bicuits with soft cheese. I had an eureka moment, although, I will be the first to admit, not much of one! I thought, my summer fruit jam would be lovely on top of those digestive biscuits and cream cheese. Voila, instant mini cheesecakes!

I only managed two!
14

Sunday Morning Muffins



I had a bit of a long lie this morning, really needed it, but I couldn't lie all day, because we had plans. I decided, while I am still in my muffin mood to made some double chocolate muffins. They would surely set us up for the day!

I got the recipe over at Little Bird Eats . A lovely chocolate pick-me-up! I tried one tonight, heated up with a little custard, boy oh boy, that was even better! Yum!

16

Summer Fruit Jam



This is such a quick and easy jam to make and it can be made out of season too. Just substitute the fresh fruit with frozen. It has a fabulous flavour either way! The fruit I used this time was frozen. The fresh berries are past their best now.

Summer Fruit Jam

Ingredients

400g sugar
400g summer fruit (a mixture of berries)
juice and rind of 1 lemon


Method


  1. Place the sugar in a heatproof bowl and pop in a moderate oven for 10 minutes to heat up. 
  2. Put a saucer in the freezer to test the jam. 
  3. Place the fruit in a saucepan with the lemon juice and rind and heat up. Simmer for 3 minutes and crush most of the fruit with a potato masher. Add the warm sugar, stir to dissolve and bring to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes over a high heat, stirring regularly. 
  4. To test, put a spoonful on your cold plate, leave to sit for a few seonds and then push finger through the jam, if it wrinkles , it's ready. 
  5. Remove from heat and pour into sterilised jam jars. The jam will set as it cools.

Makes 2 x 400g jars of jam



Don't do what I did and have the bright idea of popping the sugar in the microwave, until you smell something burning and realise that your plastic bowl has started turning to goop on the base! Hmmmm!
16

Mum's Fruit Loaf





























A few of you mentioned comfort food when we were talking about Autumn. Well, this is the ultimate comfort food for me, my mum's fruit loaf! It is a double whammy, first you have the smell of spices drifting around the house and then out comes a gorgeous cake filled with fruit and tasting of cinnamon and ginger. Mmmmm!

Mum's Fruit Loaf

1/2 block of butter
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup sultanas
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self raising flour
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 150c, 300f, Gas Mark 2.

Add the butter, water, sultanas, sugar and spice to a pan and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool.

Once cool add the flour, baking soda and egg and mix well.

Pour into a prepared loaf tin (I buy greaseproof inserts for mine) and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Insert a skewer, if it comes out clean, it is ready.





























The first bite is the best. Still warm and smothered with butter!

My mum has made this loaf for as long as I can remember. She has the recipe scribbled into the margin of a cookbook, under the title: Australian Fruit Loaf. Her favourite cook books are filled with newspaper and magazine cuttings and with notes and recipes scribbled in with a pencil. I am not bold enough to write on the pages of a cookbook. I don't know if this is a healthy respect for books or if I am just not brave enough to put my thoughts into them!

Wendy over at A Wee Bit of Cooking made my mum's loaf for a cake stall at the Highland Games in June, but I am sure she won't mind if I share it again!

ps Wendy, I had some of your Membrillo Paste on oatcakes with cheese last night and it was gorgeous! I especially liked it with white stilton with apricots, it worked really well!
23

What do you love about Autumn?



So what do you love about Autumn?

Well, soup making and walking in the crisp air came tops in my poll, with 9 points each.

What I love the most about Autumn, is crunching through leaves on a crisp, cold day and then going home to a mug of really dark, hot chocolate!
















I don't have any autumnal photos to show you, as my garden isn't very sure if it is Autumn yet!
10

Pumpkin Fondue


Hallowe'en is nearly upon us again. I decided to try and make something other than pumpkin soup with my pumpkin this year, so here goes!


Pumpkin Fondue

Ingredients

1 large pumpkin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
250g Emmenthal cheese, grated
250g Gruyere cheese, grated
200ml cider (or white wine)
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with a little water
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Method


Slice a lid of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Cut out the flesh until you are left with a 2cm wall.

Brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the leeks and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and dill and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the grated cheese, cider (or wine) and the cornflour paste. Season with salt and pepper and some grated nutmeg. Heat gently, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted into a smooth sauce.

Pour the fondue into the baked pumpkin. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Get dunking!

This is real oozy stuff! It tastes great and the roasted pumpkin imparts a lot of flavour, but is definitely party fodder. You couldn't eat too much of this on your own, it is very rich! Graham gave it his best shot though!
















Happy Hallowe'en!
30

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge and Cardboard Box Love


I dipped into Nigella Express again for this one! Great for a chocolate fix and good to share (if you can bear to)!

Chocolate Pistachio Fudge

350g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped
1 x 397g can condensed milk
30g butter
pinch salt
150g pistachios


1 Put the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt in a heavy-based pan on a low heat, and stir to melt.
2 Put the nuts in a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin, until broken up into both big and little pieces.
3 Add the nuts to the melted chocolate and condensed milk and stir well to mix.
4 Pour and spatch this mixture into a foil tray 23cm square, smoothing the top.
5 let the fudge cool, and refrigerate until set. You can then cut it into small pieces.
6 Once cut, it can be kept in the freezer - no need to thaw just eat straight away.

Makes 64 pieces (approx.)

I just put the fudge in the fridge, but Nigella says it will turn more grainy if you put it in the freezer!

And now to my cat, Beaker!

