By now we're nearing the end of our easy holiday cooking recipes. You've taken that large turkey or ham or whatever and sliced and diced it, and prepared it in six different ways, and you're flat-out tired of it, right? Well, here's something a bit different that you can use to spice it up. Even better, you can make it well before the Big Meal, so it will be ready when you need it. (And of course I had to find something with apples in it!)
Apple Ginger Chutney
2 Tblsp vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
In a large, heavy pot, warm the oil over high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover, and cook until they stop popping. Remove the lid and reduce heat to medium-high.
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick, halved
Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and saute until soft. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook briefly. Add cloves and cinnamon and cook another minute.
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped coarsely (choose a firm cooking apple like Granny Smith--I used Cortlands)
1/4 cup raisins
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
Stir in the apples, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar and water (there should be enough water to cover). Simmer, uncovered, until the apples are soft but still hold their shape, and the mixture thickens (30-40 minutes).
Remove the cinnamon sticks and chill.
If you want to spice it up a bit, you can add a dash of cayenne or some hot pepper flakes.
This may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. It makes one quart.