I know. When you read the whole Plum and Lychee Chutney tag your mouth got all set for Asian. This isn’t – well, not really. It is more of an Asian-Texan Mash-up. With authority. That means you sit up and take notice of it.
First of all, you have to know how this got started. I love toast and jam. My kids won’t make toast for me because I like it just so, and I have been known to send the toast back to be made again because it lacks the characteristics I desire. I don’t think asking for hot toast, a slather of melted butter, and a smidge of jam is a lot to ask but there you go. It’s all about perception, isn’t it?
Anyway, I ordered a few different jams from my very fabulous friend, Renee, over at Freakin’ Flamingo. This chick knows how to JAM! And Jelly. And she’s saucy, too. When the package arrived I opened each jar and tasted it. Although I loved all of them, just as I knew I would, the Lychee one seemed too sweet for toast but I kept thinking about how it would taste paired with something tangy…
Then my August Bon Appetit arrived and there it was. Plum Chutney. I felt like I had heard from God. Seriously, I think there was harp music.
I have loved plums since I read On the Banks of Plum Creek when I was 8. I blame Laura Ingalls Wilder for my crazy ideas about country life and having chickens. I blame her for making me learn to make patchwork. Most of all I blame her for the fact that I have read the entire series of books so many times that I can almost recite them word for word.
Really good books are unforgettable to me. I can tell you the titles, plots, and best parts of most of the books I read in my childhood. The characters became so much a part of my life and have shared so many of my memories that now, when I read the same books to my kids I am whisked back to where ever I was when I read that particular book; curled up in front of a fire, sitting in the top-most branches of a Seckel pear tree, or in the barn stall with my head propped up against the side of my horse as he slept and snored. Yeah.. I think I had the only horse in history that snored.
Anyway. Plums (Sorry, ADD moment – oh look a butterfly!)
I used the Bon Appetit recipe for Plum Chutney as a foundation and then sort of let it pull me along like when you are floating on the lazy river thing at the water park. Adding and tasting, adjusting, adding,tasting and pretty soon it was amazing.
I left the peels on the plums because the tangy flavor helps to balance the sweetness of the lychee and plum. Chipotle chile adds some smoky flavor and a little “gotcha” at the back of the throat. The balsamic adds mellow notes, while the rest of the stuff is like the background singers for a really good musician – enhances the main experience but you don’t really notice them.
This is really good on pork, chicken, or just about anything else you want to try it on.
And it’s pretty. Pretty counts for a lot, don’t you think?
If you want to know more about chutney the link will take you to one of my articles about how it was developed and the huge variety of ingredients that can be put into it.
Lychee and Plum Chutney
- 5 red plums
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Lychee jam
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder , or to taste
- 1/4 cup plum wine
- Kosher salt to taste
- Halve and pit plums but don't peel.
- Cut into chunks.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and onion.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring once in awhile.
If you want some really delicious jams in unique flavors and combinations please head over to Freakin Flamingo and take a look. Oh, and if you are looking for the disclosure there isn’t any. I bought this jam with my own money … and I will continue to buy Renee’s jams because they are just that good.