Monday, July 19, 2010

Sizzling Summer Heat

Vegetables on!

The heat is good for something look at these melons, they are getting close. Finally, look look tomatoes are coming! Leo and I harvested many many pounds of potatoes over the hot hot weekend and we are about to do the last planting of the summer: Corn, dried corn, dried beans, Butter Beans and pumpkins.

Leo did a heroic job of weeding the sweet potatoes. I did not help at all. I was in the kitchen canning apricots: apricot conserve, apricot-pineapple jam, apricot chutney and brandied apricots. There's also a jar of peach pepper jelly in this photo. Of course, Leo has pre-tested each of these and says they are "all good".

Look at those beautiful sweet potatoes. Today I tarped them to prevent them from sending down more than one root which in turn helps them set big tubers. It also helps keep Leo from having to weed them again. By fall, this will be a mat of vines that look like ivy gone wild.

Every year someone asks me what to do with chutney. Okay, here's the big list.

What to do with Chutney
Chutneys are served on the side to accompany assorted curry dishes, or with cold meats - much the same ways as you'd use pickles or herb jellies. They are condiments. I like to toss in a spoonful or two of chutney into a meatloaf or meatballs just for a flavor change, or you can add some to a gravy for the same reason.

Use chutney with roast pork instead of apple sauce; with lamb instead of mint jelly; with turkey instead of cranberry sauce; with chicken nuggets instead of ketchup or sweet and sour sauce; with ham instead of mustard.

Pour 1/4 cup over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers or cocktail bread slices.
Mix 1 tablespoon into a mild vinaigrette to make a salad dressing.
Stir 1/4 cup or so into a pot of plain rice to make a pilaf.
Mix half mayonnaise and half chutney and serve on sandwiches.
Toss 1/4 cup with steamed broccoli, carrots or green beans.
Serve with baked sweet potatoes.

You can toss chutney into sour cream or other base to make a dip. This mixture is delicious on baked potatoes or chips.

It makes a mean cheese and avocado/tomato/cucumber sandwich.

Mix equal amounts of chutney and soy sauce to make a great BBQ marinade for zukes or chicken.

Chutney Goat Cheese Puffs

Puff pastry (frozen is fine)
One jar of chunky style chutney
Goat cheese, one log, chevre style

Allow the puff pastry to defrost according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut and lay out puff pastry into squares and place equal amounts of chutney and crumbled goat cheese in the center. For small puffs use approximately 1/2 teaspoon of filling per 2 inch square of puff pastry. Brush the edges of the square with water and fold over to create a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes or until brown. Serve warm. (From Amy Sherman)

Well, being that it's Monday, I'm off to do important work like laundry. It's going to be another hot one.

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