Habeas Brulee » Sauces and Condiments http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Sichuan Chili Oil, and variety of cold-chicken-based lunches http://habeasbrulee.com/2012/12/12/a-variety-of-cold-chicken-based-summer-lunches/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2012/12/12/a-variety-of-cold-chicken-based-summer-lunches/#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2012 15:30:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=680

I was a major chicken salad kick this past summer, sort of. I mean, I hate mayonnaise, so my definition of chicken salad is more ‘shredded cold chicken with a bunch of really flavorful stuff mixed in’. But that works great for me!

Basically, I cook some chicken breasts on the bone, let them cool, then shred the meat. Stir in some set of add-ins, separate into pint containers for lunches for the rest of the week. I’m a protein junky, so this is basically exactly what I need when I find myself crashing in the middle of the day. Sure, technically there’s a microwave at the office, but it’s summer! I can’t possibly deal with that during the hot months.

Here are the best of the non-mayo chicken salad variations I made and ate over the summer:

- almond butter, fresh turmeric, lime juice, scallions, celery, toasted cashews

- Sichuan chili oil (recipe below), mint, fried shallots, toasted cashews, and fresh cucumber in a side tupper

- Sichuan chili oil (recipe below), kohlrabi, parsley, fried young garlic, toasted sliced almonds

- red onion, parsley, toasted walnuts, Spanish paprika, scallions, roasted red bell peppers, walnut oil, sherry vinegar

- fried summer squash (zucchini and pattypan) in lots of olive oil, fried young garlic, toasted partially smashed up hazelnuts, lots of black pepper

(Photo credit to my Mom, who recently got back from a vacation where she saw a lot of chickens running around on the beach.)

Sichuan Chili Oil
(from Fuschia Dunlop’s Land of Plenty)

1/2 C chile flakes (I generally use a combination of coarse Korean chili flakes and crushed facing heaven chiles, but you can use any kind you like, at whatever heat level you like)
2 C neutral oil (I use safflower oil, usually)


1. Put the chile flakes into a glass jar.

2. Heat the oil on the stove until it hits 225-250 F. (If you go over, just let it cool down to that range, no big deal.)

3. Pour it over the chile flakes and stir once or twice.

That’s it. It keeps basically forever, and tastes amazing on everything.

I store mine in the fridge, because I worry whenever vegetable matter is introduced into an anaerobic environment.

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Banana Guacamole http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/18/banana-guacamole/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/05/18/banana-guacamole/#comments Tue, 18 May 2010 21:42:26 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=284

I really need to pick up my own copy of Eat Me by Kenny Shopsin of Shopsin’s (read the background story here). I read a friend’s copy, and absolutely loved Kenny’s explanation of how he deconstructs dishes and puts them together in unexpected but perfectly reasonable (once he explains them to you, that is) permutations. It actually reminded me a lot of this conversation from Off the Bone about alienating falafel from its Middle Eastern context and thinking of it as a savory herb and chickpea fritter instead.

And if that weren’t enough, here you can find a post with a link to an mp3 of a cute little girl reading the full list of pancakes on the Shopsin’s insanely long menu.

This dish is based on the bit in the book where Kenny mentions that he started making banana guacamole when he realized that green bananas are much like avocados, really. His recipe? Pick your favorite guacamole recipe, and use bananas instead of avocados. That’s it.

So, that’s what we did. We put together a guacamole recipe that we liked, and used ripe bananas instead of green ones to create a dip that’s something between guacamole and banana ketchup. If you have your own guacamole recipe, or want to cut down on the sweetness and use green bananas instead, give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Honestly, I don’t really tend to like the food at Shopsin’s. I want to, because it’s brilliant and charming and they used to have a copy of Pynchon’s Gravity Rainbow in the windowsill to read while waiting for your order, but it never really worked for me. The stories and ideas, however, really do.

In other news, I finally put together a site that consolidates all my various writings, galleries, arts, and activities. It’s up here. Which means that I’ll finally keep Habeas to food alone, and put my glasswork and beekeeping stories &c over there instead.

(Yeah, did I mention that I’m a beekeeper now? I have bees!)

2008: Ramp Udon Soup with Bacon Consommé and Asparagus Tempura
2007: Banana Rum Ketchup
2006: Ramp Butter

Banana Guacamole
4 ripe bananas
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 small hot pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced (or to taste)
2 tbsp red palm oil
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
juice of 2 limes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mash the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle. Adjust seasonings to taste.

You could blend them instead if you prefer, but using the cruder tools gives you a chunkier, more satisfying texture.

