Category Archives: Sauces, Hot

Green Tomato Chutney

Another month and a half passed, and  finally time to post another recipe. It’s the end of summer here in Napa, and time to rip out the last few beds. I always end up with a bunch of green tomatoes, they tried, but the sun let them down. There are also usually a bunch of unused habanero chilies. I tried drying them last year, but they turn into useless brown skeletons. This year, I put both to good use.

Green tomato chutney ingredients

Green tomato chutney ingredients

8 lbs. green tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
10 oz. habanero chilies, stemmed, mostly seeded, and coarsely chopped
1.5 oz. black mustard seeds
1/2 oz. kashmiri chili, ground (or substitute cayenne for more heat and less flavor)

1/2 oz. coriander seed
1/4 oz. cardamom seed
1/4 oz. cumin seed

1 1/2 oz. garlic, crushed
2 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and sliced across the grain very thinly
6 oz. apple cider vinegar

1/8 oz. ground allspice
2 1/2 oz. Kosher salt
2 lbs. dark brown sugar
2 lbs. golden raisins

Carefully measure and prepare all ingredients as indicated.

Combine the coriander seed, cardamon seed, and cumin seed in a small saute pan, and place over medium heat. Cook, tossing regularly, until the aroma becomes pronounced and the seeds begin to pop, then transfer to a spice grinder, and grind smooth.


Combine the garlic, ginger, and apple cider vinegar in a blender.


(I use a little smoothie machine I got for cheap on Amazon. It comes with a large and small canister and two blade bases. Works great for lots of small pureeing jobs.)


Process until completely smooth.



Combine all ingredients in a suitable pot, and place over medium heat, covered.


When the mixture becomes hot and begins to wilt, stir to combine evenly.


Continue to cook, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.


After an hour of simmering, the chutney will be almost done.


The final test is when the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid.


To conserve as a shelf-stable condiment, pack in canning jars, and process following manufacturer’s directions.

Sweet and spicy, this chutney is good for eating with cheese and crackers, or alongside roast chicken or pork.

Happy cooking!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

The last salsa in the series, this can be sweet and sour, or as spicy as you like.

1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, paper husks removed, and rinsed
6 oz. white onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ strips
1 oz. jalapeno, stem removed, cut in quarters (or as many as you like)

4 oz. white onions, peeled and minced
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (or more if you like tangy)
1/2 bu. cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped


Place the tomatillos, onions, and jalapenos onto a baking sheet, and roast in an oven at 350 F. until the tomatillos completely soften. Transfer to a blender, and process until smooth.


Transfer to a suitable bowl, add the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Add the minced onions and cilantro. Stir to combine evenly. Store refrigerated.


The next day, thin with water to desired consistency.

Smokey Red Salsa

Next up for the MN taco feeding, a simple red salsa.

2 dried guljillo chilies1 dried smoked jalapeno chili (chipotle)
1 t. cumin seeds
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes, 14 1/2 oz. each
2 oz. olive oil
6 oz. white onions, minced
1 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped


Tear the stems off of the dried chilies, then tear them into pieces and place in a small pan.


Cook over medium heat, tossing regularly, until the seeds darken and the chili aroma is pronounced. Transfer to  the canister of a blender.


Add the cumin seeds to the same hot pan, and toast, tossing, until they become very fragrant. Add to the blender along with the contents of the two cans of tomato.


Process on high speed until the mixture becomes uniform.


Heat the olive oil in a suitable pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, but before it smokes, add the tomato mixture, and bring to a boil.


Cook until slightly thickened, about five minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking, then transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.


Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add minced white onions and cilantro. Stir to combine. Store refrigerated.


The next day, the natural pectin in the tomatoes will thickened the salsa. Thin with water to desired consistency.