There is much excitement in this house if a parcel arrives and it is packaged in a cardboard box. Beaker waits, (I use this term loosely) while you unpack the box, so that he can get in it! I think it must be a comfort thing! He was a rescue cat and they had a cardboard box in his pen, when we got him.


Unfortunately this box was a little small for him, but he will try to squeeze himself in anyway, failing that he will just put his front paws in! Bless!
25

A Good Day

I have had a good day today! Although I am still poorly with a chest infection, I still had a great day!

My mum came over to visit me, to see how I was doing! It was lovely to spend the day with her! We had a tasty mushroom and homegrown tomato omelette for lunch and then she sampled one of my pear and ginger muffins with her tea. We chatted all day long and before she left, she got stuck into my ironing pile for me (she can't sit still for long), thanks mum!

I also had some exciting mail today, a new quilt set for our bedroom, a new turkish rug (it may not be Turkish as it is from Next, but it looks great all the same) and a little parcel of quince paste from Wendy at A Wee Bit of Cooking. I jokingly asked her if she had any left and she sent me some. How brilliant is that?

So on to the point of my ramble! I had a visit to my friend Val's blog and there was an intriguing post about a spa couch potato trip she is going on, (I definitely want to know more about that) and then she finished off her post with a medal ceremony, where she awarded me a Nice Matters Award!

And so it does!

So I would like to pass the award on to a few of my good blogging friends, who I am lucky enough to receive emails from as well as great posts!

Val - More Than Burnt Toast (Right back at you Val!)
Lisa - Lisa's Kitchen (My best buddy)
Wendy - A Wee Bit of Cooking
David - Hobbits Abroad
Jen - Little Bird Eats

:)

I am off to cuddle a cat and read a recipe book now!

A super-duper day!
15

Pear and Ginger Muffins


These muffins are dedicated to Joanna at Joanna's Food, who is debating which type of bakeware to buy! She is replacing her whole set! I personally rub my hands in glee at the thought of all that kitchenware shopping! Just don't let me see the bill!

Anyway back to my original point! These moist muffins were baked in my new Jamie Oliver Advanced Silicone Muffin Moulds by Tefal. I was a bit nervous, using them the first time, but they were great. It isn't just hype, this whole silicone debate, the muffins popped out of the moulds very easily! So I would wholeheartedly recommend silicone muffin trays Joanna! I bought mine at Lakeland.

So on with the recipe! I got this recipe from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson.

Pear and Ginger Muffins

Ingredients

250g/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g/1 cup caster sugar
75g/1/2 cup light brown sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp sour cream
125ml/1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
2 eggs
2 medium pears (roughly 300g), peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks


Method


1 Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas mark 7, If you are not using a silicone tray, line your 12 bun muffin tray with muffin cases.
2 Measure into a bowl the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, brown sugar and ground ginger.
3 In a large jug, whisk together the sour cream, oil honey and eggs and then fold into the dry ingredients.
4 Lastly, mix in the diced pear and divide the batter evenly between the muffin cases.
5 Sprinkle each one with 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove to a cooling rack.

Best eaten still a little warm.

Makes 12

I ladled out the ingredients using my cup measures, hope that helps!






Nigella suggests that when they are cold, these muffins are delicious eaten with a hard sharp cheddar, crumbly Caerphilly or a pungent blue cheese. I think that is a jolly good idea!

There were lots of great recipes in this book, all beautifully illustrated by the most gorgeous full-page photographs. I will be writing down a lot of recipes from this book, before I return it to the library!
29

Apple and Red Onion Chutney



A friend from work, Margaret, gave me a wonderful gift! A bag of windfall apples from her garden. So, I decided to make some Apple and Red Onion Chutney as my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is hosted this week by Pille at Nami-Nami.

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Good Housekeeping book on Preserves by Joanna Farrow. It is my first trip into chutneys, so I decided to go for a Simple Apple Chutney. I replaced the white onions with red onions and added 1/2 teaspoon of toasted crushed cumin seeds.

 

I had a little browse around for information on onions and apparently they belong to the lily family of plants. That was news to me! I just had to use red onions, they are just so  pretty!

 

 

Apple and Red Onion Chutney

Ingredients

700g (1 1/2 lbs) 6 cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
700g (1 1.2 lbs) 6 medium red onions, skinned and chopped
225g (8 oz) 2 cups seedless raisins (or sultanas)
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
350g (12 oz) 1 1/2 cups demerara sugar
300ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups malt vinegar
1/2 tsp toasted, crushed, cumin seeds


Method


Put the apples, onions, sultanas, lemon rind and juice, sugar, vinegar and cumin in a preserving pan or large heavy-based saucepan.

Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and pulpy, with no excess liquid. You should be able to draw your spoon across the base of the pan and leave a channel behind!

 

Spoon the chutney into clean, dry warmed jars and seal with a plastic coated metal lid. ( I put my jars through a dishwasher cycle to sterilise them, although apparently, you don't need to be as careful with chutney, because of the protection the vinegar gives it. But, just as well to be safe as sorry, I say!)

Makes 4 lb (fills 4 x 1 lb (545g) jam jars, with a spoonful left over to take a photo of!)

 

This chutney will last for up to one year stored in a cold, dark cupboard. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 3 -4 weeks.

I decided to make my own labels, there is just not enough room to write everything on the small labels I bought with the jam jars!

Hope this is good! It certainly looks and smells tasty. That is the only trouble with chutney, isn't it, the long 6 week wait until it matures. I am really an instant kinda gal, very impatient!



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