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Pecan Mole http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/08/11/pecan-mole/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/08/11/pecan-mole/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2009 13:48:40 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=385

We’ve served this sauce at the restaurant twice now, and I’m not tired of it yet, which is an absolute miracle for me. It was another one of Dave’s brilliant sauces, where he came up with the main idea and all I had to do was taste and give him a few suggestions for rounding out the flavor in the end.

When we’re cooking in our tiny Lyceum kitchen, we can’t really hear what’s going on in the big room outside. Our waiters come back and tell us what people say and how they look, and we eagerly wait to see which plates come back with fingerswipe marks in lieu of leftover sauce.

When this mole was served the first time, though, a moment later someone out in the dining room exclaimed with delight so loudly that I could hear it back in the kitchen: “Oh my god, this sauce! There’s so much going on!”

Back to work, anyways. We are at t minus 3 weeks for the wedding, and there’s still so much left to do! There are fans to be made, Zambian honey to be labeled, and the flower girl still needs new shoes.

Right after the wedding, we’re leaving to wander around Southeast Asia for 3 weeks. We have a few days in Tokyo on the way to Bangkok, and then eventually we fly home from Hanoi. Haven’t figured out the middle yet. I definitely want to stop by Chiang Mai and Siem Reap (and Angkor Wat, of course), possibly somewhere in Malaysia, and almost certainly not Singapore or Laos. Indonesia is tempting, but 3 weeks just isn’t enough time. Melaka is iffy enough as is.

Any advice? Restaurants we need to check out, people we need to meet, places we should avoid?

2008: Duck Confit and Fig Crostini
2007: Fig, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Stuffing
2006: Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars

This makes a ton of sauce. For 18, Dave thinks, but we always have plenty left over after that. It freezes well.

Pecan Mole
4 tbsp safflower/peanut/canola oil
1/4 C ipek pul biber (a Turkish ground hot chili – not too hot, with a complex fruity flavor)
1/2 tsp pulla (another chili – grind it before measuring)
1.5 tsp new mexican chili
2 tsp kalonji/nigella
200 gm shallot (about 5), sliced
1 plantain, sliced
4 cloves garlic
100 gm pecans
50 gm shelled raw sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp packed tiny dried shrimp (easily found in Chinatown)
1/2 C raisins
2 C water
2 C intense chicken stock
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the chilis and kalonji. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and plantain.

After the shallots have softened, add the garlic, pecans, and sunflower seeds.

Cook until the garlic is translucent and the pecans and sunflower seeds are lightly toasted.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 cups.

Blend until smooth.

Adjust seasoning to taste.

We most recently served this with warm zucchini terrines, lamb chops that had been cooked sous vide and then seared, garlic scapes, and cocoa nibs.

Zucchini Terrines
1/2 recipe pecan mole
8 red potatoes
4 small or 2 large zucchini
12 shallots
cocoa nibs
Salt to taste

Add a bit of extra salt to the mole sauce, as it has to flavor the potatoes.

Briefly saute the shallots until translucent.

Thinly slice the potatoes and zucchini. Toss the zucchini with oil.

In oiled ring molds or foil-lined muffin tins, layer potato slices with mole. Top and edge with zucchini. Top with shallots. Press to shrink.

Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes, then reduce heat to 350, cover with foil, and bake for 20 more minutes.

Sprinkle with cocoa nibs.

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Miso Butterscotch Spare Ribs http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/19/miso-butterscotch-spare-ribs/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/19/miso-butterscotch-spare-ribs/#comments Wed, 19 Dec 2007 16:25:27 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/12/19/miso-butterscotch-spare-ribs/

Inspired by the miso butterscotch pork belly Dave and I had with our friend Allyson at Tailor earlier this fall, these ribs are meatier, heftier, and to my belly more satisfying than Sam Mason’s creation. The pork belly was just splendid, and it’s just that I personally prefer less fatty meat, cooked on the bone for more flavor.

What really happened was that my butcher sold me some rib-on pork belly, and I had to remove the ribs myself in order to cure the belly into pancetta (which was, for the record, the most amazing pork product I have ever put in my mouth). We couldn’t let the ribs go to waste, so Dave threw this dish together.

I know that sometimes I post recipes that seem complicated to make, but this one is easy and simple, with a pretty short ingredient list. Go ahead, try it! You’ll be glad you did.

Miso butterscotch is a fantastic idea – thank you, Sam Mason! I have a few more thoughts on how to use it, and I’d love to hear any suggestions the rest of you have as well. I definitely want to swirl it into brownies, and I think it would be wonderful in some sort of banana pecan tartlets.

