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Preparing for Christmas - Christmas chutneys and cheese pairings

It's been a bit quiet here, not only are we in the midst of lockdown number 2, but new job has been started and we have had bugs around the house, waiting for covid tests, the usual new normal of juggling we are having to endure in these crazy times. So feeling slightly fed up with 2020 dragging on into some abyss, I decided to really ramp up Christmas activities to bring cheer and something to look forward to into our household. Those people who know me well know my absolute love of cheese (of any kind) and equally my constant quest to find the perfect chutney to go with my carpet picnics of cheese and cold meats. The only thing I have never done before is make my own chutney, until now! I thought I hedge my bets and make Mary Berry's Christmas Chutney first as that needs a month to mature and then we are Christmas ready, however upon cooking it tasted quite spicy, I can see this going really well with a strong Cheddar or a creamy goats cheese. However I am also a fan of stinky googy french cheeses and started hunting for a chutney to pair with that. Here are my selected Cheese and Chutney Pairings Mary Berry's Christmas Chutney- Paired with Cheddar, Smoked Cheese or a Creamy Goats Cheese 900g tomatoes, skinned and chopped

3 red peppers and 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 Aubergine, chopped

750g white onions, finely chopped 4 fat cloves of garlic, crushed

350g granulated sugar

300ml white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1. Put the tomatoes, peppers, aubergine onion and garlic into a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil (note no water to add at all so when you hear bubbling you've reached boiling point). Cover with a lid and lower the heat and gently simmer for an hour, stirring occaisionally until tender.


2. Tip the sugar, vinegar, salt and spices into the pan and stir throughly, bring to the boil over a medium heat and boil for 30 minutes or until the surplas watery liquid has evaporated and the chutney represents a chunky consistency. Take care towards the end of the cooking time to keep stirring so the chutney doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan.


3. Ladle the chutney into sterilised jars and top with paper jam covers. Seal the jars whilst still hot. Leave to mature for at least a month in a cool dark place.


Here are some of my favourite cheeses to pair with:



Nigel Slaters Sweet Plum Chutney - Paired with a good Stilton or a nice gooey Camembert


750g plums

350g onions 125g raisins

250g light muscavado sugar

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chillies

2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

150ml apple cider vinegar

150ml malt vinegar A cinnamon stick broken in two


  1. Halve the plums, discarding the stones. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Put the fruit and onions into a heavy based saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer on a low heat, stirring occaisionally for an hour, so the mixture does not catch on the bottom. Pour hot into sterilised jars and seal.

Here are some of my favourite cheeses to pair with:






 
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