Monday, July 11, 2011

Rash decision #751- Tomato Chutney

Well it is a good thing I live about 5 minutes away from a Wal-Mart! As usual, my rash thinking forced me to take a quick trip once again to prevent a total failure on my part.

See it started like this:  A restaurant I use to frequent closed recently. I was totallly bummed because they had this sandwich- the White Cheddar Chutney Chicken Burger (say that one five times, fast!).  It was so good- cheesey, tart and sweet from the chutney, and delightfully messy.

I decided to try to recreate my favorite dish. I found a really simple recipe for tomato chutney on  Veggie Mama, bought all my ingredients for the burger, and then forgot about it.   Fast forward about a week. I spotted the yummy San Marzano tomatoes hiding in my cupboard and decided that tonight would be a great night for the White Cheddar Chutney Chicken burger.

I pulled up the recipe, got all my onions and garlic chopped, added them to the big pot of tomatoes and other stuff and sat back and enjoyed the delicious aroma wafting from the pot.

Glancing back at the recipe, I scrolled down to see if Veggie Mama had any thing else.  That's when I saw step 3.  Yes, in my haste to get rolling on the chutney, I had forgotten that this was suppose to be canned.

Ok. I could handle this. Sure, I didn't have any legitimate canning stuff, but who needs that? I had on hand three large canning jars that had held dry cookie and brownie mix. One of them might have had fruit in it at one time, but they all looked like they would still work.

I washed 'em up and threw them in my largest stock pot to sanitize away in hot water.

While I was waiting for the jars, I decided to use my most trustworthy source of information, GOOGLE, and find out how exactly one went about sealing jars using the water bath method.

Turns out that your water needs to cover the tops of your jars, and from what I was able to infer, you can't tip your jars on their side to get them to fit under the water. Hmm... this was going to be a problem as this was precisely what I had done in order to sanitize them. The jars were at least an inch taller than the stock pot and there was no way I could get them to fit, especially since I had to put my trivet on the bottom of the pot so the boiling water could move freely under the jars.

Luckily for me, my chutney still had 45 minutes left to simmer. I threw E and J in the car (who were soaking wet as they had been playing outside with water balloons) and raced off to Wally-world.  I found some nice little jars and bought the right kind of tongs to lift my full jars in and out the water.

I made it home with just enough time time to wash and sanitize all my new jars and lids.  Ladled up the chutney and place all my new short jars in my stock pot. Here's  a picture of my final product:

So now I'm waiting to see if all my jars are sealed.  I might have tested a few lids too early. Turns out you're also suppose to wait 12-24 hours before testing the seals. oops. Hopefully they will end up sealing or we will be refrigerating at least 4 jars of chutney!

Oh, and did I mention that I will be making another run to Wal-Mart later this afternoon to pick up hamburger buns?

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