Unrelated but important: There are only three days left to donate to charity by bidding on my cooking class for two and all the other wonderful prizes for Menu for Hope!

Miso Butterscotch Spare Ribs
For the ribs
10 lbs pork spare ribs
Hard cider or other braising liquid
For the sauce
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C light corn syrup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/8 C red miso (or more to taste)

Preheat your oven to 300 F.

Place the ribs into a roasting pan. Add in some liquid, about 1/2″ or so, just to keep them moist. Cover tightly. Cook for about 3 hours or so, flipping the ribs and adding liquid if necessary every hour, until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

While that’s going on, make the sauce.

In a small saucepan, simmer the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and cream of tartar together until it reaches 240 F, then immediately stir in the heavy cream and vanilla extract. When it’s just about ready, nice and thick, stir in the miso.

Brush the sauce over the ribs once they’re done, and serve immediately.

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Banana Rum Ketchup http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/05/21/banana-rum-ketchup/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/05/21/banana-rum-ketchup/#comments Mon, 21 May 2007 21:47:57 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/05/21/banana-rum-ketchup/

Rosa of Rosa’s Yummy Yums made this wonderful banana ketchup last spring, and I’ve seriously been waiting all year to try it out. See, Rosa? I didn’t forget!

Of course, I had to make a few modifications along the way. But that’s what food blogging is all about.

I brought this to a friend’s barbecue yesterday, but had to leave before anyone could try it. Half the fun of bringing food to a party is hearing how people react to it, so I’m a bit disappointed. But Dave and I had to get to the glass studio, where we’d reserved space in the hot shop to blow glass for 4 hours.

If anyone who was at that barbecue happens to read this, please let me know what you thought of the ketchup!

Banana Rum Ketchup
50g sultanas (golden raisins)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
90g tomato paste
1/2 C plus 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 1/2 C water
70g dark brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne, ground
1 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp clove, ground
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dark rum

Puree the sultanas, onion, garlic, and tomato paste with 3 1/2 tbsp vinegar. Pour into a medium saucepan. Puree the bananas with another 3 1/2 tbsp vinegar, then add them to the saucepan. Stir in the rest of the vinegar and the water, and cook at a low simmer for about an hour or so.

Add everything else except the rum, and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 15 minutes or so, or until it has a thick and ketchupy consistency. Stir in the rum and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it until needed.

You can freeze whatever you don’t use, or keep it in the fridge for probably a good long time before it goes bad, what with all that vinegar and sugar to preserve it.

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Persimmon Mint Salsa http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2007 17:14:09 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/04/19/persimmon-mint-salsa/

This started out as a mint chutney, until we chanced upon some gorgeous persimmons at the store. And I have been craving cucumbers lately. (To be fair, I am almost always craving cucumbers.) As we combined our key ingredients, we realized that it would be a shame to cook or overspice them. And so a salsa was born.

You can make this as hot or as mild as you like, by adjusting the amount of jalapeño seeds and ribs you leave in. We’ve eaten it with lamb shanks and short ribs so far, though I’m sure it would hold its own with a bag of chips.

Persimmon Mint Salsa
One persimmon, peeled, ribs removed, chopped fine
One jalapeño, minced (keep or remove ribs and seeds to taste)
Three cloves garlic, minced, sauteed in oil
1.5 tsp grated ginger
seven large fresh mint leaves, minced
2″ cucumber, julienned
white wine vinegar to taste (about 1 tbsp)
2 drops sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix it all up. Finit.

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Green Curry Shrimp http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/01/10/green-curry-shrimp/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/01/10/green-curry-shrimp/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2007 16:56:04 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/01/10/green-curry-shrimp/

My partner Dave and I spent a fun evening a few weeks ago making green curry paste over at a friend’s new apartment, a portion of which was ours to take home and freeze. It’s always fun trying to follow recipes with our fussy friends – does the recipe call for ginger? Pfeh, we have some fresh galangal we found. Cilantro? The friend we’re with doesn’t like cilantro, so surely we can make a parsley-based green curry paste instead. And there is no such thing as too much lemongrass (there is, really, but we didn’t hit it this time).

I’ve actually developed the ability to be selectively blind when it comes to reading recipes. I’ll be glancing through a cookbook, and I’ll point out a recipe I think looks good.

“You won’t like that,” Dave will say. “It has nuts in it.” Or whatever the issue may be.

“What? Oh, no, not my version,” say I. “I’ll use cocoa nibs instead, or oats, or I’ll grind the nuts first.”

Or something like that.

Point being, parsley-based green curry paste for our friend was a tasty example of how well this can work out. Next time, I think I want to try basing the green curry paste on something more interesting instead, like basil or sage.

