Green Chile Chutney
Part of living my crazy locavore life is dealing with abundance. While it can be a wonderful thing, when it comes to produce, abundance is a double edged sword. When not dealt with in a timely fashion, abundance can quickly become waste. And so when my neighbor dropped off a bag of green chiles (her sister planted them by mistake, thinking they were sweet peppers) while my garden and the CSA were pumping out peppers of all kinds, I found myself with an overflowing fridge drawer of peppers. I roasted all of them, hot and sweet. I’m old school, I roast peppers right on top of the stove, over the open burner, just like my mom did.
For the smaller peppers, a grill pan is required, or they will burn down to ashy nuggets. As each pepper is fully charred, I put them in a brown paper bag to cool down. Once they were cooled, I cleaned them and froze them.
And then forgot them.
While digging through the freezer, I found the container and set it on the counter to thaw out. Green Chile Chutney is one of my favorites and in the winter I relish every opportunity I have to put a thin layer of this sweet-spicy mixture on the inside of a grilled cheese sandwich. If you’re putting together a cheese plate for the holidays, this is a great spread paired with chevre or cheddar. I make this chutney every year, and since we don’t give “gifts” in our family (no kids), this is a treat my brother and my cousin expect in their holiday goodie bags.
Green Chile Chutney
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion or shallot, peeled and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 cups roasted green peppers (mix jalapeno, Serrano, chile and sweet), chopped to ¼” dice
2 cups sugar
1 ½ tablespoons finely ground dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup cider vinegar
In a stainless steel or enameled cast iron pot, heat the oil on medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger until lightly golden, about five minutes. Add the chopped peppers, sugar, oregano, cinnamon and salt, stir to mix and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once every other minute to make sure the sugar does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. Deglaze with vinegar and cook until the mixture has slightly thickened, about ten more minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to sterilized mason jars.
Makes six (8) ounce mason jars of chutney, keep one for yourself and give the others as hostess gifts during the holidays.