Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Green Walnut Chutney

When I drained the salty vinegar infusion from the chopped green walnuts, onions and garlic to make walnut ketchup, I couldn't bring myself to throw those aromatics away. Although the liquid was somehwhat brown, the solids were still greenish. I added chopped, peeled apples & pears, raisins, grated ginger, mustard seed and one crushed cayenne pepper to my poële. Then I added brown sugar and vinegar to cover. Had I layered all this in a glass jar and just left it to sit macerating, uncooked or "unfinished", I would have had a plain compote. But as I simmered the chutney, the mixture turned inky brown and put forth a wonderfully pungent aroma.

I will use this chunky dark jam to flavor grilled meats and to finish sauces with game. I will even add it to cream sauce to pour over noodles on meatless days. French Catholics observed a lot of meatless days in their religious observance and many early cookbooks spoke to the need to offer "rich" fare that was legal. A rich sauce will please the eye and fill the stomach.

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