By Karen Vivers
The Cooking Coach Sept 2015
Karen Vivers, originally from Scotland, has lived here in Amsterdam since 1997, and has set up the Cooking Coach to help inspire people to get back into the kitchen. The basis of the cooking lessons are easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Each course starts with a free introduction session, to make sure that you only cook what you like to eat.
As well as cooking lessons, Karen offers Culinary Tasting Tours in Amsterdam, is a passionate food blogger, writer, author of “Love Food, Live Healthy” and works freelance as a Business Consultant, specialising in small and medium food businesses, helping them get started, grow and deal with commercial challenges.
Red Tomato Chutney
Something starts stirring every year at this time – no I don’t mean me with a spoon in a pot, that’s an everyday occurrence, I mean emotionally. I don’t know if it’s the change (imminent or actual) in the weather or the change of foods available. Whatever it is, my compulsion to preserve is awakened. I just have to do it, whether it’s jam making or pickling, I can’t stop myself putting things in jars, labelling them and squirreling everything away for the long winter ahead. When I’m working away, when the pans are bubbling and the jars are sterilizing, I imagine myself indulging in my preserves at Christmas time, munching through melting cheeses and cold cuts with a preserved selection of the best of summer fruits and vegetables as accompaniments.
The act of preserving is almost spiritual for me, I’m in the kitchen (my church), normally alone, meditatively I cut and slice my ingredients, carefully I measure my spices and flavourings whilst my chutneys and relishes are bubbling and plopping hypnotically in the background. You can’t rush this, you have to wait until every ingredient has married together to give you the taste you need to keep you going through those cold nights. I think of time with family in years gone by as we all did this together in my mum’s or my granddad’s kitchen with the copious amounts of fruits and vegetables from our vast garden. I think of sharing, not only with each other but with neighbours, giving away the bounty that we had grown and preserved with such care. I think of the family dinners, big parties and small gatherings to celebrate, to condole or just to be together where the pots of flavour would garnish our table. I hope this chutney will grace your table in the near future, not to mention your palate.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients for a yield of approx. 2.75kg / 6lbs
1.2kg / 2.6 lb tomatoes chopped finely
500gr / 1.1 lb white onions, finely chopped
500gr / 1.1 lb apples (I often use Elstar), core removed, diced (I leave the skin on) or grated
500ml / 1 pt U.S / 0.8 pt U.K red wine vinegar
400gr / 14 oz. dark brown sugar
350gr / 12 oz. sultanas
3 x tsp ground ginger
3 x tsp cinnamon
1 x tsp nutmeg
1 x tsp all spice
1/2 tsp salt
- Place the tomatoes, onions, apples and red wine vinegar in a large heavy bottomed pan and simmer until tender.
- Add the sugar and simmer it gently over a medium / low heat until it dissolves.
- Add the sultanas and the seasonings stir through and simmer until the chutney thickens to a syrupy consistency, this should take about 30 minutes or so.
- Allow to cool and spoon into sterile jars, seal the jars. You can eat it more or less straight away, but if you can wait a week or so, then the taste will be even better.
Tips and Variations
- I like to serve this chutney with sausages, hamburgers, cold meats and strong cheeses.
- This is great to make if you have some over ripe tomatoes that need to be used.
- This chutney will keep in clean, sealed jars in a cool place for more than 6 months. Once open, best to store in the fridge.
Karen's Healthy Cooking BookBuy it online
Love Food, Live Healthy is ideal for those of us who really enjoy our food, but want to eat consciously without compromising on flavour. Packed with over 100 recipes, this book has lots of practical cooking and healthy eating tips. Designed for cooks of all skill levels, whether you love cooking or just love eating!
The Cooking Coach
Love Food, Live Healthy
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