I love when one recipe serves several purposes.
Like this one for Dried Apricot, Pear and Raisin Chutney.
I am using this (placed in pretty jars) as gifts to my friends for Purim. But I made enough for me too and am going to serve it along with the roasted lamb I am going to make for my Academy Award dinner. We always watch the event, red-carpet stuff and all, with my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Eileen. Eileen will not eat this because it has hot pepper in it and she doesn’t like anything spicy (she’ll get a different homemade chutney with her dinner).
I’ve been thinking lately that we don’t eat enough chutney. It’s one of the most versatile and flexible of foods. You can use all sorts of fresh and dried vegetables and fruits, spices, herbs, other flavorings (like vinegar, citrus peel, Port wine) and the delicious concoctions you can make are endless.
I mean, there is life beyond ketchup, right?
Dried Apricot, Pear and Raisin Chutney
12 ounces dried apricot halves
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
12 whole cardamom pods
2 cups sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup golden raisins
Cut the apricots into quarters, place in a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover them. Let the apricots soak for 30 minutes. Drain and place them in a saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, sugar, vinegar, Balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the pears and raisins and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the fruits are tender and the mixture is thick. Let cool. Makes about 3 cups