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Curried Nectarine and Tomato Chutney

14 Jul

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Yesterday, me and mom had a bit of a cheat day and instead of making dinner we got a hot roast chicken from the supermarket and and tucked into that for dinner instead with a crunchy fresh salad and wraps. It was delicious and so easy but today we had leftover chicken and and I had to think up a way to make it a bit more exciting for the second day.

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I love sweet, spicy flavors with chicken so I threw together this simple chutney, it is the perfect balance between sweet and savory and it has a subtle kick from the vinegar and the curry powder. It can be made in about 15mins which is very handy. I used it with my chicken but it would also be great on a sandwich with tangy mature cheddar or even served with some roast veggies. This could also be made with peaches.

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Curried Nectarine and Tomato Chutney

2 medium nectarines, diced

10-15 ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2tbsp soft dark brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped

3/4tsp medium curry powder

2tbsp raisins

  • Put all the ingredients in a small pot and place over a medium/high heat. Cook stirring regularly until it begins to bubble.
  • Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook the chutney with a lid on for about 10mins, checking and stirring regularly until its thickened and the nectarine is softened.
  • Serve in a pretty bowl and watch it disappear. ­čśÇ

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Christmas Mincemeat

15 Oct

I know some of you are just going to look at this in horror because to many of you Christmas shouldn’t be mentioned at all until at least December, but mincemeat and┬áChristmas┬ácake are the exceptions because they need time to mature and develop their flavors so that by the time Christmas comes around you can: 1. Focus on the Christmas dinner instead of the sweet treats and 2. Have desserts packed with flavor and depth. This mincemeat has fresh/frozen cranberries through it which I think gives it an amazing pop of scarlet color but feel free to leave them out. This is quite a traditional mincemeat and should be left to mature for at least a fortnight or can be stored in an sealed jar for up to six months. P.S. Be prepared to be blown away by the magical Christmas aromas that will waft through your kitchen when you make this! ­čśÇ

Christmas Mincemeat (Makes 4 jars)

500g mixed dried fruit e.g. raisins, sultanas and currants

85g dried cranberries

140g dried apricots, diced

80g mixed peel

150ml brandy

zest and juice of 1 lemon

zest and juice of 1 orange

175g vegetable suet

100g fresh/frozen cranberries

200g soft dark brown sugar

2tsp ground cinnamon

3/4tsp ground nutmeg

  • Put the dried fruit, cranberries, apricots and mixed peel into a bowl then add the brandy and the zest and juice of the lemon and the orange. Give it a quick mix then cover with a tea towel and leave to soak over night.
  • Put the rest of the ingredients in a large saucepan and add the soaked fruit. Over a medium heat, cook the mincemeat until all the suet is melted.
  • Bring the mixture to a bubble and cook for a further 3-4mins.
  • Preheat your oven to 150┬║c/300┬║f and wash 4 jars in warm, soapy water and then put them in the oven for 10mins to sterilise.
  • While the mincemeat is still hot put it in the hot jars, screw the lids on and turn unside down while cooling to seal the jars.
  • Now store in a cool, dry cupboard to up to 6 months. And have fun licking the pot clean, mine was delicious!

 

Luscious Blackberry and Apple Jam

17 Sep

This year the blackberry crop was surprisingly good, as a result I had about 5kg of blackberries in the freezer waiting to be gobbled up in any sort of delicious dessert… But there is only so many blackberry desserts that one can cope with so I decided to chance making blackberry and apple jam.

That way I would be able to enjoy the benefits of my crop well into the winter months, slathered on thick toast or  swirled through steaming hot porridge. In my opinion there was no better solution. This jam has a wonderful flavor and because it is sieved, there are no nasty seeds. ( Not so attractive when they get unknowingly stuck between your teeth!)

