Monday, January 11, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Pepper Pickle Relish

Back in August of 2009 I posted this photo of my freshly canned Sweet and Spicy Pepper Pickle Relish.

At that time I promised to share the recipe at a later date once I was sure the outcome was a success. Well, the later date has arrived and I am happy to report that deliciousness was obtained.

Much to my delight this relish was exactly what I had been searching for. A hundred years ago (give or take) a friend brought this relish to my house on Christmas Day. Much time has passed since that Christmas luncheon and unfortunately  I have lost touch with this friend. To this day I have no idea where she is. The taste of a peculiar dish she introduced me to is as fresh to my mind as it was so long ago.
The day after Christmas 2009 I served this relish over a block of cream cheese. Mystery solved! In reality I have been on the search for this taste combination for 20 years. So... if anyone has seen Debbie Herman let her know I found the memory of her in a jar of relish.

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe published by McCormick. I put my spin on it with addition of the Spicy! Not overly hot...just has a slight kick.

Serve the preserved relish over an 8 oz.softened cream cheese block. Slather the whole delicious mess on crackers, wheat thins etc.


1 pound pickling cucumbers, unpeeled, finely chopped (3 cups)
2 medium green bell peppers, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 medium yellow bell peppers, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup finely chopped red chile peppers
1 large white onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon Celery Seed
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard Seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water


1. Mix chopped vegetables. Set aside.
2. Mix remaining ingredients, except cornstarch and water, in 6-quart saucepot. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
3. Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl. Stir into vegetable mixture. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.
4. Ladle into 3 hot sterilized pint or 6 half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Run thin, non-metallic utensil down inside of jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe rim of jars clean with damp cloth. Cover jars with metal lids and screw on bands.
5. Process in boiling water canner 10 minutes. After processing jars, remove from water bath canner. Cool at room temperature on towel or rack for 12 to 24 hours. Check for seal. Makes 3 pint or 6 half-pints jars.

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