Chutney stuff and nonsense

I’ve been having a chutney-making fest – it’s my first time (don’t know what took me so long) – and I realise that all this time I’ve had this weird prejudice, putting home-made chutney together in my head with people like this this -very odd really, because I’ve always devoured it…

There’s a generosity about making chutney that I love.  The whole point of preserving is anything is to avoid wasting anything…it usually comes from having a glut of something – You don’t make something like this in small quantities, so there’s always a bounty of it.  It begs to be shared and given away.

I had a big pile of un-ripe tomatoes and more jalapeno chillis than even I could handle.  The chillis were bothering me badly and I briefly flirted with this idea of salsa and stuffed peppers, but In the end I got predictably lazy and decided to combine the tomatoes and the chillis so I went browsing to find out chutney secrets.  I found this wonderful recipe on the sumptuous and stylish website that is Fennel and Fern and adapted it to include my piles of jalapenos.

It couldn’t be easier:

Jalapeno and green tomato chutney

Green tomatoes (6 or 7 big ones or lots of small ones), roughly chopped

Jalapenos or mild-ish chillis (I used about 12 big ones), roughly chopped

4 red onions, sliced

4 apples, cubed

450g muscovado sugar, (I didn’t have enough so I used half muscovado and half demerara)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

sultanas – a couple of handfuls

400ml cheap malt vinegar

2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar

A knob of butter

Method

Heat the butter over a medium heat and add the sugar and sliced onions.  Cook them until they’re golden and soft.  Now add everything else except the vinegar and cook it for a few minutes, just to soften, stirring occasionally.  Add the malt vinegar and simmer for half an hour.  Then add the balsamic and cook some more until the mixture is soft and thick and gloopy.  Taste and adjust, leave to cool and then put your chutney into sterilised jars.

And on the subject of jars

I bought these glass lever-arm preserving jars (rather expensively) because I fell in love with them.  Problem is I want to give away the chutney but keep the jars – such a quandry darling, but as always, there is someone out there who has blogged about it, so here, if you are agonising about such things (which I’m certain you ARE) is canning queen Marisa’s take on preserving jar ettiquete…i do so love the world wide web don’t you?

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you….it’s DELICIOUS!

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