Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sweet Heat Relish (aka Slacker Relish)

I call this my Slacker Relish because I didn't have all of the ingredients necessary for the recipe I was using.  So I subbed things here and there, and did things my way (read: the slack way).  I was working off of a sweet relish recipe from a BHG book, similar to this one on their website.  I've also made that recipe as it is supposed to be before, and it's delish!  The one I concocted today, however, has a little more punch to it.  It's ideal in my mind because it has all the wonderful flavors of sweet relish, with just a little tinge of heat to it.  And of course you may adjust the ingredients if you'd like it a little hotter!  I plan to try a Hot! Hot! Hot! version in a few days.

-8 C cukes, seeded and chopped
-2 C bell pepper, seeded and chopped
-1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
-3 C chopped sweet onions*
-1/4 C pickling salt
-3 C sugar
-2 C cider vinegar
-1 tsp celery seeds
-1 tsp red pepper flake
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp turmeric

*I made bread and butter pickles a few weeks ago, you know, the kind with the onions in them?  Hubs ate all the pickles and left the onions behind, and said he thought I could use them for relish!  Genius, that man.  If you happen to have a similar scenario, just use fresh onions to make up the difference in the 3 cups.  And don't put the B&B onions in the salt brine, add them when you put everything else in the pot.

1.  Combine cukes, bell pepper, jalapeno, and onions in a large nonmetal bowl.  Sprinkle salt and cover with water.  Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.  Rinse and drain well.

2.  Bring sugar, vinegar and next 4 ingredients to a boil, add drained ingredients, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Earlier I posted about how I was SO. SICK. OF CUKES.  I went through my fridge and found this many more hiding in various places!  But I only used about 4 or so to get the 8 cups.

Chop, seed, dice, repeat.

About 4 smallish bell peppers and 1 jalapeno.  (Don't fear the jal!  It's really not that hot, I promise)

The onion remainders of my bread and butter pickles.

Dice, stick to the side as they don't need to soak in pickling salt.

Chop chop.  I think you get the picture.


+Water.  Wait 2 hours.


Here were my results!  Seven jars.  But I packed my relish pretty tightly.  The last time I was a little more lax and got about 10.

When I ended up with 10 jars of relish about 3 weeks ago, I figured most of them would end up in Christmas baskets.  After all, we've had the same jar of grocery store relish in our fridge for approximately....I dunno, 6 months or more?  We're already on our 4th jar.  It's just so much better, and turns simple meals like chicken or tuna salad into an instant treat!  Plus everyone loves sweet relish, so it makes a great butter-'em-up present!

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