Peach Chutney

6 08 2008

I debated about what to call this – peach salsa, peach sauce, peach relish…  It is probably closest in style to a classic chutney – fruit, vinegar and spices are cooked together to make a delicious accompaniment to grilled meats.   I have given a few suggestions below for using the chutney. 

Peach Chutney

Makes approximately 1-2/3 cups sauce

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 4 large, ripe peaches
  • 3 Tablespoons very finely diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons very finely diced red pepper
  • 1/2 a jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed and finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Remove skin from peaches (see note*) and dice fruit, discarding the pits.  Set aside.  *To remove peach skin:  Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water and set aside.  Fill a stockpot with water and bring to a boil.  While the water is coming to a boil, use a knife to cut a large ‘X’ into the bottom of the peaches, making sure to cut right through the skin.  Once the water has come to a boil, carefully place the peaches into the water.  Leave them in for 45 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon.  Drop peaches immediately into the bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.  The skin should lift away fairly easily once they have cooled.  Peel skin off  and discard  (it’s not a big deal if you can’t get it all off easily – it will add a bit of colour and texture).
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and saute onions, red pepper and jalapeno pepper on medium-high heat until they begin to soften, approximately 2 minutes. 
  3. Add peaches and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, until fruit is beginning to soften and the flavours start to come together.
  4. Chutney can be made in advance and refrigerated.

Serving Suggestions for Peach Chutney:

  • It makes an excellent accompaniment to grilled pork and chicken dishes.  For blue cheese stuffed pork chops: Take a thick cut (2″) pork chop and make a slit in the side with a sharp knife, forming a pocket.  Stuff with about a teaspoon crumbled blue cheese per chop.  Rub both sides of the pork chops with olive oil, salt, pepper, finely chopped thyme and rosemary.  Saute or grill seasoned chops. 
  • It makes a great dipping sauce for shrimp.
  • Puree chutney and use as a grilling glaze for shrimp, pork or chicken.  Use as you would a barbeque sauce.
  • Make simple hors d’oeuvres: put a dollop of cream cheese on a cracker and top with a spoonful of chutney.  Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
  • Use as a spread for chicken sandwiches or wraps in place of mayonnaise.
  • Add a teaspoon of ground cumin and serve with your favourite Indian dishes.

Bon Appetit and Enjoy!





Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

4 08 2008

Growing up in rural New Brunswick, we had a raspberry patch behind our house.  I didn’t exactly enjoy picking them – if you didn’t want to get scratched to pieces you had to wear long sleeves and pants in the summer heat.   However, they were so sweet and delicious, it was worth the trouble (my mom makes an excellent raspberry pie).  Luckily, farmer’s markets and some supermarkets are now carrying locally picked raspberries, sparing my limbs the trauma of picking my own.

The secret to making big, bakery-style muffins is to fill the muffin tins up to the top of the cups.  Be sure to grease the top of the tin as well as inside the cups because the muffin tops will puff up and cover the tin.  Another helpful tip: if you freeze the raspberries spread out on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, the frozen berries will not bleed into the batter as much as fresh ones.

Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

Makes 6 large muffins or 12 small muffins

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 1-1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon unbleached flour 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • Sugar to sprinkle on top of muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add wet ingredients: the eggs, oil and yogurt.  Stir until batter is mixed together (it will be quite thick).
  4. In a separate bowl, combine raspberries with 1 Tablespoon flour and 1 Tablespoon sugar.  Toss to coat berries.
  5. Very carefully fold raspberries into muffin batter until they are mixed in.  Spoon batter into muffin cups (fill halfway for 12 small muffins or fill to the top of the cups to make 6 large muffins).
  6. Sprinkle muffin tops with a little bit of sugar.  For large muffins, bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the muffins comes out clean (reduce baking time for small muffins).
  7. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin before removing – they are almost impossible to get out in one piece while they’re still hot!

Bon Appetit and Enjoy!

Raspberry Yogurt Muffins (shown with Banana Nut Muffins)

Raspberry Yogurt Muffins (shown with Banana Nut Muffins)