Making corn relish is an annual event here on Springy Banks. Come the holidays, it’s one of our most-requested condiments. This summer I added a new twist, grilling the corn first, giving a toasty, tawny flavor.
Due to its popularity I always put up a whole bushel of corn. It might look daunting at first but once you get going things move along quickly, even more so if you treat yourself to some new gear.
Nowadays it’s trendy for cookbooks and bloggers to adhere to the “all I need is a knife and pot” ethos, and more power to them. Me, I like nice specialized gadget or tool.
Also extremely helpful is the OXO corn cutter for $10. I love it and it makes a great gift too.
For big batch canning, the Ball FreshTECH is a real friend in the kitchen. I was skeptical when it launched, but this automated alternative to stove-top boiling water canning is great. Think of that old Ron Popeil special “Set it — and forget it!”
Downside: the FreshTECH is pricey (about $300, ouch!) and a space hog. But if you do big batches (e.g. tomatoes) it frees up a ton of time.
For me, a humongous, heavy pot is essential for canning projects large and small. This 13-quart Staub cocotte fell into my lap (only figuratively, thank goodness) and I use it year ’round. Pasta sauces, chili and stews, braising on the stove or in the oven. Downside: Staub is remarkably expensive and weighs a ton. A sensible alternative is this nine quart cast iron bad boy from Lodge.
Lastly, lest you think I’m a spendthrift or snob, I’ve included another of my kitchen essentials: this back yard rock I use to press down things that need it, like these peppers I did for spiced pepper relish.
We’ve got plenty more big rocks if anyone wants to stop by.
GRILLED CORN RELISH
Recipe makes 18 pints
1 bushel / big burlap sack of corn on the cob (@48 ears)
4 cups chopped sweet onions
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped mild green peppers
2 cups chopped mild red peppers
1/2 cup minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons mustard powder
3 Tablespoons coriander seed
1 Tablespoon cumin seed
1 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 cups cider vinegar
- Prepare all the vegetables in advance: chop the sweet peppers, celery, and cilantro first. Do the onions and jalapenos last to minimize eye burn.
- Shuck the corn. Heat a grill to medium. Grill the corn in batches, turning every 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown. When cool cut the kernels from the cob.
- Whisk the mustard powder into 1 c. of the vinegar. This will prevent if from clumping. Add the mustard vinegar and the rest of the vinegar and the lime juice to a large, heavy pot. Add the sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Carefully add the corn kernels to the pot. Add the peppers, onion, celery and cilantro. Bring up to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into sterilized canning jars. Wipe rims, seal, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or in a FreshTECH canner (check manual for processing time).