Category Archives: Mistltoe and Wine

Mistletoe and Wine…Christmas Chutneys 2020…

 

In the run-up to Christmas, you will find everything on my blog over the next few weeks that you need to make… today it’s chutney recipes or relish as it is often named...We love chutneys in this house and like pickles, they add a touch of zing to the plate I also make chutney out of many fruits and vegetables…Fruit or vegetables it gets made into a chutney.

But what is Chutney?…it is a gluten-free, spicy or savoury condiment which originated in India. Made from fruit or vegetables and/or herbs and spices cooked with sugar and vinegar.

It compliments many dishes and provides balance or it can highlight a specific flavour in other words chutney is anything preserved in sugar and vinegar regardless of it texture, ingredients or consistency.

It is an integral part of Indian Cuisine and can be served with Basmati Rice, with curries or with bread like naan or Dosa.

Elsewhere in the world like Britain where I come from it compliments roasted meats i.e Onion Chutney or a fruity chutney pairs well with creamy cheeses like Brie or goats cheese…with a hard English Cheddar it compliments a Ploughman’s platter…

A Ploughman’s lunch, British cold meal, typically served in pubs, consisting of bread, cheese, and assorted accompaniments. It supposedly resembles what a ploughman might have eaten on a midday break in the fields.

Star Fruit Chutney/Relish:

Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.

The entire fruit is edible it has firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape. There are two main types of star fruit the smaller fruit is sour(tart) and the larger fruit like I have in my garden is sweeter. But although sweet they very rarely have more than a 4% sugar content.

Here in Thailand they are cooked with shrimp or chicken or eaten raw dipped into the sugar/chilli mix which is commonly eaten with fruit here or just eaten with rock salt. It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks, stewed with cloves or apples.

star-fruit-carambola-sectioned

They are also used as a pretty garnish or in a salad with papaya and pineapple.

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s Cook!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.

Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.

Chilli? well, I couldn’t do a post without using chilli or three and they are red…

Chilli and Tomato Chutney is a wonderful thing.

This lovely vibrant chilli and tomato chutney gets hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…it is lovely on your BBQ prawns.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
  • 4 large red chilli..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chillies.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
  • An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 300 gm of sugar golden or brown.
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce.

Let’s Cook!

Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chilli and ginger.

Blitz…I love that word…

Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.

Pour into warm sterilised jars with secure lids.

I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.

tomato-chutney

This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They usually return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol

Enjoy!

Mango Chutney.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Green under-ripe Mangoes.
  • 3cm Fresh ginger finely diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic finely diced.
  • 500 gm sugar.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli.
  • 1tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 cardamom plus 4 cardamom seeds.
  • 7cm cinnamon stick.
  • 5 whole cloves.
  • 250 ml vinegar I use Apple cider but have used white vinegar and malt.
  • 5 black peppercorns crushed.

Let’s Cook:

Peel mangoes and cut in small strips.

Place mangoes in a large pot then crush diced ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar and stir into the mangoes.

Stir in sugar,salt,chilli,cumin,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves.Stir to blend. Cover and leave overnight at room temp. N.B. We are prone to ants here so put water into a shallow tray and put the bowl in the centre the ants won’t swim the moat..haha

Next day place mangoes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken about 30-45 mins. Stir in vinegar and crushed peppercorns and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Put into warm sterilised jars. Once cooled I keep in the fridge where if you live in cooler climes a cool larder will be fine. This makes 3 medium-sized jars.

SAM_7128

Enjoy!  It goes well with my Indian curry recipes.

Beetroot Chutney…

I have always loved beetroot but it has only been since living here that I have used beetroot in different ways…I had only ever eaten it pickled with a salad…

Beetroot grows here which is good it seems that only the root vegetables that need a frost or cooler climate which don’t, Beetroot is also very healthy and my new favourite smoothie is Beetroot and Orange…

Red Beetroot with leaves and one cut beet

A little about the beetroot before I get to the recipe…Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, some of which have medicinal properties. They are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals…

Beets have high water and low-calorie content. Both of these properties are beneficial for weight loss. I wonder if drinking the juice is what has helped kickstart my weight loss now I am drinking it regularly…

What’s more, they are delicious and easy to add to your diet.

I first made this when we lived in Phuket …I had a request from one of our customers who was an Australian who loved beets and I discovered that Aussies even have beetroot in their burgers…I mean I love beetroot but in a burger but customers come first so my first foray into beetroot chutney was born and it was a hit and from that day forward on the menu at Sugar Reef…

Homemade beetroot chutney

Beetroot Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5k Beetroot.
  • 3 Brown Onions.
  • 3 Apples (Granny Smiths)
  • 450ml Balsamic vinegar.
  • 80ml Fresh Orange Juice.
  • 350gm raw sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves.
  • 2 large sprigs Rosemary.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to 200c. Wrap beetroot in foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Chop Onions and Apples finely, chop cooled Beetroot and put in a large pan.