Our green curry paste was not as spicy as the storebought brands I’ve tried, but it was worlds more flavorful. You can buy red curry paste and make do (Mae Ploy is the brand that comes most highly recommended, and I liked it when I tried it), but for green curry paste, nothing will suffice but to make it yourself. Luckily, that’s not really a difficult or complicated endeavor. It requires little more than a shopping trip and a few minutes with your food processor.

This was our way of playing with it for the first time. Dave insisted on the shrimp, and I really wanted to play with the rock sugar I’d picked in Chinatown. I read a few recipes for Thai shrimp curries, then put them all away and threw in a dash of this, a sprinkle of that, until it started to taste like dinner.

Green Curry Shrimp
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 C chicken stock
15 oz. coconut milk (approximately)
1 medium red pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
2 or 3 handfuls of green beans, ends snapped off and discarded
3 tbsp green curry paste, or to taste (recipe below)
2 carrots, julienned
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tsp Chinese rock sugar, ground into small chunks (you can substitute brown sugar or palm sugar)
1 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
1-2 big handfuls of fresh basil leaves
3 scallions, cut at an angle into thin slices
1 tsp sesame oil (or to taste)
salt to taste

Brown the onion and shallot in olive oil (or whichever oil you prefer) at high heat until they are somewhat browned, but not meltingly soft. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for just a moment, then add the chicken stock and coconut milk and lower the heat to simmer. Add all other ingredients except the shrimp, basil, scallions, and sesame oil.

Simmer for a little while, stirring occasionally, until it tastes right. You need to fuss with the quantity of curry paste, fish sauce, and salt until it is to your taste. Me, I keep adding more curry paste until my nose starts to drip, and then I’m happy.

Add the shrimp and basil and simmer, stirring, until they just turn opaque. Remove from heat and stir in the scallions and sesame oil last.

Serve with rice or rice noodles.

Green Curry Paste
15 green serranos, stemmed, seeded
4 large green jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded
4 sticks lemongrass, bottom 4-5″, outer layer removed
2 medium shallots
20 medium garlic cloves
1/4 C cilantro (or parsley, or whatever green herb you like)
3 tbsp fresh galangal (you can substitute ginger if necessary)
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp grated lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp anchovy paste

Coarsely chop all the fresh ingredients.

Toast the coriander and cumin in a dry pan until fragrant.

Blend everything together in your food processor until it forms a smooth paste, or close enough.

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Dave’s Sour Cherry Barbecue Sauce and Baby Back Ribs http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/09/22/daves-sour-cherry-barbecue-sauce-and-babyback-ribs/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/09/22/daves-sour-cherry-barbecue-sauce-and-babyback-ribs/#comments Fri, 22 Sep 2006 13:51:54 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/09/22/daves-sour-cherry-barbecue-sauce-and-babyback-ribs/

I took no part in cooking this meal. Me, I’m just the scribe and photographer this time.

The ribs were experimental meats purchased in Brooklyn’s Chinatown. The sour cherries come from my parents’ sour cherry tree, and I did help with the picking and pitting. We made most of them into jam and pie and sauce earlier in the summer, and we froze some in case of emergency.

A few weekends ago, finally warmer and dry after a few days of rain and not quite yet settled into the autumn chill, was that emergency.

(No, I didn’t bother to wipe the bowl clean around the edges before taking out the camera. Barbecue sauce is messy business, and I’d not want to misrepresent it!)

I know this isn’t real barbecue. There was no pit, no burning wood, nothing like that. Dave follows his father’s old Missouri recipe for slowly braising ribs in the oven, then just finishing them on the grill or under the broiler. His sour cherry barbecue sauce is luscious, but I do not think we could call it traditional. But that doesn’t matter to me; what matters is how tasty it is.

Our frozen cherries made enough sauce for about 6-8 servings on ribs, given our stomach capacities. We used half it for dinner one night and lunch the next day, and froze the other half in anticipation of mid-winter ribs to come.

(Once that runs out, he will simply have to make more using our stockpiled sour cherry almond jam as the base instead.)

Dave’s Sour Cherry Barbecue Sauce
Gently cook until golden:
3 onions, chopped
1/8 C mustard oil

1 tsp chipotle
1/4 C cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Saute for two minutes, then deglaze pan with:
1/4 C tarragon vinegar
1/8 C ketchup
1 tbsp squished roasted garlic
1 1/2 tsp almond extract

3 lbs sour cherries
10 sage leaves, chopped

If making for Ima (my diabetic grandmother), add:
20 tablets equal
1 tbsp regular soy sauce

If making for the rest of us, add:
7/8 C sugar
5 tbsp thick Chinese soy sauce

Bring to a boil, then simmer for ten minutes. Then blend until smooth.

