Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sweet Zucchini Relish
This recipe guide is an awesome way to use all that extra zucchini that everyone always finds they have from their garden. This sweet relish is great for hamburgers, hot dogs and recipes like ham bbq, Macaroni salad and basically anything you would use pickle relish for!
This recipe yeilded 21 pints and 5 jelly jars. You can cut it in half (or a third) if you would like a smaller recipe.
34 cups of shredded zucchini (Unpeeled and I use the food processor for quick results)
12 1/2 cups of shredded onions (Food processor here too!)
3 green peppers (chopped....yup food processor)
3 red peppers chopped
15 tablespoons of canning salt
14 cups of sugar
7 1/2cups of vinegar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
5 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons of black pepper
Place shredded zucchini and onion together in a non metal bowl and mix with the salt. Mix well to ensure salt is mixed in well. Cover and place in fridge for overnight.
The next day you want to rinse and drain your zucchini and onion mix. Draining off as much water as you can. Then you can prep the peppers. After you cut up the peppers put them in your pot. I use my roaster pan and turn both burners on. It holds a TON and is not so deep that I have to worry about reaching the bottom to stir it.
Once the peppers are all done then add everything else and heat to boiling.
Once it's boiling turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring often.
To the right is the pepper and seasoning mix:
Below is the "finished" product cooking:
You will need to sterilize your jars. I start my jars in my dishwasher at the same time I start the process. That way once the relish is done cooking and ready to can the jars are on the heat drying cycle and hot hot hot! If you don't have a dishwasher you can use the hot bath (I'll describe below) to sterilize and heat your jars. You must heat your jars to have success.
So...relish is simmering, jars are "heating" now you can start your seals simmering. Add the amount of seals you need (Good idea to add an extra jar and seal just in case!) Using a small sauce pan on the stove to heat the seals. A trick I use is to add them to the water 2 at a time and top to top. If you do that you won't have to worry about them sealing together or sticking together making it hard to get out of the water!
So.....Jars are heating, Relish is simmering, seals are heating, kids are crying (oh wait.....that's just here.) Now you can start your water bath.
Fill the largest pot you have. If you have a canning pressure cooker that's great! It will have the bottom rack you need. If you don't....it's ok. Again you can improvise. Largest pot you have....Filled about halfway with water. If you don't have the rack for the bottom you can place a dishtowel on the bottom of the pan (In the water) this will help steady the jars and assure they aren't touching the actual bottom of the pan. (It works I promise!)
I have the canning pot with rack:
Start the water and bring it to a boil.
Now you can pack your hot jars with the relish and seal them. Wipe your rims of the jars off and make sure you use a butter knife to remove all the air from the jar prior to sealing. You will want to leave about 1/4 -1/2inch space at the top of jar. Use the seal and tighten the ring slightly. Now....I couldn't take pictures of this process because it's a time sensitive thing. Hot jars, boiling relish, hot seals...You get the picture.
Once your jars are sealed: Place them in the water bath for 30 minutes.
Leave space between the jars so they aren't crowded in the pot. And they aren't banging together.
Once they bath in the water (It will boil slightly) you can remove them and set them on a dish towel on the counter. Then cover with another dishtowel. Let them set and seal themselves. DO NOT press the seals to test. Listen for the pops if you're nosey. :) (That's for Papa Baer!) They will seal on their own. They need to cool slowly and seal on their own time.
Once they are cool check the seals to assure that they all sealed. If they are sealed there will be no actual movement of the seal. If the seal moves up and down it didn't seal properly. You can't reseal so put that jar in fridge and eat it first! As not to waste them.
That's it! You're done! good job!