“If I can find a way to put a piece of bacon in something, I will,” rising chef and former Top Chef contestant Edward Lee writes in his new cookbook, Smoke & Pickles. And so he does, in this corn-bacon relish that packs a punch thanks to the addition of onions and peppers.
“This relish is a great addition to any picnic meal: in sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, or with pulled pork on soft buttery rolls,” Lee adds. “Don’t forget the iced tea and salty potato chips. Now, that’s my kind of afternoon.”
Pickled Corn-Bacon Relish
Makes 2 quarts
• 2 strips bacon
• 5 ears corn, shucked
• 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
• 1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
• 1 cup finely diced red onions
• 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
• 1½ cups water
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 tsp. black mustard seeds
• ½ tsp. fennel seeds
• 1 Tbsp. salt
1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
2. Cut the kernels off the corncobs with a sharp knife. Combine the corn, peppers and red onions in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes to rinse out some of the starch. Drain.
3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the corn, peppers and onions and bring back to a simmer.
4. Transfer the relish to a glass jar. Add the bacon, whole or crumbled, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate. The relish will be ready to eat in 2 days, and it will keep for up to a week.
Excerpted from Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee, Artisan Books, 2013.