Sweet Balsamico / Red Onion - Chutney.
Time for another basic recipe, as you might have noticed I tend to have certain "favorite" ingredients & products I tend to use for a certain
time a lot. This mostly depends on the season or my mood, both things that change on regular basis ;).
This recipe is about making a chutney, chutneys are basically 1 thing: reducing a fruit or vegetable with a lot of sugar and a liquid till you have a sticky (chunky) paste that resembles a jam. Because of the high amount of sugar in the chutney you can keep it for a pretty long time. Keeping it in a preserving jar (see picture) can increase this even more.
What do we need?
- Red Onions (about 1 kilo).
- Sugar. Any will do, I use simple white crystal sugar ( roughly 40 grams).
- Apple Syrup ( 5 big tablespoons). I like the old skool one that comes in a cardboard cup.
- Red Balsamico vinegar (5 big tablespoons).
- Olive oil or sunflower oil.
- Peel and cut the Red Onions in rings. If you have really big ones; cut the rings in half once you are done.
- Take a cooking pan that is not to big in diameter, your aim is to reduce a liquid not to stir fry. Take a bit of your oil and fry the Red onions in the pan on a medium fire.
- Add your sugar and syrup to the Onions and mix it gently in the pan. Make sure the fire is not too high! We don't want to burn our sugars!
- Once everything is mix well, add the Balsamico Vinegar.
- Add water. Don't use too much, but you cannot really go wrong here. If you use too much water, it will just take a bit longer to reduce. The opposite is true as well, keep an eye on your chutney! If it starts to become too sticky, add water to prevent it burning on the bottom of the pan.
- On a low fire, reduce the chutney in about half an hour to the right thickness. Taste and stir on regular basis. Add sugar/syrup to make it more sweet & ticker, Vinegar to increase the sour taste a bit more and use the water to achieve the right thickness. Don't be shy and play a bit with this process, take your time and watch the reducing process carefully so you can intervene when needed.
- Once the Red Onions have become really glassy, soft and seem to almost "melt" in with the rest of the mixture, and you are happy with the thickness/stickyness lvl, your chutney is ready!
Well, your "Sweet Red onion/Balsamico Chutney" is ready to store and use. Make sure you put in the container you want to keep it in while it is still warm. It becomes increasingly difficult (and real sticky) once it fully cools down.
- You can add Jalapeno peppers (or any spice increase ingredient) to the mix while it is reducing to make the whole Chutney a spicy one. Be careful though, because you reduce the liquid, what remains is very concentrated and the spiciness can quickly become to dominant and overrule the whole flavor.
- If you want to use a preserving jar: always keep in mind two things. Don't forget to boil the jars to sterilize them (very good simple youtube videos on that topic) and once you filled them up, put them upside down for a while. The hot and cold air will interact and create a vacuum and push out the air we don't need.
- Don't be too upset when you mess up your first attempt. We have all been there, it happens. While the whole process is simple, the key to success is patience and keeping an eye on what you are doing. Keeping a bit of water close bye to save any "almost burned" situations is a good tip ;) .
- Go try out and see on which dishes this Chutney works best for you. Burgers, sandwiches, salads and much more! The possibilities are many.
So have fun brewing this up and enjoy tasting!