If you have a vegetable garden, or if a fruit is in season and you can buy it really cheap, then why not try to make a chutney? Chutneys make great sidings for grilled meats, and can even be bottled and given away as presents. Here are some tips for making them at home.
Prepare the produce
Choose fruits and vegetables that are free of any bruises or blemishes. Wash them to remove traces of fertilizer or pesticide and prepare them right away. Check the recipes for instructions, but in general vegetables are rubbed with dry salt and then soaked in a brine solution (or salt and water).
You will need jars that have a screw-on lid. These jars should be sterilized beforehand, to prevent the chutney from being contaminated with bacteria. If you plan to sell or give away the chutney, wear plastic disposable gloves (often used in food preparation) and include the date when the chutney was prepared on your label.
By the way, aside from jars, you also need wax paper, cut into discs that fit perfectly into the jar. The paper will help protect your chutney from evaporation (especially those that contain vinegar).
Chutneys (as well as any pickles) must never be boiled in iron, copper or brass pans. Use only aluminum or stainless steel. It’s also best to stir the chutney with wooden spoons.
Photo from simplyrecipes.com
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