This zesty chutney goes well as a garnish for almost any grilled or roasted poultry or meat, especially beef. If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush the dried spices; otherwise, put them in a small, sturdy plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, crush them until very fine.
Servings: 3.5 cups
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped ginger root
- 1 3-inch stick cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries, crushed (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice)
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed (may substitute scant 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 3 pinches dried hot red pepper flakes, crushed, to taste
- 2 cloves, finely crushed (may substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 1/2 cups pitted and chopped (3/4 inch) unpeeled red or yellow plums
- 1 1/4 cups slightly underriped peeled tomatoes, chopped in 3/4-inch pieces
Have 2 or 3 eight-ounce jars ready.
In a medium-size nonreactive pan over medium-high heat, combine the onion, ginger root, cinnamon stick, allspice, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, cloves, sugar, vinegar and water. Adjust the heat so mixture boils briskly and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the plums and reduce the heat to simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until the plum and tomato pieces are cooked through but still hold some shape. The liquid should seem almost syrupy. Remove from the heat.
To test for doneness, put about a tablespoon of the chutney in a small, nonreactive bowl and place in the freezer about 3 minutes. If the syrup is slightly thickened, the chutney is done. If it is still runny, boil 2 minutes longer. (The chutney may still seem somewhat fluid but will thicken further when chilled.)
Remove from the heat. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Ladle the chutney into jars, allowing about 3/4-inch headroom for expansion during freezing. Wipe any drips from jar rims and threads; screw on the lids securely. Let stand until barely warm. If lids seem loose after cooling and contracting, check and tighten further, but not so much that the seal is broken. May refrigerate for 1 month or freeze up to 1 year.
Adapted from cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
Tested by Nancy Baggett.
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