Relish a relish with nary a cranberry. Crunchy pickled red onions bathed in a kicky Latin marinade of orange juice, smoky chipotles and a swig of tequila adds a bit of sass to even the most traditional holiday menus. And you won’t believe how easy these complexly flavored beauties are to create.
Without the hassle and mess of canning, the marinade performs its magic in the fridge, working to draw some of the liquid from the onion, leaving it as crisp as a fresh apple. And you can pickle to your heart’s content up to two months before you plan to serve the sweet/hot scarlet nibbles (or fill an extra jar or 10 as the perfect gift for the foodies on your holiday shopping list).
Serve alongside, oh, just about everything–a swanky buffet, the humble casserole, a platter of cheeses, or straight from the jar for a low-calorie late night indiscretion.
Crunchy Pickled Red Onions with Orange, Chipotle and Tequila
Makes 2 cups
2 large red onions, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 Granny Smith apple, finely diced
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoon best-quality balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 or 2 chipotle peppers
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1/8 cup tequila, optional
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine onions and salt in a large non-reactive bowl and set aside for 1 hour. Thoroughly rinse and drain onions; add diced apple and toss.
In a blender, blend vinegars, orange juice, agave, chipotles, garlic, cumin, coriander and tequila until smooth. Pour over onion and apple mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pickles will keep for at least two months, refrigerated.
Diva confession: It’s not just about pickles. Use the orange chipotle marinade for chicken, chops and meaty cuts of fish. And say goodbye to ordinary fruit salad, a delicious drizzle or two of this sauce will jazz up fruit, jicama and leafy greens.