Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour
Chutneys to relish
All of the pickles that I made and squirreled away last summer and fall are out, gone, disappeared. The cupboard is bare. But, the appetite for that accent mark in meal remains. Nothing to do but hit the pots and pans and brew up a few chutneys to see us through this dry spell. Like the word salsa, the term chutney is used to describe many kinds of sauces. Chutneys range from sweet jamlike mixtures to uncooked savory toppings They can accent everything from sandwiches, salads, and ice creams to curries. They're easy to make, make nice gifts, and somehow seem exotic. You usually don't keep them too long, as most recipes don't call for enough acid or the sugar to act as a preservative. The Hot Apple Chutney recipe from Lydi Miller is one with canning directions. Here are a few ideas to start you down the chutney trail.
This is good with Indian food, pork or ham.
1 tart apple (like a Granny Smith), peeled and cored
Shred apple into bowl and mix with lime juice. In food processor, whirl garbanzos until coarsely pureed; add to apple. Over medium-high heat stir cumin seed in oil until it sizzles. Add chili and tumeric and stir until chili smells toasted, about 1 minute; add to the bowl. Stir in coconut and cilantro; add more lime juice and salt to taste. Remove and discard the chili. Makes 2 cups. Best the first and second days of it life.
This, of course, is great with chicken, poultry, pork,veal, even eggs. You could experiment with making it using canned cranberry sauce rather than the dried berries. If you do so remember to cut way down on the water.
2 tablespoons salted peanuts
Place peanuts and coriander seeds in blender; whirl until minced. Combine peanut mixture, dried cranberries, brown sugar, chili powder, all of the spices and water. Stir over high heat until mixture comes to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Add salt to taste and serve warm or cool. Makes 2 cups.
This is traditionally served with curries, chicken and ham dishes. It is also good poured over a block of cream cheese and served with crackers as an hors d'oeuvre.
1/16 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
Stir saffron into water and then combine with cardamon and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over high heat until sugar dissolves, a minute or 2. Stir in the mango and keep stirring until the chutney is boiling rapidly. Serve hot or cold. Makes 2 cups.
HOT APPLE CHUTNEY
Jalapeno peppers supply heat in this recipe. You may not want to use as many as this recipe calls for because the peppers vary in intensity.
4 green or yellow apples, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and seeded
Finely chop ingredients by hand or with a food processor (about 5 batches). There should be a total of about 6 cups after chopping. Combine in a heavy saucepan with remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and simmer or while still simmering, ladle into sterilized jars (boil for 20 minutes) leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims with clean, damp cloth, cover with sterile lids and secure rings. Process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath. Remove from canner, cool and store. Makes 7 half-pints.
CHUTNEYS ARE FAIL-SAFE