Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fiesta Corn Relish - Let Canning Begin!

Canning season started today which is exciting and a bit daunting at the same time.  Exciting because I love taking veggies (especially ones from our garden) and turning them into jars of lovely things to feed my family all throughout the winter.  Daunting because canning is a bit of work.  I'll be logging quite a few hours in the kitchen over the next two months, but when it's all done, I'll have shelves of good food ready and waiting.

Today I made Fiesta Corn Relish.  This is a new one for me, but what I tasted is delicious!  Kind-of a cross between a true relish and a somewhat vinegary corn salsa.  It'll be great added to tacos or nachos.  I'm sure I'll add it to black beans for a quick salad.  The relish will also be tasty along side some pork or beef.

Just in case any of my fellow Mid-Westerners are experiencing garden envy because you haven't gotten any corn out of your garden yet, don't worry.  We haven't either.  The corn I used today was some I had cut off the cob and frozen last summer.  A very generous friend gave us a TON (not really, but it was close) of fresh corn which we ate and ate.  When we'd eaten our fill, we froze the rest and enjoyed it all winter.  Amazingly, there is still a bit left.  I need to defrost my freezer before I fill it again, so my solution to using up the corn was to can it up.  Actually, not many of the ingredients I worked with today started in our garden, only the jalapeno peppers.  This will change as the season goes on.

Fiesta Corn Relish
makes about 2 pints

5-6 ears fresh corn
1 hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds in if you like it really hot)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 c cider vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c sweet red pepper, chopped
1/3 c green onions, chopped
1 t ground cumin
1 t pickling salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T cilantro, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add corn and cook for 6 minutes.  Drain and cool until you can handle it.  Cut off the kernels until you have 4 cups of corn.  Put the corn into a large pot (not aluminum).

Add hot pepper, garlic, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, red onion, green onion, cumin, salt and pepper to pan with corn.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and let it boil gently for 20 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes.  Take it off the heat.

Ladle the relish into hot jars and process for 15 minutes using standard canning procedures.

Frozen corn can be used as well.  Just make sure to cook it before you add the other ingredients.

I quadrupled this recipe and ended up with 7 pints canned and about 3 more pints in the fridge for eating in the next couple of weeks.  I would have processed the rest in hot water, but I my canning pot only does 7 pints at a time and I ran out of time to process that last 3 pints.  Drat that soccer!  It's OK though because my oldest two sons are gobbling it up with tortilla chips as we speak.

By the way, I found the recipe for Fiesta Corn Relish in The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving.  I discovered this book at the library and am loving it so much it's made it's way into my cart at Amazon.  Someday...

Yum!  Yum!  Yum!

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