I have a friend that always jokes that my table looks like a French table because I put out so many jars of sauces, chutneys, mustards and other toppings for meals. I must admit, I’m a lover of a good topping. With a variety of toppings you can take a burger from “everyday” to “extraordinary”. Not to mention you can make the same thing taste completely differently depending on which topping you add. I have a collection of mustards in my pantry, I buy them when I spot an interesting one while traveling.

This past fall I got a delicious jar of Ipswich Ale Mustard at Plum Cove Grind a small coffee shop in Gloucester, MA. I also have small pots of mustard from around the world purchased from specialty grocery stores.

The chutneys and sauces we use are made in my kitchen. I try just about every chutney recipe I stumble upon. Making chutney is a really great way to use up small quantities of fruit. My most favorite variety is Roasted Pear Chutney, although I have a peach chutney that comes in a close second.

adapted from Epicurious

2 ripe pears, peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon organic sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 small red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons currants
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Toss the pears with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the cinnamon, and cloves. Coat a sheet pan with half the vegetable oil. Set the pears cut side down on the pan. Brush the pears with the remaining oil. Roast until caramelized and tender, 40 to 50 minutes, depending on the degree of ripeness. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. While the pears are roasting, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a nonreactive saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4. Using a small spoon or a melon baller, scoop out the cores of the cooked pears. Cut the pears into 1/2-inch slices.
5. Combine the pears and the onion mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving.

I make a big batch of this and can it. I fill sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace, add rings & lids, process in waterbath canner for 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.

The sauce, chutney, topping section of my pantry is starting to look a little sparse. I typically make my chutneys every two years. This year I’ll definitely be restocking my collection as I’d hate to run out. My burgers would be very boring without them!

Do you make any sauces, chutneys or toppings? What’s your favorite way to eat chutney?

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23 Responses to Friday Favorite: Chutneys, Sauces and Toppings

  1. Mich says:

    I make chutney using homegrown fruit & veggies….my favorite is beetroot chutney.
    Like to eat mine with good cheddar cheese and crackers.

  2. I had never in my life had chutney before moving here, but a friend of the MiL’s is from Yorkshire, so she would always give us some chutney for Christmas. I can’t eat the really spicy ones, and I pretty much limit it to curries, but MAN, is that good. Chutney and curry seems like such a weird combination of flavors, but it totally works. I made some green tomato chutney last fall for the first time. According to Jane–the Yorkshire friend, from whom I got the recipe–it’s supposed to age for a year before use, so I haven’t tried it yet.

    Your mustard addiction reminded me of when we visited the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. You would love that place–you could buy all kinds of mustards there. It was kind of fun in a quirky way, but I much preferred the nearby historic Norwegian homestead museum, called Little Norway. So now you know what to do next time you find yourself in Mt, Horeb. Because that happens so often.

    • Susy says:

      I’ll have to agree with your friend. When I first made the green tomato chutney I wasn’t a fan. But now that it’s been in the pantry for over a year it’s pretty good (my recipe needs more salt, but that’s easily fixed post opening).

      I’ll put Mt Horeb on my Google map of places I want to go, sounds fascinating!

      • KimP says:

        What a great idea! I didn’t know you could create a customized map like that. I’ve started my own now. 🙂

      • Susy says:

        OH yes, it’s a fabulous way to keep track of all those places you find that sound interesting, restaurants, museums, gardens, etc. Whenever we’re heading out for a trip I check my map and what’s nearby that we can visit. Here’s my map.

  3. your recipe will be another one for me to tag to try.
    I love chutney making and have such a huge store of jars in the cellar. I’m getting wise in my old age though and only making huge batches of the ones I know I love and accepting a small batch for peculiar recipes with potentially bizarre tasting outcomes is for the best. My favourites are green tomato and garlic, curried apple and county and rhubarb, orange and ginger.
    Have also been experimenting with flavoured vinegars. Raspberry vinegar is my all time fave using home-grown fruit. mmmm

  4. Shannon says:

    I love my mothers chutney is absolutely perfect… do i know whats in it, no. But i love it, she always gets it out when she makes curried chicken and it is the perfect cooling to the spicy curry… yumm!

