Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Last Thanksgiving Update I Promise

I forgot to tell you about the one successful food item I fixed for Thanksgiving that was met with the opposite reaction to the first three. I got a recipe for cranberry chutney and whipped up a batch that went better than the unpalatable-to-some foods I was serving with it.  In fact everyone loved it just as a substitute for the regular cranberry sauce. I still have some left and the flavors get more mixed and become more subtly complementary to each other every day. Now, with all the other food gone, just a smear of cream cheese and a small spoonful of chutney on a cracker makes a filling and delicious snack.

As you may not know, Chutney is a "family of condiments associated with South Asian cuisine" -- that pretty much means Britain's former Empire, The British Raj in India, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangla Desh.

We had chutney for the first time we went to London back in the 80s and loved it. After fighting to a few armed standoffs with Spotted Dick, Toad in the Hole, and that Scottish delight, Haggis, we started eating exclusively in Indian restaurants. Fortunately a century of British colonialism had resulted in a large number of immigrants from South Asia living in London, and it seemed like all of them had started restaurants. Almost all of those restaurants we ate in were very good, and they had plenty of chutney in a wide variety of flavors. It goes with anything, and the spices in it add an extra taste dimension to pretty much any "regular" food you garnish it with.

And it's really easy to make. See the recipe. The only thing I'd do differently next time would be to reduce the sugar by about one-third, and maybe add some chopped walnuts to it. But Chutney is one of those things you can add a multitude of ingredients to and it will still be chutney and it will still be good.