07 February 2011


Every January/February I cannot resist purchasing tiny orange kumquats.  Tiny, shiny and citrus-y, they just jump into my basket!  I am always intrigued by their sweet/sourness.  I make the same recipe with them every year.  Kinda silly, I know, but it's so good!  A little "chutney for cheese" is the recipe and it's so easy! 

1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 lb. kumquats (1/2 pint containers are perfect) sliced 1/4 inch, seeds removed
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns (the mix of green, red, black and white look pretty)
1 star anise (whole pod)

In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring sugar and water to a boil and reduce by about half.  Turn heat to low and add remaining ingredients.  Cook, stirring occasionally about 6-8 minutes until kumquat rinds are soft.  Remove star anise and let cool.  Store in a small jar or crock in refrigerator.

My FAVORITE cheese to eat Kumquat Chutney with is Delice de Bourgogne.  Delice is a triple creme cows milk cheese from France.  It looks similar to brie, yet it's softer, richer and taller.  You want to purchase a piece that is not still chalky in the middle.  Soft cheese stop aging once they are cut, so taste before purchasing to assure you get the appropriate age.

I remove the rind on Delice as it is a really pungent and in my opinion, unappetizing flavor.  However, it is edible, like most brie/camembert rinds and strictly a matter or individual tastes.  You can also purchase Delice in a small round inside a wooden box, in that case, I merely scrape off the top rind and use a knife to scoop out the cheese.

Allowing your cheese to come to room temperature is vital!  It always tastes so much better, the texture improves and doesn't harm the cheese in the least!  Delice should last in your fridge for about 3 weeks if you're purchasing from a reputable "cheesemonger" and it's a wedge.  The small rounds with the rind intact will last a bit longer and continue to age.  Served with a sparkling wine like Prosecco, Cava or Champagne will give you the most immense pleasure to be had while eating cheese!  It's worth the splurge!  

 The kumquat chutney keeps quite well in the fridge and could be used along side chicken, other poultry or pork if you desire.  I think duck would be super with it!

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