let me tell ya the story about onionz limone.
ya see, onionz was a big talker. until one day, the boss told me to give onionz the silence treatment.
know what i’m sayin?
i did a real clean job.
’cause that’s what i do.
i’m not sayin’ a coupla-few innocents didn’t get caught in the mix.
these things happen.
i get the job done.
onionz limone chutney
adapted from jams, jellies & chutneys
1/2 pound red onions (about 1 medium-large) diced
1/2 pound lemons (about 3 medium)
4 & 1/2 ounces dried apricots, chopped
4 garlic cloves,
1 1/2 inch slice of ginger
3 dried red chiles
7 ounces demerara sugar – or raw
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 pint canning jars or smaller
yield: 1 & 1/2 pints approximately
1. squeeze the lemons and set juice aside.
2. scrape the flesh from the lemon peels and discard. slice and then dice the cleaned lemon shells.
3. peel the garlic and ginger and process to a paste with the dried chilis. you can use a mini processor, a wet/dry spice grinder or a good old fashioned mortar and pestle.
4. put everything into a preserving pot including the reserved lemon juice. heat on medium low until the sugar melts and then turn up the heat to medium high and bring to the boil. simmer until mixture thickens – about 20-30 minutes. you know when it reaches sufficient thickness when you slide your stirring spoon across the bottom of the pot and the chutney wavers on either side for a second or two before it melts back over itself.
5. this chutney is quite thick and like me, you may have a bit of trouble getting all of the air pockets out of the sides. be sure to use a knife or back of spoon to run around the inside sides and give the jar a little bang and side to side shuffle on the counter-top when filling.
6. hot water bath process for 10 minutes.
to allow the flavors to fully flourish it is best to let this chutney rest for 2-3 weeks before indulging. this recipe can easily be doubled.
this little chutney packs a powerful punch, and definitely has an eastern flair. i would say skip the ubiquitous chutney & sharp cheese pairing with this one and go right for the curries, stir-frys and one dish indian and southeast asian inspired meals. or simply use it stirred into a rice or grain as the exotic flavoring agent.
(ok, i couldn’t wait – we had it last night with rice and a quick indian shrimp stir-fry and it really was the perfect pairing! i served it alongside one of our go to lemon pickles and it was so good we ended up stirring this onionz limone right into our rice and forgoing the lemon pickle altogether! go figure! )
march: allium - success!
i have a confession to make – i am not a big chutney fan. (there i said it) ok, now that i’ve let the jam out of the jar – i’ll explain that it’s not 100% true. i actually love chutney – the fresh kind, the kind that is served all over the eastern hemisphere in varying degrees. the kind that is traditionally ground between pestle and grinding stone at heights closer to the floor than the counter-top, and taste the best the day they are made.
but the hot water bath preserved kind that stems from the british’s take on the real thing? well, not so much. however, i wanted to push the onion skin for this month’s can jam and find a preserved chutney i could relate to. and lo, at a point or two in the cooking process i was thinking, “oh, no, fail!” but eventually the flavors and textures came together to a seriously mouth-watering condiment. it is sweet yes, but not cloyingly so, and the pungency & spice will bring me back to the preserving pot for this one. i can certainly see it as a larder staple as i imagine it will pair with many-a-things going on in my kitchen. and i dare say it’s prompted me to explore more chutneys of the preserving persuasion.