Ch-ch-chutney, Honey

Tomato chutney

Tomato Chutney

The great thing about being a magazine hoarder is the modest collection of food magazines that I get to flip through for ideas, especially for seasonal food. Nothing worse than attempting a raspberry tart in the middle of winter because you’d be hard pressed to find the main ingredient and it ends up being really expensive. So I like going through my old magazines according to its publication month. Sometimes I’ll have zilch (like for April and May – so I borrow from March and June), and sometimes I have about five different magazines to flip through (like I will in August!). But I stumbled upon this little gem of a recipe in the March 2008 copy of Delicious.

To be completely honest, I think I’ve tried chutney only a handful of times. Usually in burgers or some sort of sandwich. I may have bought a bottle of chutney once but I don’t remember much of the experience. Maybe I never even opened the bottle… It’s probably still in the back corners of the pantry in my parents’ kitchen.

Tomato Chutney
Adapted from Delicious March 2008

300 ml malt vinegar
500 g ripe tomatoes, diced roughly
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 cloves
Thumb-sized ginger, grated
160 g sultanas
90 g brown sugar

1. Place half the vinegar in a large, deep saucepan with all the ingredients.

2. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes until sugar has dissolved.

3. Simmer for 30-40 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and tomatoes have softened and the apple is tender.

4. Add the remaining vinegar and leave pot on low heat for another 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chutney has thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Note: I kept mine on the flame for close to an hour because I really wanted most of the liquid to evaporate.

5. Divide chutney among sterilised jars (I filled up two jars) and cool. Place a circle of baking paper directly on chutney and seal with airtight lids. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for at least a month, up to 6 months.

I, of course, ate it the very next day because I’m not very good at being patient with my food! I had it for breakfast with some bacon & onion quickbread that I had whipped up a while back, but still had a few pieces of in the freezer. I’m pretty crazy about savoury and sweet paired together, especially when done right. And in this instance, it was excellent in my mouth! But I’m a little weird with the savoury and sweet… the other morning I had pancakes with smoked salmon and honey drizzled on top and I thought it was really delicious. I also moped up the drops of honey with a slice of hot salami. I can sense the look of repulsion on people’s faces as they read that but if it’ll improve your opinion of my strange palate, I absolutely loathed it when Domino’s had Apricot Sauce or something horrible like that in their bacon pizza. That might’ve been a few years back and I hope they’ve removed it from their menu, but I won’t find out cos I’ve since discovered wayyyy better pizza joints that do deliveries in Melbourne.

I digress…

As for sterilising the jars, it is recommended that you let the jars go through a cycle in the dishwasher or place them upside down on a baking tray and popped into a 140˚C oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to the lowest setting and leave them in the oven until chutney is ready.

Tomato chutney

My new love

I’ve finished up an entire jar already and am working my way through the second jar now. I’ve been having it with a lot of things and discovering how to work it into my meals. So far one of my favourite combinations is tomato chutney with cheese. The other day I smooshed some buffalo mozzarella onto a piece of hot toast and slathered the chutney on and mmmm, it was excellent. Then I bought a small block of King Island Dairy’s Roaring Forties Blue Cheese. I’m a little picky with blue cheese because it can become overpoweringly disgusting but this one was perfect for me. Stinky but not offensively so, sharp but not gag-reflexively-challenging. And with some crisp bread and tomato chutney? DING DING DING! We have a winner, folks!

I’m probably the worst person to talk chutney but my own attempt at this wonderful sweet and sour vegetable-fruit mishmash was a mini revelation. Don’t judge me if you find me eating chutney out of the jar with a spoon. I’m officially an addict.