Friday, May 27, 2011

Rhubarb Chutney

I've been wondering what to do with my rhubarb. I made a couple of rhubarb cakes (took one to a friend and ate the other one myself!) but wanted to try something a little bit different. The Europeans seem to like rhubarb as a savory treat, so I thought I'd give it a try. I found some recipes for rhubarb chutney and combined the parts that sounded the best to my palate. The end result was pretty tasty. I roasted a pork loin and have been enjoying pork and chutney sandwiches for a couple of days.

Rhubarb Chutney (all measurements approximate - based on my poor memory - I think this is quite forgiving and flexible, so no need to be exact)

1/2 c red wine vinegar (my homemade stash)
1 c sugar
1 jalapeno, diced
2 cinnamon sticks
2 green cardamom pods
2 T grated ginger
zest from one lemon, plus the juice
handful of dried cherries
handful of golden raisons
1 red onion
4-6 c chopped rhubarb
And I can't remember if I put garlic in it, but I put garlic in nearly everything, so I'm assuming I did.

I put the first 7 ingredients in a pot and let them boil until the sugar had dissolved. Then in went the rhubarb and onion. I cooked it for maybe 10-12 minutes until the rhubarb was soft but not totally disintegrated.

That's it. Easy.

But then don't make the silly mistake I made next. I put the chutney in another pot to cool and browned the pork loin in the chutney pot. That was fine. But then I stuck the whole pot in the oven to roast the pork loin. BIG MISTAKE.  All of the sugars from the chutney caramelized (that's a nice way of saying BURNED) to the pot, making it nearly impossible to clean! I've scrubbed the thing about 6 separate times and think I'm nearly there in getting it clean. It was not a pretty sight.

Rhubarb Chutney 2.0
I used the same base recipe as above, but used cider vinegar and a splash of balsamic vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar. It was rounded out by: jalapeno, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds, garlic, onion, ginger, dates, prunes, dried cherries, golden raisons, red pepper flakes. This version is definitely more tangy/tart due to the cider vinegar and the mustard seed. I'm still up in the air, but I think I like the red wine vinegar version better. Beware: the flavors do change quite dramatically once they've had a day or two to marry and mature.

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