Our food edi­tor’s tips on mak­ing a per­fect chut­ney and del­i­cate rice pa­per rolls.

NZ House & Garden - - CONTENTS -

If you’re plan­ning on giv­ing home-made gifts this Christ­mas, let me sug­gest chut­ney. It’s one of the eas­i­est and most re­ward­ing pre­serves to pre­pare: ba­si­cally you just toss ev­ery­thing into a pan and cook. Chut­neys im­prove on keep­ing too, as the flavours have a chance to mel­low and meld – good news for cooks want­ing to make their Christ­mas gifts weeks in ad­vance. To help me de­cide on a recipe, I usu­ally start by look­ing at what pro­duce is plen­ti­ful or on spe­cial.

It’s im­por­tant to cook chut­ney un­til it be­comes rich and thick but not too dry, as it will dry out slightly in stor­age. Aim for a moist, shiny con­sis­tency. Also, be sure to seal your jars with vine­gar-proof lids, as vine­gar cor­rodes metal; screw-top jars with plas­tic-lined metal lids are ideal.

If you like, you can make your glis­ten­ing jar of chut­ney ex­tra spe­cial by pack­ag­ing it with a com­ple­men­tary gift, such as gourmet crack­ers, a lovely cheese, fancy knife or serv­ing board.

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