I had a bit of a disaster last night when getting ready to write the day's blog post. It wasn't a culinary disaster (well, at least, that wasn't what was troubling me) but a computer disaster. Reaching for my 4th cup of tea of the evening, I mis-judged the height the laptop screen would re-gain as I leaned back, and...horrible, horrible tea all over the keyboard. Of my new computer. It immediately shut off, and we thought "Oh how clever, an auto shut-off function", which, we've since learned, the computer doesn't have. It's quietly sitting in a corner now, with me trying not to make eye contact with it until we take it to the shop, because I've learned that's how you make computers work again. All my recent food pictures are on the other computer, so I am sharing with you a recipe that was fine if not over-the-top exciting.
We live near a market with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable options, and where the occasional interestingly-named item crops up. The process goes that I become intrigued, buy it, take it home, look it up on the internet, find it's something fairly mundane/completely bizarre, and try to find an appropriate way to eat it. Last week's purchase was a fruit named 'kaki'.
Kaki, it turns out, is the Latin word and Japanese name for the fruit that is also called a persimmon or Sharon fruit (thank you internet). The name persimmon supposedly comes from the Algonquin name for 'dry fruit', and the tree the persimmon grows from is part of the ebony family. I've always liked the look of the fruit, with its frilly stem on top of the jewel-like glow of the cut flesh.
Persimmon is a very sugary food when ripe, and so I thought of making something savory with it that cut through some of that sweetness. I found a recipe on epicurious for a permisson salsa which sounded lovely for summery months, and which I thought could be tweaked into a warm chutney sauce for colder months like these. It suggested tying together persimmons with lime, ginger, and chili - three fantastic flavors in their own right. We had the chutney with roast chicken, and I used some of the drippings of the roast to add a depth of flavor to the chutney. Not strictly necessary, but I did like how it helped tie tastes together.
I wasn't over-awed by the chutney in the end, in a large part because the persimmons weren't quite ripe enough and so stayed more whole and chalky than I would have expected. I still really like the idea of all those ingredient together, though, and do feel it should 'work'. I would be tempted to try this again keeping the ingredients more or less the same but making sure my fruits were achingly juicy sweet next time.
I'm submitting this to Anna at Paulchen's Food Blog for this week's installment of Weekend Herb Blogging.
- 4 limes, juiced
- 2 ripe persimmons, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 small-medium red onion, chopped
- minced chili or 1 small chili, chopped (enough chili to accommodate your taste)
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 Tbs fresh chicken drippings plus 1/2 C water, or 1/2 C chicken stock
- glug of dry white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- (optional: 1 Tbs brown sugar)
- Combine the lime juice, diced persimmon, onion, chili, ginger, and chicken stock/water in a saucepan, and heat over a medium-low heat.
- Simmer until the persimmon has reduced down into a mush. Leave it to simmer further if you want it to be less chunky, or simmer less if you like the chunkiness. Take care not to let the mixture dry out. Cooking should take a total of 5-10 minutes.
- Taste for flavor and balance with salt and pepper.
- If the chutney is too sour for your taste, add some brown sugar 1 tsp at a time.
- Remove from heat once it's the consistency you like, and serve warm with meat.