One of my favorites when I was young was the relish my mother would make called Chow Chow. There is a northern recipe and a southern recipe. The northern recipe consist of everything from cauliflower, carrots, beans, onions, bell peppers, and more. I prefer the southern recipe typically made with just chopped bell peppers, green tomatoes, sweet onions, and cabbage. You use chow chow as any other relish.
Southern Chow Chow Relish
Step 1: Gather and wash ingredients
- 1 lb cabbage (chopped)
- 6 medium onions (chopped)
- 6 green bell peppers (chopped)
- 6 red bell peppers (chopped)
- 4 cups green tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 1/2 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 tablespoon whole spices (pickling mix)
- 5 cups white vinegar
Step 2: Prepare ingredients for a food processor. Peel and core tomatoes, take the skin off the onions, and slice and deseed bell peppers.
Step 3: Finely chop ingredients in a food processor. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to chop each ingredient separately.
Step 4: Combine the chopped cabbage, onions, green and red bell peppers, tomatoes, and salt in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit overnight in the refrigerator, then drain the next day.
Step 5: In a large saucepan over medium heat combine the sugar, mustard, turmeric, ginger, mustard seed, celery seed, whole spices, and vinegar. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables stir well and simmer until hot and well seasoned.
Step 6: Prep your jars by washing jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Rinse well.
Step 7: Place jars in waterbath canner or large pot with rack in the bottom and fill with enough water to cover the jars. Bring to a simmer (180°F) and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Keep the jars in simmering water until ready to fill.
Step 8: Pack the chow-chow into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space in jar. Remove air bubbles by running a spoon around the rim of the jar if needed.
Step 9: Place jars in waterbath canner or pot with rack. Heat the jar in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes to seal the lids. Remove with jar lifters, keeping upright at all times.
Step 10: Let jars cool on a cutting board or towel with 2 inches of space between each jar for 12 to 24 hours. After cooling, be sure to inspect the seal; here should be no flex when center is pressed. Remove the bands and attempt to lift lids off with your fingertips. Properly sealed lids will remain attached. If a lid fails to seal within 24 hours, immediately refrigerate the product.