I’m finishing up more event posts from the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival and some events with my friend Jaden in Seattle, but wanted to share a recipe with you in the meantime. A lot of people have asked me lately if I make up the recipes on my blog. Unless I specifically credit another author, I develop the recipes myself. It’s actually not that hard, I just kind of look at what I have on hand to work with, then smell and taste as I go until it’s something that I like. I thought I’d share my CRAZY thought process with you, so here’s a look into how to create a recipe.
Hmmmm, I think I want to make chutney, I’ve never made chutney before. What is a chutney anyway? My friend Ginnie had a cat named Chutney, he was so sweet. Wait, chutney the food. Focus. I think it has fruit, and onions, and vinegar…kind of a sweet, savory, spicy flavor combo. Have I ever even have chutney before?
Well, I have Asian pears, and dried cranberries. I don’t think they should be dried, but if I cook them in liquid they should plump up and be really flavorful. Don’t want it to be all vinegar though, I’ll use some apple juice too. And I’ll use apple cider vinegar which is sweeter. Now for savory. I have a shallot, that should be great. I still need some sweetness to it, maybe brown sugar. (By this time I’ve chopped and mixed everything and start tasting). It’s not quite right, it needs a spicy quality, OOOOOOH curry powder would be perfect!
Now, time to cook it. Guess I’ll just let it come to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer. (10 minutes later) Hmm, tastes good but slightly bland. Needs a little salt and pepper. A little more vinegar too. Alright, let it cook down some more. Perfect! Now what to serve it with? I need a protein, but don’t have any meat thawed. Oh wait, do I have any quinoa left? Yes! A vegetarian protein, awesome! Oh, cool, this will be a vegan and gluten free recipe. Love coming up with those!
And thus, a recipe is created. I have to write down my ingredients right away, or I totally forget it, but that’s basically how it happens. I know, my brain is a frightening place. It’s okay if you need to take a break before you check out the recipe. But make sure you come back. This is Eric’s favorite recipe I’ve made with quinoa so far! You can also use the chutney on top of chicken or fish, or as a side dish.
Asian Pear Cranberry Curry Chutney Quinoamakes 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small thin skinned Asian pear
3 TBS finely chopped shallot
1/4 tsp curry powder
2 TBS brown sugar
dash of pepper
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
Place cranberries in a small bowl and pour apple juice and vinegar over it. Cut the Asian pear flesh away from the core and chop into small pieces.
Add pear, shallot, curry powder and brown sugar to a small pot. Pour in cranberries and liquid. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer (stirring occasionally) about 10 minutes or until cranberries are plump and liquid is reduced.
Add salt and pepper to taste then refrigerate the chutney. Rinse your pot and add quinoa and water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook 10 minutes. Mix in the chutney and refrigerate. Serve cold.
Approximate cost/serving: I’ve got a huge bag of cranberries from the bulk bins and they’re really cheap. Same with quinoa, in fact this is a really affordable recipe. It came out to only 95 cents to make! It made about 3 servings when served with a side salad. So that’s only 32 cents a serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes and vegan too!