This week, why not go wild and try some new foods?
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California cuisine incorporates many ethnic tastes, and chutney, popular in India, may just be the new food that becomes an old favorite.
Chutneys can be made from herbs, spices and fruits. Recipes for this sauce-like condiment vary according to regions in India, and according to available ingredients in the west.
Cooked chutney, a westernized version of the raw chutneys of India, provides a sweet/hot accompaniment that can not be beat when paired with meats and poultry or added to a sandwich. This recipe uses apples, but is flexible so feel free to substitute pears, nectarines, peaches or apricots if more readily available.
End-of-the harvest chutney
1 cup prunes
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 medium-sized (crisp) apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup currants, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Cover the dried prunes with water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and chop. Combine vinegar, sugar, coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper in an enameled or stainless steel pan. Heat to boiling: add prunes, apples, currants, onions and tomatoes. Cover and boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for about 20 to 30 minutes. Pour into pint jars, use two piece lids and adjust lids and process for 15 minutes. (Water bath)
Makes 2 pints.
Note: This recipe can be doubled or tripled with very good results.
Recipe from University of Illinois
The Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County demonstrate other chutney recipes, along with recipes and techniques for preserving various vinegars in the free public education class offered on Saturday, Sept. 17, and again on Tuesday, Sept. 20th in the County Ag Building.
Volunteers once again share knowledge and tips while teaching how to preserve chutneys and create flavorful vinegars. Samples of food cooked in the class taste amazing and the simple steps to creating these condiments may lead to further exploration of previously untried cuisines.
Come on, let the wild side out.
Questions about safe home food preservation? Call the Master Food Preservers and leave a message at 530-621-5506. A Master Food Preserver will return the call. The Master Food Preservers are also available free of charge to speak to organizations and clubs about food safety or food preservation topics. Just call the number above to arrange for a speaker for small or large groups.
For more information go to the Master Food Preserver Website at cecentralsierra.ucanr.org/Master_Food_Preservers/.