Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Chutney, Yet Again.

Regular readers will be only too well aware that one of my favourite blog tactics is to start with the idea of ‘many ways’ to use (or make) an ingredient or dish – such as porridge, or lemon butter, or popcorn, or mustard, for example. Today I want to have a little recipe-trivia fun with one of my all-time favourite concepts – chutney. Chutney is definitely more of a concept than a recipe, don’t you think.

One of this week’s sources, Charles Herman Senn’s Book of Sauces (Chicago, 1915) gave us an insight into classical cuisine’s classic compound butters. Amongst the traditional delights Senn gave us Chutney Butter; he also gives the following interesting recipe:

Chutney Sauce.
Make a sauce the same as directed for venison sauce [given below], omitting the red currant jelly, and adding instead one heaped-up tablespoonful of mango chutney, which must be chopped up rather finely.
Venison Sauce.
Put into a saucepan half a pint of good brown sauce, a dessertspoonful of red currant jelly, half a glass of port wine, and the juice of half a lemon. Next add a dessertspoonful of meat glaze, boil up again, then skim, strain and serve.

And now for something completely different, because sometimes - just sometimes - ‘different’ is a good enough reason. From Random Recipes, an undated charity cookbook published by and sold for the benefit of the Society for Seamen’s Children, I give you:

Chutney Toast.
Add to the popular bacon and peanut butter, spread on toast, a little chopped Major Grey’s Chutney to give that “different taste.”

Soup being one of my deepest and most faithful loves, I had to see if chutney soup existed anywhere in the world. Imagine my profound disappointment when I discovered this:

Chutney Soup.
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped pickle
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup salad dressing
½ cup dairy sour cream
1 cup cooked peas
Mix macaroni lightly with celery, pickle, and seasonings. Toss. Add salad dressing and sour cream. Fold in peas. Arrange salad in bowl. Garnish with crisp lettuce and pimiento slices.
The Gleaner (newspaper from Kingston, Jamaica) October 19, 1963

This is the soup you make when you are really making salad. I felt cheated. I did not allow my disappointment to delay my quest however, and eventually found the following recipe for
‘real’ chutney soup - depending on your definition of ‘real’ that is.

Apple Chutney Soup.
2 cans (10 ¾ ounces each) cream of asparagus soup.
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) cream of celery soup.
½ teaspoon curry powder
3 soup cans water
2 teaspoons chopped chutney
1 cup chopped apple.
In saucepan, blend soups and curry powder: gradually stir in water. Add chutney and apple. Heat, stirring occasionally. Makes 8 cups.
Tucson Daily Citizen, January 21, 1976

Before I finish this little ode to chutney, may I remind you of the previous posts on the topic -
A Chutney Emergency, and Chutney, Again.

Quotation for the Day.

All Chatneys should be quite thick, almost of the consistence of mashed turnips or stewed tomatoes, or stiff bread sauce. They are served with curries; and also with steaks, cutlets, cold meat, and fish.
Eliza Acton, Modern Cookery for Private Families (1845)


Shay said...

Rank Injustice

All things chickeny or muttony
Taste better far when et with chutney
This is the mystery eternal
Why didn't Major Grey make Colonel?

Ferdzy said...

That Chutney Soup that's actually a salad may be related to the Mexican "sopas secas". Literal translation, "dry soups".

Generally, these dishes are fine noodles in a slightly loose sauce, generally containing broth but also often sour cream, tomatoes etc.

Not very much like the dish described, but I can sort of see a link in the pasta and cream.

The Old Foodie said...

Thankyou for that, Shay - it gave me my first smile of the day.
Thankyou too, Ferdzy, for that excellent connection - I feel sure that is where the link must be.