It's not that I don't want to update this blog. My camera has been driving me crazy. Now that the holidays are over, I vow to conquer this new camera. I am still unhappy with the quality of these pictures and hope I will improve over time. Back to the user manual, I go!
I love giving little food for Christmas. As every year, it is usually chutneys, munchies or cookies and cakes. I usually make apple and pear chutneys at the beginning of autumn and summer fruit chutneys in summer. But last year was a whirlwind. I actually didn't have the usual numbers of chutneys to give away. The apple chutneys I do have were probably just enough for family members. So I decided to make cranberry chutneys just for Christmas.
I made three different types - one was made Mestizaje red wine from Spain with the combination of Chinese spices - star anise, Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, clove, salt and palm sugar and honey. All the ingredients left simmering together until the cranberries begin to pop. The chutney is fragrant and tasted of golden caramel from the honey and palm sugar with a restraint heat from the Szechuan pepper. although they are called peppers - the Szechuan peppers actually came from blossoms instead of peppercorn. I love this served with roasted duck and lamb.
The second type was a combination of limoncello, juice and zest of satsuma and mandarins, sliced kumquat, black pepper, juniper berries, cinnamon, cardamom and fennel and brown sugar. This version is tartier but sweeter. This one goes with everything but is especially good with game.
The third one was the *halal* version - made with no alcohol. I used Jus de Raisin Gazeifie 2006 (essentially sparkly grape juice but ohh so yummy!) from the fabulous Paul Giraud (the cognac maestro). The spices for this chutney is fresh curry leaves, fresh green chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and garam masala. Instead of just combining everything together and leaving them to simmer - I fried all the spices together first and then added the cranberries and the jus de raisin and seasoned it with salt, black pepper and sugar. And then as with the other two, they are left to simmer for a while.
Chutneys usually taste better after a month and keep very well up to a year.