March 13, 2012

Cherry Chipotle Chutney

As a scientist, even I cannot fathom the amount of ingredients found in most sauces in the grocery store.  From teriyaki sauce to barbecue sauce to ketchup, the first or second ingredient is usually some crazy form of sugar.  After years, I finally got my mom on board to start making her own barbecue sauce last week.  Proud moment.  But for this week's condiment, I wanted to try something a little out of the jar, if you will.  In the summer I always pair fresh fruit salsas with chipotle; I love the smoky flavor in contrast with the sweet fruits.   I took that idea and paired the chipotle with frozen cherries, lemon and lime, and a little agave nectar to create a sweet, spicy, and smoky chutney.

Chutney Pork Chops
A chutney is a relish consisting of fruits, acid like citrus or vinegar, spices, and sugar.  It can be used to brightened up dishes from antipasti, a topping for chicken or fish, or combined in a dressing.  I ended up using mine for a glaze on pork chops and in a simple salad with bitter watercress.  I feel better when I'm eating this straight from the fridge with a hunk of cheese because I made it myself without any crazy preservatives or other chemicals!

Cherry Chipotle Chutney
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
lemon, zest and juice
lime, zest and juice
1 cup frozen cherries, thawed
1 chipotle pepper + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (chipotles in adobo)
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the red onion in olive oil on medium high until it begins to caramelize.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add in the garlic, zest, and cumin and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add in the juice, cherries, chipotle pepper, adobe sauce, and agave nectar.  When the cherries begin to thaw, crush them with the back of a wooden spoon to help release their juices.

Let simmer until the liquid becomes syrup-y.

Refrigerate in an air tight container for a week.  Mine didn't last a day, multiply the recipe if necessary!

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