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Tailgate Chutney

Tailgate Chutney 1

Are you a tailgater, or a couch fan? (And here, SoupAddict is referring to football, not driving habits or lifestyle choices.)

It probably won’t surprise you in the least to learn that SoupAddict is a couch fan. I like watching football, and I like watching it on TV in the comfort of my comfortable living room on my comfortable couch. Just felt the need to get that out there.

But I understand the draw of the tailgate party. I really do. Brisk air, smoky hibachis. Loud, happy voices. Team colors everywhere. I support and cheer every one of you festive tailgaters.

From the comfort of my couch.

I’m fairly certain tailgating is like camping: you either love it or you don’t, with no gray area.

Tailgate Chutney 2

So, why would a non-tailgater like SoupAddict come up with a condiment called Tailgate Chutney? Well, it’s a cute name in synch with the season, right? And also because it happens to go perfectly with tailgate foods, like hot dogs, brats, meatball subs and burgers (both meat and veggie).

I also have to make a confession that has nothing to do with tailgating. It irks me to no end to waste food, especially jarred condiments, which are packaged in enormous quantities. There are few circumstances under which I will use up a 12 ounce jar of pickle relish in one sitting. No, the mostly-full jar will make its way to the back of the refrigerator, along with the sun dried tomatoes, the harissa, and the apricot preserves and remain there until I do my semi-annual purge (when I’m likely to find two jars of pickle relish because the first one escaped my sight before some pickle-relish need or other).

Tailgate Chutney 3

When possible — like everyone else, sometimes time just doesn’t cooperate — I prefer to make my own in small quantities that I know I’ll use. Homemade is always worth it and the hands-on portion of this recipe is relatively short: cook some onions, spoon some spices out of jars. Totally doable. And totally awesome — savory, slightly sweet, slightly spicy-smoky.

Go Bengals!

Tailgate Chutney

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: about 1 heaping cup of chutney

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced and cut into half moons
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
14 oz. chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes, peeled)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus one pinch

Heat oil in a skillet over medium until shimmering. Add onions and stir to coat with oil. Saute until onions are soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add celery seeds, mustard seeds and a pinch of salt. Turn heat to simmer (low), and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure they don’t burn.

Turn heat to medium. Add tomatoes and bell peppers, stirring to mix with the onions. Cook until the vegetables begin to sizzle. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir well. Continue cooking until the liquids reduce and the sauce has begun to thicken. Add cinnamon, paprika, allspice, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and continue cooking until chutney is nice and thick. Remove from heat and cool. Use immediately or refrigerate.

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Saturday 10th of December 2011

I have to say I am a tailgater all the way! Rain or shine can't stop me. Your tailgate chutney looks so good and you’re right it would be amazing on bratwursts. I can’t wait to try it out on my next tailgate party. You should come down to one of my parties because we have great food and the game is in HD thanks to the Tailgater from DISH Network. Working for DISH, my experience with the Tailgater has been awesome. It’s really light-weight and finds the signal for you. It’s my tag along for every tailgate party.

Sandy Ellis

Thursday 27th of October 2011

OK, I'm showing my ignorance here. I've never had chutney, but have been fascinated reading the recipes for many different kinds (and this one sounds really good). How do you use chutney?


Tuesday 1st of November 2011

Hi Sandy - one way to use chutney would be as a relish, like you would pickle relish. It's a lovely onion-based condiment that goes well on many foods. Spoon it on fish or chicken fillets. Mix it into rice dishes. One of my favorite uses of Major Grey's chutney (a mango-based chutney commonly available in stores) is to mix it in with ground turkey — makes very delicious turkey burgers!


Wednesday 26th of October 2011

Oh, the couch definitely. After freezing various parts off a gazillion years ago at Soldier Field for our tenth anniversary, warm, comfy and did I mention warm? with a clean bathroom is the only way to go. Chutney is truly awesome-sauce, and I love that it works for every season. So far, I've stuck with fruit, but this recipe opens up all kinds of possibilities and it lets me stay on the couch. Go Bears!


Wednesday 26th of October 2011

Yup! I'm a couch football fan as well. Though, I don't mind attending college or high school games because of the marching band halftime shows!

Sprigs of Rosemary

Wednesday 26th of October 2011

I just made my first ever chutney the other day -- a green tomato chutney because I hated wasting anything from the garden. In fact, I was just writing about it. (And taking a typical procrastinating break.) All I've done so far is spread it on my morning toast. I like it, but, well, I'm not sure it's a repeat. For one thing, mine doesn't look nearly as good as yours!