Hot Relish

party_music50July 11, 2013

Hi -- we stopped at a local seasonal "bbq" shack the other day. I asked if they had anything hot (piquant) to put on my sandwich, so they gave me a small cup of their homemade "hot relish". I loved it but they wouldn't give me any clues about how they made it, so I'm looking for ideas/thoughts.

I swear, it looked like it was nothing but re-hydrated crushed red pepper with a little oil in it! It was very red and full of pepper seeds and red pepper bits (just like crushed red pepper). It was spicey, but not overly hot at all. It had a hint of sweetness and pickling spice taste -- but it was definitely not vinegary, so they didn't use pickled pepper in it.

I searched the net for relish recipes using crushed red pepper (w/ various terms like red pepper flakes, etc.), but was unable to find any recipe that used more than a tablespoon or so in an entire batch of relish. :p

Does this "hot relish" sound familiar to anyone? I want to see if I can make something similar and I'm not sure where to begin. Any thoughts???

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Frustrating right? When you cannot figure out the 'oh so simple' flavor combination in some sauce? I can usually narrow it down...
MamaEmpanada in NYC has a green sauce and will not tell me what is in it. Grrr. I brought home a quart of it that i froze in ice cube trays so at least i have it when i crave it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Could it be something like this? It's from that hot pepper fiend, Bobby Flay, I've saved it because Elery thought it looked good. Another red pepper could be used in place of the poblano to keep it all red.

Roasted Red Pepper Relish

2 Roasted red peppers (julienned)
2 Roasted poblano peppers (julienned)
3 Cloves roasted garlic (coarsely chopped)
3 Tblspn Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblspn Finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 Tblspn Finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 1:29AM
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Thanks for the recipe, Annie, it looks good! I will try that sometime, but I'm positive that their 'hot relish' didn't contain cilantro or garlic. My friend insists that he saw bits of what looked like sweet pickle relish in it... I didn't see any, but it certainly tasted like it had some in it (hence my reference to the pickling spice taste).

I'm usually really good at tasting/detecting the components of a dish and I'm convinced that the base in their hot relish is either rehydrated crushed red pepper or chopped pickled cherry peppers. I'm leaning toward the former because I didn't detect enough vinegar for it to be the latter. lol! I also think it did have sweet pickle relish added.... but not too much. I hate to say it, because it doesn't sound right, but I swear I detected just a *hint* of molasses in it! :p

Thanks for the replies! I think it's time for me to just experiment. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 8:30AM
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party music, I agree, it's definitely time to experiment, I think that's the most fun in trying to create or re-create something. Sometimes there are some delicious experiments to eat up too.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:28AM
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Could it be a peppadew?

We discovered these a few years ago. I don't eat hot peppers or chili peppers at all, but I like these. Nice taste, red, slightly sweet, a bit spicy.

Lots of links online.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:24AM
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momj47, I've never heard of peppadew! It's interesting and sounds like it would make a great sweet/hot relish. Do you buy them fresh?

From my first experiment, I'm positive that they didn't use as much crushed red pepper as I first thought. Their relish wasn't this hot. lol!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 6:02PM
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I'm not sure if I've seen them in the produce section. My first experience with them was as a prepared relish for something we were eating. I really like them because they aren't too spicy, but are a nice addition. Our local Wegman's carries them in their olive bar, already in brine.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 8:15PM
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I buy peppadews (also at the olive bar) all the time for a quick appetizer. I would imagine they would make a good relish.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:12PM
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I had peppadews stuffed with something creamy on an appetizer platter and wondered what kind of peppers they were. I was thinking I should grow some, but apparently the Peppadew Co. might have something to say about that. Drat.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 12:30AM
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DH likes peppadews as well. Our Whole Foods offers a mix of feta cheese with chopped peppadews that he really loves as a spread.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:28AM
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I'm adding to the peppadew tangent. They are already "pickled" and deliciously piquant. When I'm not eating them by themselves, I often stuff them just like Mustang's photo--sometimes I'll add a bit of dried herbs too.

My local olive bar carries the red peppadews, and just last week, I saw they also had some orange ones! The orange ones had a tiny bit more of a kick to them than the red ones, but they were still mild to my palate.

Dang they're good!!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 3:32AM
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Party Music, my first thought was it must be some variation of Harissa.

I'm attaching link to the Wiki entry. It's very popular here in Israel as well. I translated this for you from the Hebrew. It's a hybrid of 2 recipes by 2 venerable cooks! I suspect your hot relish contained sweet peppers and/or mildly hot peppers. Here you sometimes get HOT Harissa that not everybody can stomach.



250 grams dry hot red peppers - or any combination of sweet peppers and hot peppers according to personal preference

1 head of garlic - all cloves peeled
1 t salt
Good quality olive oil for sealing the paste


Put on a pair of gloves for slicing peppers and removing stems and seeds.

Soak peppers in water for 30 minutes till they soften
Drain peppers, place in food processor with all other ingredients to get a thick, coarse paste. Add 2-4 T water if necessary.

Transfer to jar, pour oil on top for sealing.

Keeps in fridge for several weeks.

In other versions you mix oil into the paste. For 250 grams peppers I would use 1/2 a cup oil for mixing into the paste, and then pour some more oil on top for sealing it in the jar.
It's a very old recipe with plenty of variations. Sometimes cumin or kummel - or both - are added. Sometimes coriander or other spices.

Here is a link that might be useful: Harissa

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:32AM
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