Sweet Summer Corn Relish

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Rule No. One of canning, don’t get chili juice in your eye. Rule No. Two, make sure the lids are sealed.” Katharine Snider-McNair, on her burning eyes as a result of cutting chilies.

Katharine and I made corn relish from a beautiful book that my NYC roommate brought home for me, Jam, Jelly and Relish: Simple Preserves, Pickles and Chutneys and Creative Ways to Cook with Them by Ghillie James.

Corn Relish

5 fresh ears of corn on the cob
2 peppers (any colour), seeded and chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
sea salt
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seeds

We used yellow peppers, and green chilies since that is what the supermarket offered.

Boil the corn on the cob for 4 minutes and remove from heat. Put 2/3 of the cooking water aside, discard the remainder and let cobs cool. Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut down the cobs, removing the corn niblets from their husks.

Mix corn niblets, peppers, celery, onion, garlic and chili peppers into a big pot and add sugar, vinegar and reserved cooking water and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.

In a bowl mix flour and spices together. Mix with enough water to make a smooth pourable consistency, and add to the pot. Simmer the mixture for another 15 minutes until your relish is done!

Water bath can your jars: using a funnel pour into sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch of space from the top of the jar. Use 2-part lids that have been boiled for 10 minutes to sterilize, while they are still warm. Screw on the lids and submerge jars fully in water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Set jars on the counter and wait for that “pop!” sound to let you know they’ve sealed.

This recipe yielded a little more than 5 250 ml jars for us.

When Katharine and I taste tested a spoonful of the relish, we liked the way it tasted so fresh; the corn and celery weren’t overcooked but still had a little bit of a soft crunch to them. The relish is tangy and sweet; author Ghillie James suggests serving it with barbequed burgers or chicken.

We also made a cost breakdown of the recipe so that we could figure out just how much each jar of relish cost us to make. We did not factor in canning equipment, just the approximate cost of each ingredient that we used.

Corn $3.65
Peppers $1.25
Garlic $0.50
Celery seed $0.05
Turmeric $0.05
Celery $0.50
Chili peppers $0.10
Onion $0.60
Flour $0.05
Vinegar $1.00
Total: $7.75

4.5 x 250 ml = $1.72 per jar


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