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For Christmas Eve dinner we like to eat a baked Camembert and nothing else. It is pure indulgence and feels very wicked, but it is a tradition of our own making and it feels like something special.
We bake the Camembert in its box – just take the lid off and pull open the paper. This time I scored the cheese with a cross, added a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a garlic clove, sliced in half and wedged into the cut cheese.
After about 15-20 minutes it comes out as gooey liquid cheese encased in its rind – which is my favourite part of it. It goes a bit crispy but chewy at the same time.
Usually we just have a bowl of rustic bread, roughly cut into hunks to dip into the cheese. This year we also opened a jar of Real Ale chutney to go with it.
Although I can be a purist when it comes to dishes like this, refusing to dilute the taste of hot runny cheese and bread, I must admit a dab of chutney with it was delicious.
We ate it in front of a cosy log fire…
Does anyone else have Christmas traditions they’ve created for themselves?
This past weekend we went to Bath for a weekend away with friends. On Saturday morning whilst I was waiting for Mr Rigg to arrive by train, I ventured in to the Bath Farmer’s Market – and what treats awaited me!
Incredible veggies – like these pink stripey beetroot and mixed carrots. I bought a bunch of each.
Wonderful cured meats and sausages – bottom right is pancetta and Coppa, both of which found their way into my shopping bag, along with some Italian pinwheel sausages (back top left).
Mushrooms of all kinds – I bought a box of those teeny tiny ‘Paris Browns’.
Cheeses of all kinds, including the award winning Bath Soft Cheese – somewhere between a Brie and a Camembert.
This is the lovely oil man, selling rapeseed oil made from his farm’s crops, and also making a selection of delicious dressings. I usually make all my own salad dressings, but I couldn’t resist a bottle of his creamy Quince and Cider dressing.
The quince lady…well that’s not her real name (a bit more on her soon) selling a selection of beautiful homemade quince products. Syrups, jellies, sweets and quince paste.
The choice of vegetables available at the farmer’s markets is outstanding. All farmers markets around the country should have this kind of choice. Everyone around the country should have access to vegetables like these. Dark bunches of cavolo nero and pumpkins of all sizes and colours.
The aforementioned flowerpot bread – cheese and herb I think, baked in a terracotta flowerpot to give it that unusual shape. Also deliciously tasty!
If you ever thought winter vegetables could be boring, here’s a picture to change your mind – amber pumpkins, pinky-purple onions, muddy carrots, fat beetroot, stalks of sprouts, bundles of spinach, dark curly kale, crisp stalks of celery, fresh broccoli, and the wrinkly savoy cabbage or those tinged violet.
And this stall selling their own cheeses, and various cheese products and accompaniments – chutney, cheesecake, soft cheese, and curd tarts. I bought some of their ewes cheese which was incredibly delicious.
Our pre-dinner nibble – cheese and herb flowerpot bread (from Bath farmer’s market - more on that to come!), Mrs Kirkham’s crumbly Lancashire cheese, and Killerton Estate apple chutney.
A Local Kitchen is a fabulous food blog with lashings of great recipes and lots of local food info for those living in New York’s Hudson Valley. So I might live a million miles away from Kaela’s local food haven, but I share her love for local and regional food.
At the moment it is a treasure trove of recipes for chutneys, preserves and vinegars – to name but a few! This recipe for Roasted Tomato and Chipotle Salsa sounds divine.
Image: A Local Kitchen