chutney

Pear and Green Tomato Chutney

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I was always a "late-bloomer" so I was not at all surprised that my tomato plants are too. It's the way it is with me. The plants bore fruit in October rather than at the end of August, when they are supposed to (in my part of the world anyway).

As for me, well, my mother always said "what's the rush?" and of course she was right. I eventually did lose that first tooth, need a bra, learn to ride a bike.

But the tomatoes were a different story. A hurricane was coming (or so I thought). I wasn't about to let the wind and rain destroy those beautiful, slowly-ripening green things. Not after an entire summer of tending to my garden and kvelling when the tiny yellow flowers finally turned themselves into real, would-be tomatoes.

I left a couple on the vine -- just in case the storm passed us by. (It did!)

But with the rest? Some are on the windowsill waiting to ripen. The others became chutney.

Late-bloomers do hold their own in the world in some magnificent way.

 

Pear and Green Tomato Chutney

 

  • 3 pounds ripe but firm pears (about 6), peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 pound yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large green tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1-1/2 cups raisins
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 whole peppercorns

 

Place the pears, onions, tomatoes, raisins, celery, brown sugar, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt and apple cider vinegar into a large saucepan. Wrap the peppercorns in cheesecloth (or inside a muslin bag) and add to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to mix the ingredients. Lower the heat, cover the pan partially and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until thick.

Makes about 5 cups

 

 

Dried Apricot, Pear and Raisin Chutney

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  boiling water  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   

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

boiling water

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

 

Pear and Green Tomato Chutney

I goofed. Really, really goofed.

This past summer I decided to plant tomatoes. Just one plant, because in years gone by the deer came and ate everything, flowers, tiny green fruit and all. So I gave up for a while, but this year risked it with one plant.

But I did it too late. So in late August when everyone was harvesting gorgeous red fruit from their vines, my plants were flowering. I got some lovely green tomatoes by mid-September and thought I had a chance to get some good red ones — if only there was time and temperature. Well it got colder at night. And the earth is in a different place with respect to the sun (thanks Galileo!).

The tomatoes were getting bruised looking and ratty. Some had soft spots. 

I realized I would not get one red tomato this year.

Never mind. This became the perfect opportunity to make green tomato chutney, don’t you agree?

Next year I’ll start earlier. The deer have found greener pastures than my back yard.

Btw, if you prefer, make this with apples instead of pears.

Pear and Green Tomato Chutney

  • 6 medium pears, peeled, cored and chopped

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped

  • 2 small chili peppers such as serrano, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped dried apricots

  • 1 cup golden raisins

  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cups brown sugar

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed 

Place the pears, tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, garlic, apricots, raisins, ginger, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder and mustard seed in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 2-1/2 hours or until very thick.

Makes about 2-1/2 quarts

Kumquat-Date Chutney

Aren’t these beautiful? They’re kumquats, which I mentioned yesterday. They’re small, oval and bitter and most people don’t like them raw. But they’re good stuff when you cook them. Kumquat chutney is a real winner. Goes very well with roasted chicken, turkey or lamb, so you can use it as a special little side dish for New Year’s dinner if you’re entertaining at home.  You can also use it as an hors d’oeuvre: serve it with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese or Brie and crackers.    Kumquat-Date Chutney   1 teaspoon mustard seeds  1/2 teaspoon anise seeds  1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns  6 whole cloves  1 2-inch cinnamon stick  1 cup sliced, deseeded kumquats  8 large Medjool dates, halved  1/2 cup raisins or dried cherries  1-1/4 cups orange or tangerine juice  1/3 cup apple cider vinegar  1 cup sugar  2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger  Place the mustard seeds and anise seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool slightly, then place the seeds in a small muslin spice bag (or use a few layers of cheesecloth) with the peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick (fold the cheesecloth over the spices and secure with string or a plastic bag tie). Place the spice bag in the pan. Add the kumquats, dates, raisins, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar and ginger. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, stir and simmer the ingredients for 35-40 minutes or until the chutney is thick. Let cool. Remove the spice bag. Makes about 2-1/2 cups

Aren’t these beautiful? They’re kumquats, which I mentioned yesterday. They’re small, oval and bitter and most people don’t like them raw. But they’re good stuff when you cook them. Kumquat chutney is a real winner. Goes very well with roasted chicken, turkey or lamb, so you can use it as a special little side dish for New Year’s dinner if you’re entertaining at home.

You can also use it as an hors d’oeuvre: serve it with mascarpone cheese, cream cheese or Brie and crackers. 

Kumquat-Date Chutney

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

6 whole cloves

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 cup sliced, deseeded kumquats

8 large Medjool dates, halved

1/2 cup raisins or dried cherries

1-1/4 cups orange or tangerine juice

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger

Place the mustard seeds and anise seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool slightly, then place the seeds in a small muslin spice bag (or use a few layers of cheesecloth) with the peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick (fold the cheesecloth over the spices and secure with string or a plastic bag tie). Place the spice bag in the pan. Add the kumquats, dates, raisins, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar and ginger. Bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, stir and simmer the ingredients for 35-40 minutes or until the chutney is thick. Let cool. Remove the spice bag. Makes about 2-1/2 cups