As part of our CSA share this week, we received a bag holding about a pound of roasted red chilies. We often get these roasted red chiles, and most times we just make up a batch of chili relleno casserole. Not this time, though; instead, we thought we’d try our hand at a roasted chili chutney. Sound good? Well, let’s scratch some up. Oh, but before we do, we’ll let you in on a little secret about chutney.
If you’re looking for a definitive recipe for chutney, there isn’t one. Instead, you make chutney with whatever you have on hand, add some sugar, vinegar, and spices, let it simmer for a while, and you’re good to go. With that in mind, we’ll list what we put in ours (which we selected by looking in the fridge and cupboard), but feel free to change it up.
For spices, we pretty much shop at Penzey’s. There’s one in town, and the prices and quality are very good, especially if you need a lot of a particular spice. Feel free to change up pretty much any of the ingredients above to suit your tastes and go with what you have available. We do recommend that you keep the brown sugar and vinegar, though, as many chutneys rely on the combination to provide that sweet/sour taste.
Procedure in detail:
There really isn’t any procedure. Just put everything into a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour, or until the mixture thickens. Pack it in glass jars and place in the refrigerator. The flavors will meld and mellow over time.
For something that we just made up, this turned out to be good. It’s a bit on the hot side, because of the peppers (they were labeled mild, but, unless you taste each one, you can never be sure), but the mix of spices, vinegar, and sugar makes for a great combination. If we had to rate it now, it would be a 3 starrer, and it’ll probably still be that, but we’re going to wait a week to taste it until after it’s had time for the flavors to meld. The one thing we didn’t like was hitting those crunchy spices (like cloves). Next time we’ll be sure to put those in a spice infuser.