Tuesday, January 2

Jan: Westernized Chutney

The word "chutney" comes from the Hindi term meaning "to taste." It originated in India as a way to preserve fruits and vegetables. Chutney, as a genre, is often similar to the salsa of Latin cooking, or European relish in-so-far as it usually involves a fresh, chopped primary vegetable/fruit with seasonings added, to be used as a condiment for another food. Making chutney is an easy and tasty method of capturing and extending the flavors of the seasons.

Chutney is a classic example of combining seasonal fruits and vegetables into a delicious creation. Make it with ripe firm fruit, vegetable(s) for contrast, and spices. You can even make it with immature fruits which become tender and rich when cooked in a chutney. The concentration of the fruit and/or vegetable with a balance of vinegar and sugar make for a very rich flavor which enhances the taste of many foods.

Just about any firm fruit will work for chutney. It can be made from apples, pears, peaches, mangos, papayas, cherries and melons. Many dried fruits can also be used. Vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and carrots are great chutney candidates too. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios add interesting texture and flavor. You could have some fun mixing and matching many of these ingredients.

Cranberry Chutney
With the close of cranberry season, this is a great way to preserve the fruit and enjoy them throughout the year. This chutney is wonderful with meat such as a braised pork shoulder or roasted duck. It is also good with cream cheese on a bagel or as a dip for crackers.

1 medium white onion, chopped

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tsp toasted mustard seeds
1/4 cup minced ginger

1/2 tsp f
resh ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh ground cloves or ground cloves
pinch ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt

1 lb fresh cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, chopped

1-2 Fuyu persimmons, chopped (optinal)

Minced JalapeƱo (however much you like)

3/4 cups cider vinegar

1/2+ apple cider

Juice form 1-2 tangerine
12 oz can whole cranberry sauce
3/4 cup+ sugar (I use mostly brown)

Sweat onions in some olive oil for a few minutes then add balsamic and cook until evaporated. Add the spices and cook a little. Then add then add everything else and cook until it’s done (up to 2 hours) or until it has reached the desired consistency. You may need to refresh it as it cooks with some water or cider or something. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Transfer the chutney into clean glass containers. It will keep in the fridge for several months. You could also can it.