I've been sick for over a week, making me just want to lie in bed and rest, so it's been hard to get the motivation to update my blog. But, before we get too far away from the holiday season, I wanted to post about the Cranberry-Apple Chutney I made back on December 26 (though, actually, a second batch is cooking as I type this). My husband loves chutney on just about everything and we frequently buy the mango chutney that Trader Joe's has, but I needed to use up the cranberries that I bought for the Apple Cranberry Bread, so I found this recipe in the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker cookbook for a chutney with cranberries in it.
I made a half a recipe because that's how many cranberries I had and I'm very glad that I did--a whole recipe makes four cups and that's a lot of chutney to have. It was also pretty easy to make. Other than chopping orange zest and a shallot together in a food processor, all you had to do was throw in almost all the other ingredients: cranberries, apple, brown sugar, golden raisins, ginger, curry powder, ground cloves, ground allspice, and cider vinegar.
You cook the chutney on low for four and a half hours, then cook it for an additional 30 minutes with the lid off to allow it to thicken. It's supposed to get to a "jam-like" consistency, but I found that you really have to mash everything together as you stir it to get that real "jam-like" consistency.
This is what it looked like when I turned it on.
This is what it looked like after cooking for four and a half hours.
And this is what it looked like after it thickened and I had mashed it up a bit.
Now, you'll note that I said "almost" all the other ingredients above. The final ingredient is slivered almonds, toasted. I guess that I lied when I said that the only other step was chopping the orange zest and shallot in a food processor; you also have to toast the almonds. The last step is to stir in these almonds. However, I felt that, in the end, the almonds weren't anything special, though my husband really liked them, and are kind of an optional ingredient. The batch that I'm making right now will not have any almonds in it.
Technically, you're supposed to let the chutney cool to room temperature before you serve it, but we wanted some with dinner, an eggplant curry that I also made in the crock pot, so we ate it right away. Even warm it was really yummy. Clearly yummy enough that I'm making it again (along with another chutney that I'm trying for the first time; I'll have to post about that and the eggplant curry sometime later).
Now, I couldn't be exactly how many servings I got out of this, but I assumed that it made two cups (since it was half a recipe) and then calculated how many calories would be in a two-tablespoon-sized serving. So, the chutney is about 67 calories per serving. In terms of cost per serving, if you actually have to buy all the ingredients, this isn't that great. It would be about $1.70 per two-tablespoon-sized serving. As I actually bought it, it was only $0.80 per serving, but since many of the items are staples that you should have on hand (the spices and the sugar at least, but maybe even the cider vinegar and the fresh ginger, depending on the type of cook you are) it would come out to around $0.60 per serving. Not too bad if you use a lot of chutney and want to try making it on your own, but this is a recipe that isn't one that I'd necessarily recommend to the grad student lifestyle unless you're really into cooking.
This is the batch that I made while writing this post, in a jar to go in the fridge.
This is a pint-sized jar, which is perfect for the half of the recipe.