Dave’s Baby Back Ribs
Place your ribs on a single layer on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour some beer or cider or apple juice or something over the ribs. Roast, loosely covered with foil, at 265° or so for at least 4 hours (6 is better), flipping every hour. If you start running out of liquid, pour some more on.

Version 2.0: Most recently, Dave actually cooked these at 250° instead, and he declares that that worked out even better.

Brush ribs with sauce. Finish on the grill or under the broiler for about 5 minutes on each side.

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Apricot Ketchup http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/20/apricot-ketchup/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/20/apricot-ketchup/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2006 03:41:34 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/06/20/apricot-ketchup/

A friend and I were once on a bus to Boston, discussing the origin of ketchup (a/k/a catsup). I insisted that it had to be a relatively recent invention, because the tomato is a New World fruit. She thought it was older. So I called up my brother, asking him to look it up for us online.

According to Wikipedia, ketchup predates the discovery of the New World and its tasty treats, and was originally more like fish sauce than the savory tomato-based sauce we are used to eating today. Along the way, ketchup was made with all sorts of different fruits. I’ve seen recipes for blueberry ketchup, cucumber ketchup, grape ketchup, and more.

Apricots are among my favorite fruits, though, and I have been looking forward to trying out this recipe from Recipes from Home by David Page and Barbara Shinn all winter. And after all, what fun are the first backyard burgers of the season without an interesting new homemade ketchup to go with them?

Apricot Ketchup
(from Recipes from Home by David Page and Barbara Shinn)
1 C dried apricots
1 1/2 C water
3/4 C dry white wine
1/4 C tarragon vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
3 tbsp honey
Salt, black pepper, and lemon juice to taste

Simmer all ingredients except the honey and the to-taste list in a saucepan for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in the honey and other to-taste seasonings. I used about 1/4 lemon worth of juice, and just the lightest sprinkle of salt, and plenty of black pepper. If the ketchup is too thick, you can thin it with water until it reaches the desired consistency.

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Gunpowder Carrot Chutney http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2006 12:22:00 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/04/26/gunpowder-carrot-chutney/

TeaChef has this ongoing project where each month they give away free samples of a different tea. The catch (and it is hardly a catch) is that if you get a tea sample from them, they want you to cook with it and send them a recipe including it.

I can handle being honor-bound to cook with free tea once a month.

Have I mentioned that I dearly love making anything that ends up sealed in a jar? Chutneys, preserves, jams, anything. Something about having sealed jars full of wonderful homemade stuff is very satisfying to me. Whenever I go apple picking, I end up with row after row of jars of apple butter and apple tomato chutney to give away. The joy is in making it, after all.

When I was a kid, my father and I would make jam every year from the grapes that grew on the vine that roofed our back porch. We had this big wooden hand-cranked machine we would use to crush the grapes after we’d spent hours trying to reach as many of them as we could without getting stung by the bees who were also attracted to the grapes. And then we’d simmer and simmer, and finally seal our jam into all those wonderful little jars. The grapes are still growing out back, but it has been years since we actually did anything with them. I miss that, but neither of us has had quite enough oomph to make it happen in a long time.

Gunpowder Carrot Chutney
2 lbs carrots
2 onions
1 clove garlic
2 big handfuls raisins
1/2 C cane sugar
1 1/2 C strong-brewed gunpowder tea
1 1/2 C cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8 Thai birdseye peppers (ground)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp clove
1 tbsp curry powder
olive oil
salt to taste

Peel the carrots and chop them to whatever size and shape suits your fancy. Chop the onion into small bits, and mince the garlic rather finely. Crush the peppers. Brew the tea – use about twice as much tea as you normally would, and your regular brewing time, in order to make it nice and strong.

Brown the onions first, then throw in the garlic and mustard seeds. Next go the rest of the spices, then the carrots. Finally, the raisins, sugar, tea, and vinegar. Let it all boil together, then lower the heat and let it cook down until the carrots are soft and the liquid has reached a thick, jammy consistency. You can boil it until it reduces if you are short on time, but I do think that simmering it down morely slowly gives you a richer flavor in the end.

That’s it. Jar and seal. This is a wonderfully complex chutney, sweet and sour and spicy and earthy, and makes a great condiment to go with most anything served with rice.

Note: A chutney is generally blended into a thick sauce, and you may want to puree your carrots in order to get that texture instead. Because I tend to prefer chunky chutneys, I chopped my carrots so as to end up with a chutney that was mostly chunk.

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