Chutners

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I like chutney.  I’ve had a few goes at making my own.  Here is one of them. My friend A has asked for a savoury recipe with cheese.  A – this is a savoury recipe good with cheese made available to you within 12 hours of your request!  I am your Best Friend.

Get together some tomatoes (I used about 20 or so medium sized) – they don’t need to be ripe or nice or anything, I’ve previously made it with green tomatoes.  Oh yeah.

Red Onions

A chilli, maybe one you grew yourself

Seasoning

Brown sugar

Red wine vingar

Hot english mustard

Jars

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You’ll want some jars.  I prefer Kilners but that’s probably cause they’re pretty rather than they’re better than any other jar.  These are the two types of Kilner jars you might be familiar with.  They’re a couple of quid at Robert Dyas, if you’re here in the UK.  Old clean jars are just fine, specially if you’ve spent time scrubbing off the leftover sticky bit from the label.

Put the glass jars on an oven tray, and into a hot oven for about 20 mins or so, leave them there.  Put the lids and/or rubber seals into some boiling water on the stove.  Boil a bit.  Leave them there.  You can have all that happen while you get on with the fun job of chopping a truckload of tomatoes.

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As I began chopping tomatoes, with a newly sharpened knife, I of course cut my thumb.  I called upstairs to the boyfriend (who was in the back room wrapping my stocking presents, of which I assume there are thousands) for a bandaid and he presented me with this tin.

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I got a bacon band-aid and the free gift was a tiny, tiny pig from whom the bacon band-aid was probably made.

It wasn’t a very good band-aid.  I have a different one on now.

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Chop up your tomatoes.  You don’t have to do this tidily but you do kind of want a roughly smallish but not diced chop.  Thumb-nail sized or so.  Chop them all.  I have the digital radio on Gold for this stuff, it’s not a cool job so I make sure to not listen to cool music.

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Chop your chilli.  Sorry about the photo.  This is supposed to demonstrate my fail-safe and entirely sensible way of checking the hotness of a chilli.  I stuck the whole one in, with seeds.  Now the chutney’s done I can’t really taste the chilli at all.  This happens a lot.  Sometimes I put finely chopped garlic in too.  I didn’t this time, but you might want to.

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Put your ‘matoes, sliced onions, seasoning, chilli, brown sugar (maybe about 3/4 cup but no more unless you’re a fan of the sweeter chutneys) and a good squeeze of hot mustard.  Slosh in about 250ml or so of red wine vinegar.  Sometimes I also splosh in a bit of water, too.  Depends how I’m feeling about water on any given day.

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Mix over a medium heat till you get to simmer.

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Let the beast simmer.  The tomatoes will break down a bit and it’ll get a bit liquid, smell whiffy and look like the above.

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Keep simmering.  It’ll get less liquid, it’ll reduce and it’ll start to look a bit more chutney-ish.  It’ll still be whiffy, though.

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I reduce the heat as the stuff itself reduces, keep an occasional stir to ensure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.  Basically you’re waiting for it to reduce and dry out a bit.  So kind of what it looks like above.  It’s not rocket science.

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Carefully ladle into your sterilised jars and let it cool in there.  Eat.  Eat it all.  I’ve been known to dip crackers directly into it and eat half a jar at a go.  It’s vegetable, therefore it falls into the health category.  We’ve eaten this with basically everything.  We don’t do gravy in this house anymore.  It’s chutney or bust.


After you’ve washed up, ponder the blood-stained, wrecked receipt from this afternoon’s purchase of the Xmas beef.  Grimace.

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2 thoughts on “Chutners

  1. Rachel says:

    I’ve wondered what to do with the vast amounts of tomatoes we seem to have at the end of every summer, your chutney could be the answer! You say it works with green ones as well? I *do* love chutney, especially with sausages! Also, thank you for saying “bandaid” 😀

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