We had a wonderful time in Cannon Beach this past weekend. The weather was wonderful, and the kids had a great time on the sandy beaches. Oh! As a side note, the Pumpkin bars I made for the road trip were thoroughly enjoyed and devoured! A keeper recipe.
On Saturday we drove down to the town of Tillamook, Oregon, home of Tillamook cheese, butter and ice-cream. We had our fill (and then some) of Tillamook Ice-Cream and brought home some aged cheddar and fresh cheese curds (aka Squeaky cheese).
Sadly, I can't speak very highly of the gastronomic adventures we had in Cannon Beach, but lets just say, dinners were not the highlight of our trip. Not terrible, just not at all memorable. But it ain't so bad when you are not expecting much to begin with....
After a spice-deprived few days, I was really craving something that would get my taste buds tingling again. I got my hands on some delicious, juicy, organic tomatoes yesterday. I decided I'd make one of my favorite Tomato chutneys. This is my mothers' recipe and it is scrumptious. The chutney has a great balance of spicy, sweet, and sour and goes well with pretty much anything - bread, rice, crackers and cheese, rotis, you name it. It will keep in the refrigerator well for 2 weeks. Just be sure to use a dry spoon when you dip into the jar. Moisture is the enemy here.
As you can see, I fixed myself a snack - toast with butter and tomato chutney alongside a steaming cup of tea!
1 1/2 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
4-6 Indian curry leaves, kadipatta (optional)
5-6 dried red chilis, broken in half
3 tbsp red chili powder (more/less to taste)
2 pinches asafoetida (optional, but highly recommended)
6 garlic cloves, sliced fine
1. Heat oil in a wide-bottomed sauce pan. Add mustard seeds and red chilis and fry till you hear the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add asafoetida powder and let it fry for 10 seconds (raw is nasty).
2. Add garlic and curry leaves. Fry for 1 minute and add tomatoes. Cook on med-high (uncovered) till tomatoes turn pulpy and the tomato juices evaporate. You should be able to see the oil separating from the tomatoes. Be patient and don't rush this step.
3. Add salt, sugar, and red chili powder. Cook 2 - 3 minutes longer. Take off the heat and let sit till cooled down completely. Transfer to glass jars for storage. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.