Sunday, November 7, 2010

are you okay annie

My mother had a bunch of green tomatoes and green bell peppers picked from the garden because of the frost.  Originally I thought I'd make a chutney, green tomato chutney having a long history in the South - then I realized chutney is on my list of possible things to make with citrus this year, and how much chutney am I going to eat, all told?  So I thought, okay, I'll change up the flavor profile.  It kept digressing along the way, so watch me for the changes.

The most flavorful seasoning blend I have in the house is the Baharat spice blend from The Spice House, which I've previously praised.  It's as complex as their curry blends, but with a Middle Eastern flavor profile instead of an Indian one.

I diced roughly equal volumes of green tomato, green pepper, and onion, and mixed them with salt, brown sugar, and Baharat spice blend, and let it all sit overnight - this drew the juices out of the green tomato.

As I added all that to a pot with a Marmite jar full of pickled cherries from last year, for the vinegar component, I realized that between ghost chile pepper jelly, apple butter, and marmalade, I'm low on jars.  Well, okay.  What if I didn't make a chunky chutney that needed to be jarred?  I have an empty sriracha squeeze bottle.  What if I made a smooth condiment that could be dispensed from that?

So I hit the Middle Eastern protochutney with the immersion blender, and just for good measure, I added the last little bit of fresh ghost chile that I've been playing with - less than half a pepper, probably about a quarter of one.  Then I let it sit for an hour, before blending it again, and running it through a sieve - the last thing you want if you're dispensing from a squeeze bottle is to get a chunk stuck in the nozzle.

At this point I had something dark brown and fragrant, but I thought it could be made more complex.  Like, what if I took a cup of my morning coffee and threw it in there?  Well okay, boom, that's done.  What goes with coffee?  How about half a shot of Smith and Cross Jamaica Rum, that really strong rum?

This then made it too thin, of course, so I reduced it back down, and added a little cornstarch just to discourage it from separating in the bottle.

Not chutney

And that is the origin of this dark, fruity, complex concoction I'm going to have with some roast turkey breast for lunch.

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