  5. Brittany P. says:

    I have not made any yet but this is a biggy on the list of things I want to do this year. I love toppings and sauces too and hope to see more great recipes. I have already found many in my new cookbooks. 🙂 I want to make chutneys, salsas, jams, preserves, vinegars, mustards, barbeque sauce, ketchup, salad dressings…

  6. KimH says:

    That recipe sounds totally delightful. My niece in law has a couple pear trees and has assured me this year I am more than welcome to come get all I want of it, so I think I’ll have your recipe on a card & do something cute like tie it to a really pretty jar to give her when I go get them..
    Thanks so much.. cant wait to try this recipe!!
    Have a wonderful day..

  7. I’ve never made chutney…but your recipes (and photos!) are so inspiring I want to try. And I love a unique burger! I also love using up small amounts of ingredients so nothing gets wasted. I think I’ll add “make chutney” to my 2011 To Do List.

  8. Vivian says:

    I have never had chutney, but might have to give it a try. I love your jar that you used for your roasted pear chutney. What kind is it? I love
    that it is small.

    • Susy says:

      They’re Ball half pint platinum jars. These are the kinds I usually buy for gift giving because they’re quite lovely.

      Here’s what the <a href="Half-Pint Platinum Jarpackaging looks like, although can find them cheapet at Target & Walmart.

  9. Margaret says:

    I have toyed with chutney, but didn’t know what it was for or how to use it.
    Thanks for the ideas.

  10. Love, love, love chutneys and didn’t really know how much until last year. Now, I can’t live without them. They’re especially delicious with stuffed pork tenderloin or a strong, sharp cheddar. Your recipe looks great and we look forward to trying it this summer. One of my all time favorite chutneys is apple ginger chutney. Mmmm, sweet and savory ~ what a great combo!

  11. marcia says:

    I make a spiced peach chutney that is great in burgers. I started off with a recipe from the internet then tweaked it to make it fit with what I had in my pantry. No dates, add figs. Not enough raisins, add some chopped dried apricots. Cooking is like life, even if you’re missing a few elements there are always enough good things to get a tasty result. I also love making a red pepper confit but I always end up eating it before I get a chance to can it.

  12. Jazkabor says:

    I have only had chutneys once or twice and loved them each time. At the store they are quite expensive, and I am never sure how to eat them. Would love to know more! (YUM) How else do you eat them? I do have a pear tree, and am working on getting more homegrowing going. This year we will also have ten raspberries, and 5 blueberry plants. Anyone have a suggestion for those? I have heard before of raspberry vinegar, but again not sure how you use it.

    I will be back to see what others post about yummy chutneys!

    • Susy says:

      We usually enjoy chutneys on sandwiches, on burgers instead of ketchup/mustard, slather some on your turkey sandwich. It’s also great inside a grilled cheese. Or you can simply enjoy on some good cheese. I sometimes use it to make a quick vinaigrette, mix with chutney with vinegar & olive oil to taste. The raspberry vinegar can be used to make salad dressing. We freeze raspberries & blueberries and enjoy them in scones and in cobblers.

      • Jazkabor says:

        Thank you for the info! I freeze berries each summer, but I only make smoothies with them. : )

        Just because I don’t know what else to do. I try to not jam much of them because of all the sugar.

        I did just make a whole wheat backberry coffee cake that was DELICIOUS, we will be making that again and again!

        Would this be a black or red currant?? I haven’t purchased currants before. Though I am looking into growing them.
        The book Landscaping with Fruit was an amazing read!

        • Susy says:

          Either kind of currant works, or you can sub in extra raisins if you don’t have currants. I sometimes use a mix of golden & regular raisins. I’m hoping to add currants to my garden this year.

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