Monday, June 25, 2012

Preserving the Harvest: Pepper Relish

   Peppers, peppers, peppers..they survive the heat and often the lack of rainfall. Right now we are harvesting several buckets of peppers every few days. With all this heat sitting around the kitchen it's time for some hot pepper relish.
   This recipe came to be from an afternoon gathering of college kids trying to recall a childhood memory. Tastes and flavors, colors and textures were scribbled onto notebook paper; portions were figured and a relish sauce base was discussed. After a few hours of discussion a test batch was conjured up--sheer joy! It was a hit.

Hot Pepper Relish

the pepper mixture:
4 lbs jalapenos
2 lb onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
the sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
6 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed
 1 teaspoon tumeric
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 tablespoon garlic powder

Prepare the peppers by removing the stems and seeds before chopping them (we used a food processor). Mix sauce ingredients and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before pouring over the pepper mixture. Stir well and pack into prepared jars. 
We processed our jars in a water bath canner for ten minutes.

   A few notes:
   * I have since made this recipe using a 4 lb mixture of cayenne, pepperochini, sweet banana and jalapenos without the other peppers- it was wonderful.
   * If you run short of peppers (or you just want to cut the heat) add shredded carrot in the place of some of the chopped peppers- we tried it and loved it.
   We have stirred this relish into ranch style dressing for a zippy kick, baked chicken brushed with it, spread it on sandwiches and poured it over cream cheese and crackers--oh, so tasty! 

   How do you use up a massive pepper harvest?


Keli Martin said...

Pepper jam is my favorite way to use up a bumper crop of peppers. We also freeze chopped peppers for stews/soups, stir-fries, chili, and burritos. Enjoy those peppers!

Simply Scaife Family said...

Thanks, Keli.

Mrs. Farmer said...

I freeze peppers as well. It makes making dinner super-quick to have them chopped and ready to go!