Cranberry Orange Chutney With Cumin, Fennel and Mustard Seeds

Not sure where this recipe originated since it was in my binder for awhile. Since we have 10 pounds of cranberries in the freezer this year, I thought we should make use of them.  We served this as a side dish with a smoked pork loin, which I sliced into thin slices and reheated gently on top of the stove,  in a mixture of red grapefruit juice and some fresh rosemary. It would be great with poultry, i.e. instead of the usual cranberry relish. We also used it the next day with salmon. Equally good.  Enjoy! Buen provecho!

Cranberry Orange Chutney with Cumin, Fennel and Mustard Seeds


1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips

1 tablespoon minced seeded Serrano chile (without the seeds)

3/4 cup water

1 pound fresh cranberries or frozen, thawed

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup matchstick-size strips orange peel (orange part only)

Pinch of salt

The Technique: Simmered

    Simmering (to cook at about 185°F) cooks the berries and other ingredients at just the right rate. How to tell if your sauce is simmering? Small bubbles should break the surface around the edges of the pan. This technique softens the berries and allows enough time for all of the flavors to meld.


Bring sugar and vinegar to boil in heavy small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin, fennel, and mustard seeds; stir until mustard seeds pop, about 1 minute. Add onion; cook until beginning to brown, stirring constantly, about 6 minutes. Add ginger and chile; stir until chile softens, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar mixture, 3/4 cup water, all cranberries, orange peel, and salt. Simmer until juices thicken, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Cool, cover, and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.


Michael Smith’s French Onion Soup

Calling all Canadians! Michael Smith is one of our great chefs from the East Coast. This soup is incredible as a meal or as a starter. This is ONE recipe that Larry doesn’t need to modify…LOL

Michael Smith’s French Onion Soup

* 3 tablespoons butter

* 3 tablespoons oil

* 5 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly (replace one of the onions with fresh leek sliced after it has been thoroughly washed)

* Splash of water

* Salt

The Soup

* 1/2 cup sherry

* 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or dried thyme)

* 6 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (recipe from this episode) USE Campbell’s…why waste time?

* Salt and pepper

* 4 slices multi-grain bread, cut into rounds to fit bowls, toasted. (Personally I like my bread done is smaller pieces. Don’t you just hate it when you put your spoon in and all of the bread comes with all that cheese?)

* 2 cups Swiss, Gruyere, Provolone or emmenthal cheese, grated


1. Toss the butter, oil, onions and water into a large soup pot with a few pinches of salt.

2. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let the onions soften over a medium high heat, about 10 minutes.

3. When the water has evaporated, remove the lid, turn heat to low and begin to slowly caramelize onions, stirring frequently. This will take about one hour.

 The Soup

1. When the onions are a deep golden color and have shrunk dramatically, add the brandy, thyme and broth.

2. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Ladle the soup into 4 onion soup or ovenproof bowls and fit a slice of toast over each bowl.

4. Sprinkle each evenly with the cheese and place bowls onto a baking sheet.

5. Place under the broiler and broil until the soup is bubbling and the tops are golden brown.

NOTE: The soup can be made earlier in the day and re-heated in the microwave. When it is hot, add the bread and cheese and place under the broiler.

Sopa de Ajo/Garlic Soup

If you saw us on Facebook we were at our friends’ restaurant Progreso Pasta. It was a cooking class. This very easy recipe was a great starter, before we got into the fresh ravioli we made, followed by pork adobo.

Sopa de Ajo/…Garlic Soup

5 cups of purified water (only if you are in Mexico, otherwise tap water)

1 whole white onion

4 carrots peeled

3 stalks of celery

1 whole chicken cut up

2 whole pods of garlic

Bring to a boil and after 30 minutes of boiling, add 2 cups of water and when it returns to a boil reduce heat to medium and cook for approximately 2 hours.

Remove all liquid and in place in a separate pan…

Add either 2 whole pods of garlic chopped finely or 6 large tablespoons of garlic already chopped from the store

Add any or all of the following fresh herbs:







2 Bay leaves

Bring to a boil for another 20 minutes

Slice bread and add cheese and toast it in the oven… (Whatever kind is your favorite. We used Gouda the day of the class)

Place toasted cheese bread in bowl and ladle in liquid.

Serve VERY HOT!!