Summer is here! The gardens are growing fast and just waiting to burst with all kinds of treasures! Now is the busy time of year, as we prepare to work like busy ants and prepare for the long winter months ahead.
I enjoy making relish type preserves. Be it pickle style relish or hot pepper style relishes. A common relish made by the Amish is called Chow Chow. The recipe below is for a spicy Chow Chow. Canning steps are included.
Recipe makes 12 pints
2 quarts of green beans
1 large head of cauliflower (separated into floweretes)
3 cups of shelled baby lima beans
3 cups of fresh whole kernel corn
1 quart of chopped onions
4 sweet green peppers chopped
1 – 4 of your favorite hot pepper chopped and deveined and seeded (Note: You choose your level of pain, jalapeno pepper on up. If you want no heat, add in a sweet bell pepper of a different color other than green to the peppers above.)
2 quarts of chopped green tomatoes
3 quarts of apple cider vinegar
4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of pickling salt
2 tablespoons of celery seed
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard seed
2 tablespoons of dry mustard
1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric
Cut the green beans into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cook the green beans, cauliflower floweretes, lima beans and corn separately in boiling water until barely tender.
Drain, mix with the onions, peppers and tomatoes in a very large kettle.
In a separate pot, bring the vinegar to boil.
Add in the sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, dry mustard and turmeric into the boiling vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables.
Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir throughout the boiling process.
Ladle into sterilized canning jars leaving 1/2 inches headspace (approximately 12 pint jars will be needed).
Process your lids according to the water bath or steam bath method you are using for your canner.
Place lids and bands on a clean top canning jar and screw on tight (not like Sampson tight, but tight enough to hold well.)
Water bath/Steam bath can for 25 minutes.
Take out of the canner and let rest for 24 hours (don’t move from their resting place for 24 hours).
Listen for the glorious pop sound of the jar sealing.
If any of the jars do not seal, you can exchange lids and re-can the jar or put that jar in the refrigerator to be the first to enjoy.
Always refrigerate after opening a jar or an unsealed jar.
The sealed jars will last about 2-3 years in a cool pantry.
This recipe is an alteration of my favorite fried corn side dish I grew to love back home. Growing it up was fried sweet corn with a bit of butter salt and pepper. Now that I’m all grown up and my loving husband has introduced me to a world of new flavors from his time of Arizona, my comfort food side dish has taken on a whole new level of awesomeness.
I recently made this for a family gathering and had many requests to share the recipe. Here it is.
1/4 cup pork lard
4 cups of sweet corn
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
8 ounces roasted New Mexico Hatch Chilies (pealed and diced)
1 tbsp Corn meal or corn flour
1 tsp Jalapeno powder
1 tbsp Chili powder
White soft quesadilla cheese
Fresh Cilantro (optional)
A pinch of salt
Heat a cast iron skillet and melt your lard (Do not use Crisco or butter, it won’t taste the same).
Saute the onion and garlic until limp.
Add in your corn and fry on a medium heat. You want your corn to have a chard look to it.
Add in your hatch chilies and continue “frying” in the skillet.
Combine your jalapeno powder and chili powder together then add to your skillet, spreading it evenly over the corn while frying. Stir in.
Sprinkle in your corn flower over top of the corn and fold it in evenly.
When the corn has a “roasted” look to it (it will toughen up as well), take it off the heat and transfer it into a large pan or serving dish.
Sprinkle with some chili powder, grated white Mexican cheese and the fresh cilantro.
Can be served cold or hot.
Feel free to add in jalapeno slices, extra peppers, some jalapeno tomato dices or even some black beans. Yum.
This time of year the greens really start coming in. After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale. You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale. Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
1 yellow onion diced
6 yellow or red potatoes diced
4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
3 medium golden beets
2 large carrots
1 tsp of fresh thyme
1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
1 tsp of salt
1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)
Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large. (You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem. Waste not want not.)
Dice your garlic scapes small.
Add in your herbs.
Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
Stir the contents.
Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.