Friday, July 29, 2011

Recipe for the Fiesta Zucchini relish

Hello everyone,

I am flattered as I received quite a few  emails about the Zucchini relish.  Gosh, it isn't fancy but tasty. Thank you for your inquiries. My grandmother would blush.

Now, I really don't follow recipes to the book, but just follow general guidelines. My grandmother did not follow recipes hardly at all, so I learned from her, working around her methods.   This is so very similar to pickle relish, you can use a pickle relish recipe you have  and just substitute shredded Zukes and adjust your spices and vinegar.

I got about 6 cups of Shredded zukes, and then I shredded a couple of sweet peppers I had left over from last summer's garden.  I also shredded a couple of Gypsy peppers, which have a a nice pepper punch to them, though they are not hot, and I shredded a couple of Garden Salsa peppers which have a tiny bit of heat to them but they are not hot either.  I also shredded a couple of carrots also for color, to make up for the pepper color.

The peppers you can use for this is unlimited, please use your imagination and your palate.  Adjust your seasonings to your family or tongue.  If you want a flaming relish, add a more hot pepper.  Please do not be afraid of what you can do with this.  If you are timid, just use sweet peppers and carrot and then next add a spicier pepper and adjust. Something that will add zing is a red onion, which is what I am going to do next batch. For this batch, I added a white onion. I used a medium onion and just diced the whole onion in this batch.

I took the shredded zukes, and put in an ice cream bucket about a 1/1/2 gallon size along with the peppers, onion and put cold water in and added salt, about 2-3 tablespoons, if you are a salt restricted diet, just use cold water and I soaked this mixture overnight in the frig.

The next morning, I drained the water from the zuke mixture in a large colander and then rinsed good, and then let drain in the sink for several hours.  While this is draining, I started my vinegar and spice mixtures in a large pot, if you have a stock pot or a maslan pan, use this, heat your vinegar mixture up, and adjust to your taste.  I started with about 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and added about a 3/4 cup of sugar, again adjust to your taste.  Then I added 1 tablespoon each of dill seed and celery seed, and mustard seed,  in the pot and let simmer, but I did not boil this, just heat up good.

Then I added my zuke mixture and stirred up to make sure all the relish mixture is covered well and then I let this simmer for about an hour, then I tasted the mixture and adjusted to my taste, if you need to add more vinegar, splash some in, I also added a couple of splashes of red wine vinegar to this and I liked the taste.  I did use vinegar for canning, which is 5% acidity, which is what you need for canning.  I had to add a little more sugar, a tablespoon at a time, till it was where I wanted it.  I also added a little more of celery, dill, and mustard.  If you wish, omit any of these spices to your taste if you do not like it,  again, experiment with the taste, and think pickle relish.

Then I canned this mixture.  General canning directions for this:  Wash your jars and then keep hot, keep your lids and bands hot, and I used a  mix of pint and half pint jars with a tiny 4 oz for the last bit I had left over.  Then I used my pressure canner as a water bath canner, not employing the pressure regulator, just letting the steam come out the spout, I found this so wonderful as it did not heat up my kitchen like my big water bath canner does.  So I am using this method to water bath can my relishes and pickles, and tomatoes.

I processed for 20 minutes, then turned off the heat, let the steam settle down for about 10 minutes and then took the lid off, please when you do this, please lift the lid away from your face,  as you will get a intense facial steaming if you don't and a nasty steam burn, please follow the rules when canning for safety.

Well, I hope that this helps, again, forgive me for not having an "exact recipe", but I find recipes sometimes restricting, please have fun with this, and play with your food, you have my permission.  If you aren't sure, email me or post a comment, and I help you along.

Have fun

1 comment:

  1. This does sound much like my pickle relish form Balls canning book except I used cucs. This one year I didn't grow any zuchini at all.

    I had a lot of the syrup vinegar mixture left over. I didn't refill the jars with it when I filled the with the relish. I don't see any dry relish on top, but I wonder....I shouldn't have had a quart of it left. Too late now; they are all sealed.