Written by RCFM contributor, Katie Bartel.
Here’s what NOT to do with spicy Mexican-style chutney:
Do NOT store it next to your preserved jams in the fridge.
Do NOT mistake it for cherry jam first thing in the morning.
Do NOT spread it over your morning toast.
Do NOT take that bite. Do NOT. Do NOT. Do NOT.
(Sorry about that dear husband).
A few weeks ago I picked up a jar of Muy Rico’s smoked Mexican chutney at the Royal City Farmers’ Market. It was between the chutney and the molé sauce, both samples of which happily tantalized my taste buds. But it was the chutney that intrigued me more. Molé, I knew what I could do with molé, but chutney, that one was a bit of an unknown.
Owner Nick Diaz, who immigrated from Mexico 14 years ago, started the business as a way of sharing his native culture with his new country. He wanted to provide authentic Mexican staples like salsa verdé, molé and chutneys with the freshest ingredients possible. Muy Rico’s products are “back to basics” featuring whole foods, fresh ingredients – chipotle smoked peppers, red and green tomatillos, jalapeños, etc. – no preservatives.
“I want people to really taste a part of our culture,” Diaz said.
However, while the mystery of the Muy Rico chutney intrigued me, it may have been a little TOO much of an unknown.
This ingredient nearly stumped me. Every time I sought out a recipe online, the only thing that came up was recipes FOR chutney. I already had the chutney, but I needed a recipe to star it in. I didn’t want to use it just as a rub; that seemed too easy, almost like a cop out. And so, in a last ditch effort, I went to the Facebook:
Cooking friends, HELP!!!
Facebook didn’t let me down. Within minutes I had a selection of recipes to choose, but it was the one from my cousin suggesting fish tacos that screamed Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Hmm, I thought, May 5 was coming up, Cinco de Mayo, how so totally appropriate!!!
The next challenge, finding a recipe that was somewhat healthy and one I liked. That, in its entirety I did not find, and so, becoming ever more brave in my cooking abilities (Ha!) I winged it – took elements from a few different recipes, omitted things, added things, didn’t rely on measuring cups/spoons, but rather judgement. My chef of a pops would be so proud!
Dear readers, oh my goodness, fish tacos is most definitely the recipe for Mexican-style chutney! And made all the more perfect with pico de gallo, balsamic red cabbage slaw, and blackened white cod.
I’ll admit I was a bit concerned blackening the cod, as I knew the chutney already had a spicy kick to it, and I worried the blackening would be overkill. It wasn’t. Yes, the chutney is on the hotter side of the scale, and opens up the pores quite nicely, but its underlying smoky tones melded perfectly with the cajun, cumin, and Mexican chilli powder rub.
Let me just say, oh my belly love!!! I am sure to be dreaming about this flavour until we meet again!
If I had my way, Cinco de Mayo fish tacos would be every day!
BLACKENED FISH TACOS:
(Makes 8 small soft-shelled tacos)
Pico de Gallo:
~ 1/4 red onion – chopped
~ 1/4 c. cilantro – chopped
~ 1/2 container of large grape tomatoes (2 ripe plum tomatoes work too) – chopped
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
Red Cabbage Slaw:
~ 1.5c red cabbage – shredded
~ 1/2 c. cilantro
~ 2T balsamic vinegar
~ 1tsp raw honey
~ juice from 1 lime
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside
~ 2T olive oil
~ 1 pound white fish (I used cod)
~ 1T cajun seasoning
~ 2 tsp Mexican chilli powder
~ 1/4 tsp ground cumin
Season each side of the fish fillets and toss them on to the barbecue. Allow each side to blacken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the fish is cooked through, remove from heat and flake it up with a fork.
~ soft-shelled tacos
~ Muy Rico chutney
Fish –> cabbage –> pico de gallo –> chutney drizzled on top