Thanks to the very precise and credible regional cooking of Mario Batali I was able to find this recipe for a Spicy Mustard Fruit. I made this a several years ago and wanted to resurrect it for Christmas this year.
This spicy fruit-based condiment is native to Cremona, Italy which is in the northern region just south of Milan. What I love about this mixture is the clear definition of sweet and spicy. Mustard is also a main flavor which is pretty much my favorite condiment. Traditionally it is served with Italian meats such as Capocollo or Soppressata. I however will dip just about anything in it!
Here’s the recipe
Makes 8 Servings
4 dried figs, stemmed and cut into quarters
1 unripe pear peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup of dried cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, and apricots (cut into bite-size pieces)
3 1/2 cups of dry white wine
2 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup Colman’s Mustard Powder
1/4 cup mustard seeds
2 tablespoons of hot read pepper flakes
1. In a medium saucepan, combine all the fruit and stir to mix. Ad the wine and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer and let cook until the wine is reduced to about 1 cup. Should take about 30 minutes or so.
2. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, mustard powder, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
3. Allow to cool and then cover for 24 hours.
4. EAT IT!
5. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate up to 1 week.
This year’s Thanksgiving feast was hosted by my lovely aunt and uncle who live in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This year I had the prviledge of getting in on some of their prep work for the big day. It’s always fun to see how other family members prepare their secret recipies!! As the official chopper, I had the honor of quartering cranberries for the cranberry bread (I think there were like 4 bags it was pretty mind numbing after awhile), chopped the italian meats for the stuffing, sliced the sopressata, and a few other random jobs. My favorite secret revealed was my aunt puts sour cream in her mashed potatoes…genius!
Torrone from Auletta, Italy our hometown!
My dish, I made it about 90% through
The friuts of my labor
Breads! I think these were the pumpkin ones.
The Sopresatta strikes a pose
The star of the show!! So beautiful
Here are some pics from the big day.
I spent a week in southwestern Italy visiting family and divulging in the fresh, homemade ingredients Italy is known for. Seeing family was definintly a religous and emotion experience. Eating the food was just as emotional!
Fresh, homemade pasta from our favorite hotel/restaurant, Albergo Miramonti. A few years ago we got to watch as the owners mother handrolled out each indiviual noodle.
Homemade salami meats from Uncle Giacamo, most commonly known as Sopressata
Tomoatoes on the vine at Aunt Pina's summer home in Paestum
Hot chile peppers in the garden
Me and Aunt Pina toasting to some homemade limoncello!
I had such a hard time finding good figs in the city this year. Thankfully I got some fresh from the trees!
Fig and Olive Trees
Baba Rum cake, a Napoleatano classic where the cake is saturated in rum!