Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hot Dog Relish

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The zucchini is coming along strongly, as it normally does this time of year. Personally I get tired of fried or steamed zucchini easily, and am always searching for new ways to use zucchini. So about 10 years ago I started making homemade hot-dog relish. I have tried several recipes and they have all been fantastic. This year's recipe goes something like this, with a little improvisation thrown in here and there, see notes.

12 cups shredded zucchini, core but do not peel (I peeled about half of them before chopping. I also substituted 2 of the 12 cups with 2 cups of chopped cucumber)
3 large onions, chopped fine (I used 5 medium-sized onions)
2 large green peppers, chopped fine
2 large red peppers, chopped fine
1/2 cup pickling salt
3 cups sugar
1 quart vinegar (you can use white or cider)
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed (recipe called for seed, I used dry mustard powder)
2 tsp. turmeric

I chopped the zucchini, peppers and onions in a food processor until it was the consistency that I liked in a relish, some people like it a lot chunkier than I like it. Combine the chopped zucchini, onion, green and red peppers, sprinkle with the salt and cover with cold water, let stand at least 2 hours (I have done it overnight in the fridge.) Drain well and press out excess liquid. I did this by pouring the pot of chopped veggies into a couple of colanders that were placed in the sink, then running cold water over them for several minutes. If it is not rinsed well it is too salty.

In a large (6-8 quart?) pot boil together the sugar, vinegar, turmeric, celery and mustard for 3 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and bring to a boil again. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then spoon into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, tighten caps.

Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: I got 8 pints, a half-pint jar and one quart jar. I did the quart jar just for kicks and giggles. Hopefully I can take the quart jar to a church event or a large picnic sometime.

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