Putting relish on dishes can add a whole new dimension of flavor, and enhance basic foods. While relishes are commonly made from pickles, there is no reason not to be a little more inventive! Living in the south has tailored my taste buds to spicy foods, so I have come up with a hot, tangy and slightly sweet relish that’s sure to satisfy.
This relish is versatile and the perfect addition to a vast array of dishes. Pour it on top of cream cheese and serve along side crackers. Mix it into scrambled eggs or add it to a hot dog for a spicy kick! When vegetables are abundant during summer, saute diced squash and relish, then top with shredded cheese for some quick and fresh calabacitas.
Yields 14 quarter pints
What You Need:
- 24 large jalapenos
- 3 medium onions
- 3 cups vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp sugar.
- disposable rubber gloves
Due to the high acidity level in this recipe, you can preserve this relish by using a water bath canner. I don’t own a water bath canner, so I created one by placing a steamer basket into a large stock pot. This leaves enough space on the bottom of the pan to allow water to move around all sides of the jars.
I chose to use quarter pint jars, since the relish packs a lot of punch, and a little goes a long way. Start by washing and sterilizing your jars. To sterilize, bring water in a stockpot or water bath canner to a boil and place empty jars into the water and boil for 15 minutes. If you are using hard and unfiltered water, add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to prevent white film of mineral deposits from getting on your jars. Don’t boil the lids, as it can damage them. After the jars are sterilized, I turn off the heat, and add the lids, funnel and ladle to the water for a few minutes.
While the jars are sterilizing, start making the relish by washing the jalapenos. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can use bell peppers in place of jalapenos, which would result in a milder and sweeter relish.
I strongly recommend putting on some disposable rubber gloves for this next part. Some jalapenos are mild, while others are incredibly hot, and the oils from the jalapenos will transfer onto your fingers and hands, which can irritate your skin.
Cut off and discard the stems of the peppers.
The seeds and membranes of the jalapenos are the hottest part of the pepper. If you want a spicier relish, leave them intact. If you want your relish more mild, remove the seeds and white membranes before chopping. Dice the jalapenos into small pieces.
Next, remove the skin from the onions and dice into pieces about the same size as the jalapenos.
In a large pan, add the chopped jalapenos, onions, vinegar, water and spices. If the pan isn’t large enough, you can cook this in two batches. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Using a ladle and funnel, fill up the jars with relish, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the rims of the jars and place the lid on each jar, and secure it with the ring. Tighten the jars fingertip tight, but not too tight, or the air cannot escape and the jars will not process correctly.
Using the same pot that the jars were sterilized in, place the filled and sealed jars into the boiling water, making sure that the water completely covered the tops of the jars. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove the jars and allow to cool on a towel.
I think the best part of canning is hearing the “ping” of the jars sealing, signaling a job well done!
Please be sure to check with your local extension office for specific tips on timing, pressure, and temps for canning.
Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living! And don’t forget to check out The Canner’s Cookbook, it has recipes on how to use all your home canned goods!
Have you ever made Jalapeno Relish or any kind of relish that you could can?