Do you, like me, have a cupboard full of part-used jars of chutney? (Or a fridge full, if you are that way inclined - my fridge is always too full for anything more!). The trouble with chutneys is that they seem like such a good idea at the time - that country market, food festival or charity stall selling attractive looking jars, or the gift pack you get for Christmas or hamper you win, soon means that the chutney mountain can threaten to overwhelm the cupboard. And then you find yourself with a giant marrow, a bargain sack of onions or a carrier bag full of apples from a neighbour and your first reaction - well MY first reaction at any rate - is "Oooh, I can make a batch of chutney!"
So my chutney cupboard tends to be crammed to overflowing. Before Dom says anything, no, I don't have a cupboard solely for chutney - it houses pickles and olives as well. But mostly chutney. Not every chutney sits well on the side of a plate of curry, and there are only so many cold meat or cheese-and-biscuit meals you can eat it with before it starts to get a bit samey and the temptation is to throw the last of the jar away and open something new.
But you can get more out of your chutneys if you think of them not just as a side dish but as an ingredient in their own right. They are a great way of livening up all kinds of dishes - you could add a spoonful to a casserole, a curry, a cottage pie or a pasta sauce.
I've used chutney in two ultra-simple recipes and it really livened up very basic ingredients. The first one will also use up some of that jar of creamed horseradish that's been hanging around ever since you could last afford a joint of beef to roast!
First of all,
Smoked Mackerel Sandwich Filler
1 pack (about 225g) smoked mackerel fillets
1 tbs creamed horseradish
2 tbs beetroot, rhubarb or gooseberry chutney
Remove the skin from the mackerel and flake it into a bowl. Stir in the horseradish and chutney and mash well with a fork. For a smoother texture, more like a soft paté, use a food processor.
Serve made into sandwiches or piled on toast.
Apple and Mint Raita
1 small pot natural Greek style yoghurt
¼ cucumber, grated
2 tbs apple and mint chutney
mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve as a cooling side dish to curries, Middle Eastern food or even chilli con carne, or as a dip for poppadoms, tortilla chips or crudités
I'm sharing this with Kitchen Clearout at Madhouse Family Reviews
and Credit Crunch Munch at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All