I was brainstorming the other day about the other ways in which people could leverage chow chow in their kitchens. I'm really getting ready for a food swap event coming up pretty soon where I will be featuring my chow chow (check out my earlier post about chow chow relish). I made up some simple jar labels on online. I wanted to list some ways to use chow chow on the label. I came up with a bunch...on hotdogs...of course, on cheese/charcuterie platters, in potato salad, pop of flavor in braises, add to mayonnaise for sandwich spread, add to sour cream for dip, etc...the one that gets me most excited is chow chow pizza. Think about it. It's packed full of ingredients that are awesome on pizza (tomato, onion, bell peppers). I prepared a simple somewhat thin crust dough. I used the chow chow instead of typical tomato sauce. I topped it with mozzarella cheese, cilantro, and bacon...who doesn't like bacon!
It was really tasty straight out of the oven. I used an entire 8-ounce jar of chow chow, but it was worth it. The chow chow wasn't overshadowed by the cheese or bacon. The sweetness of the chow chow offered a really great balance to the salty bacon. I don't think this would have worked so well with all chow chow recipes. I used about half the sugar leveraged by other recipes. The sweetness was still very apparent, but I think any more would have been too much. In addition, I cook the relish down a lot, so it is not so runny. Who wants to get hit in the face with steaming hot vinegar if you don't have to!
The true test came for me the next day. I always think that the best foods can be eaten cold out of the fridge. Channel fried chicken and other pizza faves here! You really have to season food well for it to be tasty cold when it is intended to be eaten hot. This one did not disappoint. The crust wasn't soggy. All the elements of the chow chow shined through even more.
So, please take an opportunity to experiment with chow chow. There is so much to do with it beyond just hotdogs. Share all of your creative ideas with me. And hey, if you don't want to go through all of the work of creating your own chow chow, perhaps in the near future, you can purchase mine :-)