06 May 2008

Finally, the Chutney Post

I got this jar of McQuade's Fig & Ginger Chutney from a Blake Makes giveaway right before Passover, but my recipe ideas were not Kosher-friendly, and once I did make my recipe, it wasn't really what I had hoped for. Then my camera decided to stop cooperating. But anyway, here it is. When I tasted the chutney - sharp, not as figgy as I expected - I decided that I had to go with my pineapple plan. I had in my head a sort of stacking idea involving sweet rice pancakes, grilled pineapple, chutney, and fresh ginger.

I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted in terms of a sweet rice pancake. I was thinking of how much I like rice pudding and how nicely jasmine rice would go with ginger and coconut, and somehow I didn't think of how frying something rice in it would make... fried rice. So the taste was decent, but the texture was a bit too crispy for me. Basically what I did was make two cups of jasmine rice, then toss with sweetened coconut and finely chopped fresh ginger. Thinking of potato pancakes, I bound the rice together with an egg and half a cup of flour.

This might have worked better if I had used something to moisten the mixture - sticking with that rice pudding idea - or even made more of a plain pancake that just happened to have rice in it, rather than a patty. I also would add sugar, because the coconut didn't really make it quite as sweet as I expected. The preparation was basically what you do for a potato pancake - put big spoonfuls in the pan with some oil, pat down, fry a few minutes each side, drain on paper towels.

Next, the pineapple. I've never bought a whole pineapple before, and I was very worried about how much green this one was showing. Turns out I needn't have worried. I cut off the top, bottom, and sides, and found a very sweet and juicy fruit waiting for me. Oh, how I love fresh pineapple! My relationship with the stovetop grill has been a bit dicey lately, so I decided to broil the pineapple instead. Apparently, broiling doesn't really do much... no browning, no caramelization. Waste of electricity, really. But the fresh stuff is delicious, as you can see.

Here's the assembled product. The chutney itself is quite tasty. I think if I were to do this over again, I would probably make rice pudding with chutney and pineapple, or just plain old sticky rice even. If I were to pick another use for the chutney, I would pair it with a vegetarian stuffing in the wintertime. The sharp, sweet taste would stand up very well to something like stuffing or even your favourite meat substitute.

What I ended up doing with the rest of the jar was making toast with the Panera sesame semolina bread I picked up with a giftcard recently, sliced thick and spread with that amazing French goat cheese. I spooned chutney on top and put the whole thing in the toaster oven, and the bread got nice and crisp, the cheese slightly melty, and the chutney warm. Yum!

Thanks to Blake and McQuade's for my chutney!


Anonymous said...

That last picture makes me really crave German cream cheese..! What French cheese in particular is that? And where could I find it? There are some things American cream cheese just cannot live up to.

The chutney sounds great. A little cafe I frequent has this amazing little chutney pastry. They mix it with curry, honey and magic. The pastry shell tastes kind of like those tubes of crescent rolls, but fancier. I think they're amazing.

Kat said...

I'm fascinated that someone that eats such a variety of food items and cooks a large number of those hadn't bought a whole pineapple before. Did you only ever eat it out of a can?