21 March 2009

Chutneys & Relishes

Chutneys & Relishes by Lorraine Bodger is a slim volume featuring chutneys, which are generally cooked and relishes, which are not. The recipes offer new and unique ideas for sandwich toppings. America tends to be the land of milk and mayonnaise, so it is great to find some unusual ideas for toppings and other condiments.

I love jicama. It is a crunchy addition to salads. My favorite taquería serves it as a starter cut like French fries and sprinkled with chili powder. While this is listed as a relish, I make a similar recipe and use it as a slaw for barbecue. If you have never tried jicama, give it a try.

Jicama Relish With Oranges
1 jicama, about 1 1/4 pound
2 medium navel oranges
2 scallions
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or ground chili powder (or more if you like heat)

1. cut the jicama in half and peel it thickly with a sharp knife, removing the brown skin and the tough layer below the skin. Slice the flesh about 1/8 inch thick; cut the slices in half and then in narrow strips (matchsticks). Put the jicama in a large bowl.

2. Use a sharp straight bladed knife or a serrated knife to peel the oranges, removing the skin and white pith. Section the oranges, doing the cutting over the bowl of jicama in order to catch the juices; add the orange sections to the bowl. Trim the scallions and slice the white and green parts as thin as possible; add to the bowl.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (including a good sprinkling of salt) to the jicama mixture and stir well. Cover securely and marinate in the refrigerator for two hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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