- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Chutney is a savory and versatile complement to a huge variety of dishes and edibles, year-round.

It’s as good with grilled or roasted chicken, ham or pork as with cold meat or cheese sandwiches. Make it ahead and keep ready for spur-of-the-moment snacks or take a jar as a gift for someone, suggests cookbook author Diane Morgan, based in Portland, Ore., who developed the following recipe.

Cranberry pear chutney

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over and stemmed

2 cups sugar

6 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long

1 teaspoon salt

4 firm Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into -dice

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup diced crystallized ginger (see note)

cup whole hazelnuts, roasted, skins removed, and halved (see note)

In a deep 6-quart saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, 11/4 cups water, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Cook until the cranberries begin to open, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers. Stir in the pears, onion, raisins and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thick, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat, stir in the hazelnuts, and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves if you can find them. Refrigerate in tightly sealed jars for up to 3 months. Makes about 2 quarts.

Note: Crystallized ginger slices are typically packaged in 4-ounce boxes and are available in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets.

Try to buy shelled hazelnuts (also known as filberts) with the skins removed. To roast, place the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a preheated 375-degree oven. Roast for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. If they have skins, when they cool enough to handle, lay them on a clean kitchen towel, or between several sheets of paper towels. Rub the nuts to remove most of the skins (they never completely come off). You can substitute unsalted cashews, if necessary. Roast like hazelnuts, until lightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes.


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