Aren’t these beautiful? They’re kumquats, which I mentioned yesterday. They’re small, oval and bitter and most people don’t like them raw. But they’re good stuff when you cook them. Kumquat chutney is a real winner. Goes very well with roasted chicken, turkey or lamb, so you can use it as a special little side dish for New Year’s dinner if you’re entertaining at home.
You can also use it as an hors d’oeuvre: serve it with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese or Brie and crackers.
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 cup sliced, deseeded kumquats
8 large Medjool dates, halved
1/2 cup raisins or dried cherries
1-1/4 cups orange or tangerine juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
Place the mustard seeds and anise seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool slightly, then place the seeds in a small muslin spice bag (or use a few layers of cheesecloth) with the peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick (fold the cheesecloth over the spices and secure with string or a plastic bag tie). Place the spice bag in the pan. Add the kumquats, dates, raisins, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar and ginger. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, stir and simmer the ingredients for 35-40 minutes or until the chutney is thick. Let cool. Remove the spice bag. Makes about 2-1/2 cups