Luscious Blackberry and Apple Jam (Makes 8 jars)

2kg blackberries

500g tart apple (Such as Granny Smith or Brambley),peeled, cored and roughly diced

150ml water

juice of 1 lemon

4 whole cloves

700g-1kg granulated sugar

  • In a large heavy-based sauce pan, put your blackberries, apples, water, lemon juice and cloves and bring to the boil over a high heat, stirring regularly( If you can manage to stir it, my arm was ready to fall off by the end!)
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20mins until all the fruit is very soft. Sieve the fruit into a clean pan, discard the leftover seeds and cloves.
  • Add sugar to taste, stir to incorporate and simmer for a further 20mins. To check if the jam is ready, put a plate in the freezer for 2mins, take it out and put a spoon of jam on it. Put the plate in the fridge and leave it for another 2mins. When you take it out run your finger through it and it should stay┬áseparated. If this doesn’t happen, simmer for a further 5mins and repeat until ready.
  • Put the jam in┬ásterilized┬ájars (See note), Screw the lids on tightly then turn the jars upside down until cool to seal.

Note: To sterilize the jars, wash in hot soapy water then put in an oven preheated to 150ºc/300ºf and bake for 10mins.

Red Pepper Chutney

5 Aug

This is my second try at making a chutney( after my complete disaster the first time!) I found the recipe in one of my┬áfavorite Irish food magazines and although the recipe sounded pretty good I did┬átweak┬áthe flavors slightly to my liking. I was very nervous making it because my previous experience at chutney making was so bad but I wasted all that worry! This recipe is a bit time consuming( So don’t start it late at night like I did… Bad idea!) but it was extremely straight forward and the end result is absolutely scrumptious!

This is definitely a multi tasker chutney. I have used it on loads of stuff from yummy homemade bread and some mature cheddar to a nice beefy burger. It is so versatile. I definitely recommend any first time chutney makers to try this and you won’t be┬ádisappointed. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave them down below. Happy chutney making! ­čśÇ

Red Pepper Chutney

60ml olive oil

225g onion, finely chopped

450g ripe red peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

1/2tsp salt

3/4tsp allspice, more or less depending on taste

1/2tsp nutmeg

450g tomatoes, chopped

125g raisins

2-3 garlic cloves, minced/ finely chopped

225g light brown sugar

150ml white wine vinegar

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a low heat. Fry the onions for 3-4mins until softened.
  • Mix in the peppers, salt allspice and nutmeg and cook for a further 6-8mins.
  • Add the tomatoes, raisins, garlic, sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for about 1hr 30mins or until thickened.
  • Pour into┬ásterilized┬ájars( see note below) when both the chutney and the jars are hot and leave to cool completely upside down to seal the jars. Then store in a cool, dry place or the fridge once opened.

Note: To sterilize the jars wash in hot, soapy water then dry in an oven preheated to 150ºc/ 300ºf for 10mins. Be careful as the glass of the jars can become extremely hot.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

24 Jul

Since rhubarb is in season at the moment and my mom is just mad about it I thought I would try out a jam recipe so we could enjoy it all year round. This recipe is amazing. It couldn’t be simpler and from the amount I made (about 15 jars) you would assume we have enough to last us for the year but at the rate we are eating it, it would be a miracle if it lasted a couple of months! This is evidence of how truly amazing it is. Don’t worry about being experienced in jam making, because I was a complete novice and it turned out perfect.

Rhubarb and Ginger Jam ( makes approx. 3 jars)

8cups/950g rhubarb

2 1/4cups caster/jam sugar

1/3cup grated root ginger

1 1/2tsp vanilla extract

  • Peel, wash and chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch chunks roughly and peel and grate the root ginger.
  • Combine the rhubarb, ginger, sugar and vanilla in a large non reactive pot and place over a high heat until simmering, stirring continuously.
  • Turn down to a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 20-25mins until the rhubarb has broken down and the mixture has thickened. To be sure it is ready, check with a instant thermometer if the jam is at 107┬░c┬á or do the cold plate test. Put a plate in the freezer for 2-3mins the take it out and put a spoonful of the jam on it. Put it in the fridge for 1-2mins and when you take it out it should be set and wrinkle to the touch. This means its done.
  • While the jam is still hot put it in┬ásterilized┬ájars( See Note), put the lids on and turn them upside down.Leave the jars to cool upside down, this seals the jars. They will keep for up to a year.

Note: To sterilize jars wash them in hot soapy water the put them in an oven preheated to 150°c for 10mins. Be extremely careful as the jars are very hot. Also make sure to ut the jam in the jars while both the jam and the jars are hot.

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