Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jalapeno-Onion Relish, Fast and Flexible

Super easy and versatile, this relish, full of heat, is a must for your July Fourth barbecue. When I was a young bride, my brother in-law, Cameron, showed up at a family cook out with a a jar of his jalapeno-onion relish and it has not been absent from our fridge ever since. It is so good with hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, grilled meats and fish, really it goes with everything. Take it to a barbecue and you'll come home with an empty dish.

It is simply sliced onion and pickled jalapeno with curry powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper. That's it. I slice an extra large onion, Vidalia is great in season, saute in a bit of olive oil, for about five minutes then add the pickled jalapeno with a splash of its juice and stir. Add about two teaspoon curry powder, a teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste, sautee and stir until onion and peppers are tender but still firm, about ten minutes. This will make about a pint depending on the size of the onion and the amount of jalapeno.

Later in the summer when the garden provides fresh hot peppers, I'll use these and add vinegar instead of the pickled jalapeno and its juice. The amount of peppers controls the heat of course, I use one part hot peppers to 3 parts onion. Possible additions and substitutions abound. Sometimes I add ground coriander but when the garden has cilantro, I'll use it instead. You can add some chopped garlic and/or some hot pepper flakes when you don't have enough jalapeno or fresh hot peppers. Have fun and enjoy the heat.
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