Each year I make “chili”. It’s really tomato chutney, but for some reason we call it chili. I use the same recipe, and never change it. My (ex) mother in law gave me this recipe, and she got it from her dear friend and neighbour Marg. So this is Marg’s chili – we eat it with eggs, with tourtière, with brie cheese, with grilled cheese sandwiches. I haven’t made this in two years, and my son who is heading back to university soon, asked me specifically. So, of course, I obliged.
The recipe is:
- About 35 field tomatoes. Frankly, any tomatoes will do.
- 3 green peppers and 3 red peppers
- 1 hot pepper, or you can use chili flakes. This chili is not spicy, but to balance out the sweetness, you need the heat.
- 1 whole stalk (head) of celery
- About 6 good sized onions
- 1.5 pints of apple cider vinegar
- 1 lb of dark brown sugar
- 1 TB salt
- 1 TB cinnamon
- 1 tsp cloves (ground)
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 TB of pickling spice, wrapped and tied in a piece of cheesecloth or loose tea ball.
You’ll need your average canning equipment: food processor, big pot for cooking, big canning pot for water bath, jars, lids, rings, jar funnel, and that magnetic thingy to pick up the hot jar lids.
The other day pork tenderloins were on sale. I bought two and put them in the fridge. Last night I saw them and thought “Souvlaki!” This whole process only took about 15 minutes. I used a sharp knife to remove the silver skin from both the tenderloins and cut them into bit sized pieces (maybe 1″ square) and put them in a plastic bowl. I put a large skillet on the stove and heated up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While the pan heated, I added about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pork, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and dried mint. I also had a ‘greek spice mix’ in my spice cupboard so I threw some of that in too — and stirred it all together so the pork was covered. Then I put all the pork in the skillet at once and moved the pieces around until brown (maybe 5 minutes). I put a lid on the pan and turned the heat down to simmer/low and let cook for another 5 minutes.
On plates I put tomato salad (see other post for recipe), tzatiki sauce that I had bought from Loblaws, and rice which I cooked while I was making the pork. Yum. Yum. Yum. The whole dinner from fridge to table might have taken 30 minutes.
This is an easy, tasty salad especially if you like fresh tomatoes. Rough chop a whole ripe tomato. Finely chop about 1/4 of a medium sized red onion. Mix these two ingredients together in a bowl or on a plate. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste (you’ll probably need more salt than you think you do!). If you have capers in your fridge, add some! Add 1/2 cup of good quality croutons, then mix the whole thing together with your (clean) hands or a couple of spoons. Let sit a few minutes and serve. Makes two sized portions.