Monday, August 11, 2008

The Long, Hot Labors of Pepper Relish

This is the product of my labors on Saturday. Several jars of sweet pickles for a barbeque in San Francisco this coming weekend, several jars of Mexican Pepper Relish, and one experiment in gherkins that I am less than optimistic about.

I didn't keep perfect track of my recipe for the relish, but this is what I remember I did. In addition to the peppers I brought back from Mexico, I shopped at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer's Market for the tomatillos, bell peppers, and onions.

Mexican Hot Pepper Relish

10 hot peppers of various shapes, sizes and colors
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 large onion
5 medium-sized tomatillos
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of vinegar
2 cups of water
3/4 cup of canning salt

Cut the hot peppers with a sharp knife into tiny pieces. Your fingers will be burning, but its better than putting them through a processor...too much juice and you lose too much of the meat of the peppers. Put aside in a small bowl. I suggest putting half of the bell peppers, half of the onions, and all of the tomatillos in a little food chopper and handcutting the rest. Mix them all together in a bowl and sprinkle with 3/4 cup of canning salt. Stir up to ensure that the peppers are covered in the salt, and then cover with boiling water. Let stand for about 2 hours.

When the peppers are brined, rinse them lightly and then drain them (you can save the liquid). If you want, you can substitute some or all of the pepper liquid for the water to make the relish syrup.

Combine the water (or pepper juice), vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil.

Spoon the pepper mixture into small jars, cover with boiling syrup, and seal the jars. They should be good after three days of setting.

Enjoy some on scrambled eggs, steak, hot dogs . . . and remember to share with your friends!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Dear Corinne,
I brought the two jars of your Mexican hot pepper relish with me on a trip to the North Coast to visit my friend Dan's father in Fort Bragg. The relish was much beloved (especially by me) on nachos in lieu of salsa, and on the most delicious cheese sandwiches I've ever eaten along with avocado and fresh arugula, and tomatos from the garden. Thanks for the good eating and for helping me to be a charming houseguest.