Add remainder of ingredients except for the Rosemary.

Stir until the sugar dissolves, add the Rosemary, reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hr or until mixture thickens slightly. When ready, remove Rosemary and spoon into sterilised Jars.

Store in a cool, dark place and once open refrigerate…Can be added to your burger or eaten with cold meats…

Onion Chutney…

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3lb cooking Onions
  • 10 oz dark brown sugar
  • 7 fl oz malt vinegar
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • pinch each – salt, paprika
  • 1 small chilli

Let’s Cook!

Peel and slice onions very thinly. Heat oil in a large pan and very gently soften the onions, don’t
let them brown.

 

Add 3tbsp of the sugar and turn up the heat to colour the onions.

 

Add rest of sugar and remain ingredients,
simmer for 15 mins to reduce and the mixture turns a thick, dark caramel colour.

 

Spoon into jars ( about 3 one-pound jars ), and leave for at least a  month before you dig in.

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

I would also ask that when you are shopping for presents, food, and decorations that you think about its origin and how it was produced…carbon footprint, child labour…Please think about the packaging can it be recycled or reused…Do you really need it? Every little helps…x

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…15th November-21st November…Recipes, Health, Whimsy and Christmas music…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read…X

My week started with Mistletoe and Wine…Christmas Pickles…

I love pickles and I pickle almost everything my next project is to pickle some pears…Pickling is an ideal way to preserve anything where you have a lot of them as in fruits/vegetables in season or maybe you have seen a bargain and can’t resist the buy…Time to get pickling…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/17/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-pickles-2020/

Tuesday was also Homemade Bread Day…

There is nothing like a slice of freshly made bread both the smell as it wafts through the house and the taste…Delicious…we are becoming a nation of bakers again a plus side to Covid-19.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/17/homemade-bread-day-november-17th-2020/

Wednesday it was the next episode of my Culinary Alphabet with a twist where the letter of the alphabet is the last letter rather than the first which has made it a tad more difficult but most enjoyable…

As you can see I combined J and K together as finding something /anything ending in J which you can eat or drink or which was a culinary term was a challenge I only found 2…I challenge all of you to find me another one…K was far easier…Enjoy!

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/18/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twist-tej/

Thursday I introduced you to some Alternative Healing Remedies courtesy of Sally from Smorgasbord Magazine…

Health Column

A qualified practitioner for many years Sally Cronin comes highly recommended…This week she discussed back pain the curse of many…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/11/16/smorgasbord-health-column-alternative-healing-therapies-the-alexander-technique-part-one-backpain-flexibility-headaches-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday…Pears…

A beautiful fruit which is in season now and is actually better for you than an Apple…I love pears but haven’t cooked as much as I could with them and have discovered some great sounding recipes which I am going to have to try…including Pickled Pears..no surprise there then …lol

Pear chutney and some delicious sounding cakes and bread which have pears in the ingredients…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/20/fruity-friday-pears/

Saturday Snippets…

Saturday Snippets is where anything goes wherever my thoughts take me…If you were wondering why the image of a funeral cart in my header picture it was because we attended the Buddist Funeral of a dear neighbour…where you go to celebrate a life well lived and make merit…when we are alive by our actions, thoughts and deeds we make our own merit as a deceased person we were there to make merit for them as were the monks so that they can pass freely into heaven…

This merit-making took place over 3 days last week the first 2 days were making merit and the third day was the cremation…The loveliest gesture for us was how welcome we were made and also time was taken to explain to us what was occurring…on the final day our friend’s granddaughter made the eulogy and her brother became a monk for the day to make merit for his grandfather which meant he had to shave his head and eyebrows the whole preparation…don the robes and participate as a monk would…

Although I speak and understand a little Thai to follow a speech is beyond me ..the loveliest thing she did which made me shed a happy tear is after each section she spoke in Thai and then she repeated that section in English …How lovely was that of her…? This meant that we could also learn more about this lovely gentle man and his life.

Finally, the body is then laid on that cart and a procession takes him to his final earthly ending…

I was struck by how loving and how papa, as we called him, was accompanied every step of the way on his final journey it was absolutely beautiful…Tissue time xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/11/21/saturday-snippets-21st-november-2020/

Have a wonderful Sunday..please be well and stay safe…If you are making Christmas pudding or cakes make a wish and stir the right way xxx

That’s all for this week’s roundup … fewer posts have made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are facing new lockdowns…Please stay safe and wear your mask and practise social distancing or this virus will not go away…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe xxx

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and well being.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx