My tries at growing things this year were going better than last year. Especially the Chilis grew like crazy and I found myself wondering what to do with them… I came across a recipe for Chili Chutney in one of my Jamie Oliver Cookbooks (Jamie at Home; highly recommended, the book is great!) and amended it slightly. What can I say – soon, I’ll have to make more of it because it’s so very good!
- 6-8 bell peppers, red
- 3 red onions
- 1 sprig Rosemary
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 100g brown sugar
- 150ml balsamic vinegar
- some olive oil, salt, pepper
- clean preserving jars to store the chutney
Step one: Roast the Chilis and Bell Peppers. Pre-heat oven to high heat and grill if you can. Half the Bell Peppers and remove the stem and seeds, place on baking sheet. I’ve put the chilis wholly on the sheet and in the oven and learned the hard way that they actually explode. 🙂 So you might want to cut a small opening lenghtwise so they won’t explode. 🙂
Bake/grill until the skin turns black and bubbly. You will have to remove the Chilis before the bell pepper, because they won’t take as long. Put the grilled Chilis into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. While they cool, the steam will make it really easy to remove the skin. Remove the stem and seeds and skin from the chilis. (you probably won’t be able to remove every single bit of skin, but that’s ok). Careful – DO NOT touch your eyes after that task, it burns! If you’re sensitive, you might want considering wearing rubber gloves. Repeat the skinning for the bell peppers.
Afterwards, you’ll have a nice heap of soft, grilled chili and bell pepper pulp. Chop with a knife or the help of a food processor.
Next, finely chop the onions and the rosemary leaves. Heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and slowly brown for approx. 20 minutes. The onions will caramelize and almost fall apart. Add the chopped chilis and bell pepper, sugar, some salt and pepper and the balsamic vinegar and cook over low heat. Don’t forget to stir occassionally. Let cook until the liquid has vaporized and the consistency of the chutney is thick and sirupy. Have a taste to see if it needs some more salt and pepper. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves and fill into sterilized preserving jars.
The Chutney is great with cold cuts, Fondue Chinoise or any other kind of meat. It’s also fantastic with cheese or warm cheese bread. The mister even incorporated it into a sauce for venison.
I also thought that next time, I try to add some figs instead of bell pepper to make it even fruitier and more exotic. 🙂