Friday, May 16, 2008

A Pineapple Chutney that June Cleaver Would be Proud Of

I've never been one for canning, jarring, or preserving. So when Pixie and Rosie announced their Putting Up Event, I thought, Yes! Now I have a reason to make homemade jam.

I immediately began jotting down essentials I would need, like gelatin and old-fashioned Ball glass jars. I had visions of myself in a 1950's full-skirted dress, spotless white linen half apron, and pearl necklace and heels. I was going to be sooo June Cleaver.

june cleaver

Then I double checked the event and saw that they would accept chutney as well, which doesn't need gelatin, special jars, heels, or pearls to make properly. So I made this simple savory chutney instead.

Chutneys are sweet and spicy condiments, which are remarkably versatile. Thanks to dear Deeba, I now know chutney derives from the East Indian word chatni, which is Hindi for "to crush." That's because chutneys are often made by crushing the ingredients together with a stone.

I like sweet and sour chutneys, which often get their sweetness from fruit and sugar and their sourness from vinegar.
Ingredients are simply mixed together and simmered slowly until the sugar bubbles up and thickens, creating a jam-like sauce. They're generally cooled before being eaten and can last for at least a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

My two favorite chutneys are this mouth-puckeringly tangy kumquat and dried cherry chutney that I made several times this past winter, and today's fresh pineapple chutney. I know I'd also like Deeba's delicious spicy coriander-mint chutney.

Sweet pineapple and raisins balance the sour vinegar, hot chili, and fragrant spices of this aromatic and bold chutney. It's especially tasty with grilled shrimp but also pairs well with tofu and pork; or you could just enjoy it with some freshly baked Naan or warm pitas.

Now if only I could find my silk sari ....

pineapple chutney skewers

Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Fresh Pineapple Chutney

Yields approximately 1 1/2 cups
Makes 4 entree or 8 appetizer servings
Print recipe only here.


24 extra large or jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon canola oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 serrano chili, minced with some seeds
2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped

To make the marinade, whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into either a large Ziploc bag or a plastic container. Add the shrimp, shaking well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

To make the chutney, mix all ingredients from apple cider vinegar through ground cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Heat canola oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Saute green onions and red peppers for 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add chili, pineapple, and raisins, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the vinegar mixture to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, until thick and reduced, about 35-45 minutes. Once cooked, stir in fresh cilantro, and season with salt, to taste. Allow to cool before serving. (This chutney will keep for up to 2 weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.)

Remove the shrimp from the marinade; place 3 shrimp per skewer. Grill for 2 minutes, flipping once, or until the meat is opaque and the outside is lightly charred.

You might also like:

Lamb Kebabs with Minted Cucumber Chutney

Shrimp Tacos with Citrus-Avocado Salsa

Goat Cheese and Poblano Quesadillas with Pineapple-Mango-Habanero Salsa

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