Start with the head-busting floral heat of the Scotch Bonnet pepper, add a juicy raw mango, some crisp jícama, a handful of aromatic cilantro, and a spritz of lime juice, and what do you get? Dice it up with avocado and corn just off the cob, fresh oregano, raw red onion, and a few dashes of Tabasco, and you've got Avocado and Corn Salsa. Succulent peaches? Slice them up, squeeze some oranges and limes, stir in some molasses and a jalapeño or two, and you're ready for Sweet and spicy Peach Relish.
You get the picture: small effort, big flavor. Using fiery chile peppers, fresh aromatic herbs and spices, and the tropics luscious fruits and vegetables, the authors bring you over forty original recipes for the intensely "little dishes" of the world's cuisines. With their machine-gun succession of intense, flashy, pungent flavors, these dishes can dress up grilled meat or fish, and turn simple beans, rice, or grains into a festive meal.
Included here are chapters on Chutneys, the original relishes; Blatjangs, Atjars, and Sambals, progeny of the marriage between African and Southeast Asian cuisines; Chowchows, Piccalillies, and Other Pickleded Things, the traditional little dishes of the American South; Relishes, the "home base" of little dishes and Catsups and Other Condiments, in which America's most familiar condiment appears in new guises like Smoky Shiitake Mushroom Catsup and Chunky Papaya Catsup.