Monday, June 20, 2011

BETH’S SPICY HOTDOG RELISH

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Summertime is time for hotdogs and hamburgers, chicken and ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, and all those other wonderful picnic foods, but Paul and I enjoy hotdogs year-round. We have a few favorite places in Connecticut, like Blackie's in Cheshire or Dalla Riva's Hotdog Cart seasonally in Kent, where we like to stop when we can for a dog or two.

Most places just offer standard sides - mustard, ketchup, chopped onions, sauerkraut; others have signature relishes or chili. Of course, we like to stop and try every hotdog cart or stand we pass and test out any unique condiments they may offer.
We like things spicy and the relish below I developed a number of years ago to satisfy our taste buds. Turns out a lot of our friends enjoy it too, so I always bring some along when we are invited to a barbeque. If you want to add a completely new dimension to your plain ol' dog - a little spicy with a bit of a crunch - give this recipe a try. It is a staple in my refrigerator over the summer months.



BETH’S SPICY HOTDOG RELISH


INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup chopped Red Bell Pepper

1/4  cup chopped Dill Pickle

1/4  cup chopped Sweet Pickles

1/4  cup small Capers

 
1/4 cup chopped Red Onion

1/4  cup Gulden's Mustard

1/4 cup Ketchup

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, spoon into a jar, cap and chill; can be stored in the refrigerator for the summer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PECTIN

[pek-tin]

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Pectin is a thickening agent, which naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables. It is used when making jams and jellies because of its ability to help fruits form a gel when heated together for a short period of time. It is most often derived from apples or citrus peels, and can be purchased in powdered or liquid form.

Fully ripe fruit contains less pectin than under ripe fruit. Grapes, tart apples, sour blackberries, currants, raspberries, cranberries and sour plums are all high in pectin. Apricots, peaches, pineapples, strawberries and rhubarb are low in pectin.

Jelly or jam made with added pectin requires less cooking and generally produces a larger batch. These products have more natural fruit flavors, too. In addition, using added pectin eliminates the need to test hot jellies and jams for proper gelling.