Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Green Tomato Relish AKA Chow Chow

Last year was an exceptionally strange on for tomatoes.  There was lots and lots of fruit, and it all grew beautifully - it just wouldn't ripen.  The year before that I had been temporarily without a garden, and told a fellow gardener I would be willing to take his green tomatoes.  He remembered that, so at the end of the season last year I had two gardens' worth of green tomatoes.  I have some old stand-bys I use - I love green tomato mincemeat (See Sunday, November 16, 2008).  But I decided to try some new ones also.  A non-canning friend asked me to make Chow Chow, so I looked for recipes.  Apparently the term is more generic, from the South & Appalachia, and is another great way to use up extra veggies left over from a productive season.  I live in Missouri and the range of ethic influences on food and food prep - as well as their names - is really fun!  Amish, French, any variety of southern and soul food, German, and "just plain home Midwestern home cooking".

Here is the recipe I finally settled on (which was a GREAT hit with my friend!).  I don't know where I found it, the link did not carry thru when I printed it off the internet:

Yields 5 1/2 pints

12 - large green tomatoes, cored (about 20 small to medium size)
4 - green bell peppers, seeded
4 - medium or 1 extra large yellow onion (I used red and yellow)
1 - red bell pepper, seeded
1 -T + 2 t yellow mustard seed
1 - T celery seed
2 - c cider vinegar
2 - c granulated sugar
1 - T + 2 t kosher salt

Chop the tomatoes and peppers very finely.  I diced up all my veggies, I think this relish works better that way.  I had the time, you might not. So you could do small batches in a food processor.

Add the chopped vegetables in a large pot ( heavy bottom non reactive post), then add rest of the ingredients.  Stir well and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.  Cook stirring often and skimming as needed.  ( I did not have anything to skim.)

Simmer until the relish/chow chow cooks down and thickens into a relish, about 2 hours.  Turn into hot sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath.  The recipe didn't specify how long, I did 15 minutes.

As you can see, I made several batches :-)

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