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Monday, November 10, 2014

Comments on Condiments

There's really nothing I like better than a good condiment.  Just ask my family.  For years they have been deriving enormous humor from my hotdog preparation at Pirates games.  I think of the hotdog and its accompanying bun as the delivery system for the condiments.  Ted and the kids think the whole things turns out to be pretty messy and gross.  I think it's perfect.  The more mustard, onions, relish, and kraut, the better.  I like it that way.  No apologies.

My love of condiments extends far beyond hotdog fixings.  I love all condiments, and that includes even the weird ones like chutney.  Is it sweet?  Is it savory?  It's a little of both.  And that suits me fine.

Generally speaking, chutneys are served with roasted meats.  They add a nice sweetness and spice -- think Major Grey's Mango Chutney.  I'm a renegade though.  I like to serve chutney in unexpected ways. This particular apple chutney is really nice on toasted  multigrain bread or cornbread.  Think of it as an interesting fruit compote.  It adds an interesting little something something to everything it touches.

This is an Ina Garten recipe so you know (1) it'll be good, and (2) it'll be fairly easy.  For the record, I was out of raisins.  (Who runs out of raisins?  Running out of raisins is like being out of milk.  It just doesn't happen.)  I used currants instead and it was still tasty as can be.  The chutney took just minutes to whip up and the leftovers kept for a week or so in the refrigerator.

So, spread your condiment wings.  Live a little.  This chutney could be your new favorite condiment.

Ina Garten's Sweet and Savory Apple Chutney
Make It Ahead, 2014


6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and half-inch diced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
3/4 cup good cider vinegar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon whole dried mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins


Combine the apples, onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and salt and in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Take off the heat and add the raisins.

Set aside to cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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