Preparing your own pickled foods can become a very rewarding hobby. Not only is the process fun, but the fruits of your labor can be very delicious. Even better yet, homemade pickled foods are a lot healthier for you than the mass produced options available in your local grocery store.
One pickled item that nearly everyone loves is a delicious relish. Making your own relish is actually quite easy. Here are some simple steps to follow to make your own pickled relish without all those nasty preservatives.
First, you will want to gather all the ingredients you will need for this recipe. Ingredients you need include one and a fourth cup of sugar, one cup of vinegar, one tablespoon of pickle spice, one cup of chopped onion, one tablespoon of salt, and four cups of shredded cucumber.
The first step to making your own pickled relish is shredding your cucumbers. You may think you have to peel the cucumbers before shredding. However, keeping the skin in tact will help improve the texture and healthiness of your relish.
There are several different ways you can shred your cumbers. Most people use a food processor. If you have a food processor, you can use the attachment for shredding that more than likely came with it. If you do not own a food processor, you can use a shredding utensil instead.
If your cucumbers are especially large, you may want to take one extra step before you shred them to improve the consistency of your relish. First, cut the cucumbers in half length wise. Secondly, scoop out the seeds and throw them away. You can now shred the remaining cucumber.
Once you have finished shredding your cucumbers, go retrieve a pan or pot you can place over your stove. Place the pieces of shredded cucumber into the pan or pot.
Next, you will need to chop the onion. Again, if you have a food processor, you can use the chopping setting to chop the onion. If not, simply chop the onion over a cutting board with a sharp knife. Chop the onion into rather small pieces. However, don’t chop the onion too finely. After you have chopped one cup of onion, place the pieces into the same pan or pot as you placed the shredded cucumber.
Next, into this pan or pot, add the rest of your ingredients. These ingredients will include the sugar, vinegar, pickle spice, and salt you gathered earlier. Now place the pan or pot over a burner on your stove. Turn on the burner and set it to a medium setting. Cook all these ingredients together over the flame. Occasionally, stir the ingredients around in the pan or pot with a wooden spoon or other utensil. Cook the ingredients together like this until they come to a boil.
When the ingredients do come to a slow boil, turn the heat down to a low setting. Allow the mixture to simmer at this low setting for a good five minutes. After five minutes have passed, turn off the burner. You should then allow the ingredients to cool for a good while.
For the next step, retrieve a slotted spoon. Use the spoon to scoop out the relish and place it into jars. The slots in the spoon will allow any extra liquid to drain off of the relish. The jars should be somewhere between six to eight ounces in size. You should now decide how to store you pickled relish. You can freeze the relish, place it in your refrigerator, or place it into a dark cool place such as a cellar for long term storage.
If you follow these easy to learn steps, you will be enjoying your own homemade pickled relish in no time. If you wish to make larger batches of relish than what this recipe calls for, simply multiply the amount of ingredients and follow the same instructions during preparation and cooking.