Let me start this post with wishing you all a very happy, healthy and tasty 2015! Hopefully you all had a great New Year’s Eve.
We ended 2014 surrounded by most of our friends. Everybody chipped in bringing a bottle of wine, some beers and a homemade dish. This varied from courgette soup to Spanish tomato bread (delicious Martijn!) and a very interesting concoction made of pancakes, grated cheese and hotdogs. Wait, there was sweet chili sauce involved there too…. right. There was a lot more good food but the focus (for me at least) shifted pretty quickly to the delicious wines that were on hand… And a champagne or cava toast at midnight! We went out to watch some amazing fireworks that went on for about 30 minutes. I loved the oooohs and aaahhs coming from the crowd while everybody sipped their bubbles from plastic champagne glasses. From there on it was dancing, and more dancing!
For us here it is really a tradition, gathering with some good food and drinks, then going out for fireworks, no matter the weather, toasting with champagne, cava or prosecco and then on to the dancefloor! Do you all pop the champagne cork at midnight? What is your favourite New Year’s Eve?
When we came back to live on the second of January we were actually quite productive. For one thing, we finally hung up a large painting that was gifted to my boyfriend a while back. It is an Indonesian market on Bali and I catch myself staring at now that it’s up. Their lanky bodies and their productiveness fascinetes me. I had to include a photo to share this image:
Anyway, I know nothing of art, and a little of food, so here we go to the recipe. It is a finger licking mango chutney served with chicken pies.
The recipe for the chutney is for three small jarrs, or two larger ones. The chutney also goes really well with rice dishes, naanbread or just to spicen up a simple cheese sandwich.
- 3 ripe mango’s, cut in pieces
- 100 ml of vinegar
- 100 grams of sugar
- 8 large dates, pitted and chopped
- 5 dried apricots, chopped
- handful of white raisins
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 red chili peper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely diced
- salt and pepper
Gather all your ingredients as described in the ingredients list. When you have prepared everything, it’s pretty straightforward from here.
Pour the vinegar and sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to a bowl, lower the heat, then stir in the mango. Give it a few minutes.
If you want a softer tasting chutney you can use half the amount of ginger and just half a chili pepper. If you want a real kicker leave in the seeds of the chili…
Now stir in the dates, apricots, raisins, ginger, chili pepper, garlic, cinnamon and some freshly ground salt and pepper. Turn up the heat a little, make sure it comes to the boil, stir, then cover with the lid and put it on a low heat.
This needs at least 30 minutes, but if you can give it hour that’s great and the flavors will intensify. After an hour my mango pieces will still quite solid so I used an old fashioned puree smasher and the mango pieces disintegrated a bit, absorbing all the flavours and giving the chutney the desired structure. You want it a little runny with chunks in it, a bit like a compote.
If you want to preserve your chutney in jars you need clean jars. I always cook some old jam or bean jars (and their lids) on the stove in some boiling water for several minutes, and then fill them up immediatly when the chutney is still piping hot. Twist on the lid immediately and turn the jars upside down. The jars will now seal themselves on their own, and the chutney will keep for ages. You can check if the lids have popped in again, like they would be when you would buy a jam in the supermarket. Label it and put it away. Also makes for an original gift!
Or, just put it in a bowl, make these chicken pasties, and finish it all!
Indian spiced Chicken Pies
For the filling:
- two pieces of chicken thigh, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- handfull of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- two tablespoons ketjap
- 1 tablespoons of sambal
- 2 tablesppons of Tandoori spice mix (an Indian spice mix)
- 2 tablespoons of thick yoghurt (Greek or Turkish)
This is easy. Chop up the ingredients and mix it all together in a bowl. The yoghurt and Indian spice mix is something my sisters tipped me about. They have an Indian deli close to home who sell amazing spice mixes. This is the one she gave me:
Usually I am skeptical of premixed packages but this is just too damn tasty!
It contains the following spices:
coriander, cumin, cinnamon, chili, black pepper, fenugreek, salt, mustard seeds, bay leaves, nutmeg, onion powder and garlic.
Of course you can mix it yourself based on the ingredientlist, but I am not sure which quantities to use of all the spices.
You can use story bought pasty if you are in a hurry, but this pastry did not take that much time at all! You can use the flour of your choice (I mixed wholemeal with white bread flour) and if you ask me, working with dough is just too much fun ;-).
For the pastry:
- 320 grams of flour
- 60 grams of butter, cubed
- 60 ml of oil
- 135 ml of boiled water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
Sift the flour in a bowl. Mix in the cubed butter with your hands. Heat the oil in the microwave. Dissolve the salt in the hot water. Mix the oil and water and pour it through the flour. Mix it all together with your hands and once it starts to form a dough tip it out on you workbench and knead if for a minute or two into a beautiful soft ball.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Butter your tins. Start rolling out your dough and covering the tins with it. Make sure you cut out enough lids to go on top. Make a hole in the lids so the air can escape. If you line the tins with dough, make sure you leave about half a centimeter extra on top. After you have filled the pie with a spoonful of chicken, you cover it with the lid and fold over this extra dough to close the pie. It took me some practice before I got the hang of it, but I managed, so I am sure you will too!
Do not overwork this though, for it will become tough and less easy to work with. Just roll it out in one go, line the tin and move on to the next.
Depending on the size, they need about 45 minutes in the oven. The chicken will have long cooked by then but you need the pastry golden brown and crispy. If the dough is still soft or gooey somewhere it needs more time in the oven. Nothing worse then raw dough.
Well, I guess that’s it! Looks like a long recipe now, but trust me, you can whip this up in no time!