chutney season

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Today when I was taking down what was left of my tomato vines in the garden I had a bunch of green tomatoes left over, and I decided to make chutney.

Chutney is basically something that is semi-pickled that has a sweet and vinegary finish to it. In other words it’s spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar. Chutney has its origins in South Asia/India.

There are many recipes available that are easy to follow. I have been making chutneys much like fruit butters for years that I pretty much do it in my head.

This chutney consisted of eight medium and small sized green tomatoes small chopped / minced, two large apples peeled cored and minced, one chopped red onion, 1 cup golden raisins, 1 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon pickling spice, couple of dashes of ground allspice, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, two whole cinnamon sticks, some grated fresh ginger, a couple teaspoons of salt, three ribs minced celery, 2 cups of minced sweet orange peppers that I had gotten at the farmers market, one minced jalapeno pepper seeded, and one minced medium hot pepper that I grew in my garden.

Tossed everything into a pot gave it a stir and turned on the stove and brought up to a boil and then reduced the heat, covered and simmered for 50 minutes.

I then put the chutney into sterilized jars. I did not give them a hot water bath. When my jars have cooled I will refrigerate and they will last a few months in the refrigerator, but realistically will be gone by the end of the holiday season.

I like to serve chutney not only with main courses of poultry and pork, but with cheese and crackers as an appetizer. Green tomato chutneys are especially delicious with turkeys at Thanksgiving.

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grow your own salad

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I must admit I find it just as much fun now as I did when I was child to literally grow my own salad! My tomatoes are finally starting to come in properly. I had an issue with blossom end rot earlier in the season but corrected it with Epsom Salts. Some of the tomatoes pictured below have been turned into a delightful summer salad with cucumber, onion, fresh basil, and a simple vinaigrette.

The lettuce I bought in started packs a couple of weeks ago when my friend Sara and I made our last journey up to Black Creek Greenhouses in East Earl, PA. I plant my lettuce in pots and it’s a combination of arugula and romaine.

Thanks for stopping by!

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fast and fresh tomato sauce

Oh lordy I have so many tomatoes!  It’s “almost” pomodoro time – yep – simple and sweet.  And you slice the garlic, not chop.  Sautée some onions, add fresh herbs….it will be delicious…this is not quite a pomodoro and only “almost” because I have meat and do add a little tomato paste, but omit the meat and paste and it will be more traditional.

Simple, fast, fresh.

A few cloves of thin sliced garlic (today I used six)  

3 small onions sliced (3 little yellows from the farmers market in thin slices and then rings)

fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, divided

tomatoes (I have half a pint of yellow cherry tomatoes and a bunch of ripe red)

fresh mozzarella (bought this crazy amazing mozzarella from the Hamptons  home)

salt

pepper

fresh oregano

fresh parsley

4 sausage patties (Italian sweet – they were in the freezer – or you can omit meat altogether)

a small amount of dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted in white wine

hot pepper

smoked paprika

tomato paste

olive oil

pasta of choice

Brown the sausage.  Remove from pan, drain out on paper towels.

Toss a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in pan and cook garlic and onions.  Until sort of starting to caramelize (a golden brown color but not burnt).

Add the reconstituted mushrooms, juice and all.

Add the tomatoes. (which have been chopped, except for cherries, which were halved)

Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, a dash or two of hot pepper flakes and a dash of smoked paprika

Cook down a bit.  Add some paste.  The smallest can is 6 oz – use one of those if you use paste.  Add cooked and now crumbled sausage back to sauce.

Cook your pasta.

When you put pasta and sauce together add chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano) and diced up fresh mozzarella.

Serve with a nice bottle of wine if you so choose, some crusty bread and a simple salad of arugula and romaine.

Enjoy

kendall’s gazpacho…the secret is out

Once upon a time there was a rather cool woman who liked to travel.   While in Spain in the 1960’s she twisted the arm of the waiter at the Hoteles Melia in Cadiz, Spain to give her their top secret Gazpacho recipe.

This recipe has been treated like a state secret stolen by the CIA for decades.  But now, you lucky things, the recipe is out.

I made it just like I was instructed.  It is aging in the fridge for a future meal this weekend.  Let me tell you, it is the best Gazpacho I have ever had….and I can make good Gazpacho on my own.

Here mortals, take note:                                   

Gazpacho/Hoteles Melia – Cardiz, Spain

Serves 4 people

1 cucumber

3 cloves garlic

4 tomatoes (I used red and yellow tomatoes from Blueberry Hill Farms at the EGFM)

3 green bell peppers (yeah, o.k. well the green bell peppers I saw today at the grocery store looked like they walked from Mexico and I don’t mean that to be flattering so I used red and orange bell peppers…I forgot to see if there were any at the farmers’ market )

4 oz. bread soaked in wine vinegar (I figure they didn’t mean Wonder Bread in 1960’s Spain so I bought a 4 oz Portugese roll and tore it to shreds and got it drunk on wine vinegar)

1/2 wine glass of olive oil  My everyday wines are about 8 oz so I did about half a glass.

salt and pepper to taste

The instructions continue thusly: “Slaughter the vegtables in the food processor.  Mix everything together and refrigerate.  Serve cold.”

I accepted my stealth Gazpacho recipe assignment and completed it.

Best damn Gazpacho I have ever had.

If you tell anyone you have this recipe you will be in big trouble…I undoubtedly am for blogging it….if you use the recipe, please do not change it’s name….

This Gazpacho is apparently from what I have been able to research is a variation of classic Andalusian Gazpacho.