Welcome to Corn Week! I have been contemplating ideas for projects. This week is all about corn. A few of my projects are gifts, kids projects and food items. Some may be a little corny but that is what it's all about.
My first recipe is Corn Relish. My wonderful neighbor invited me over to help in the corn harvest. She planted 7 rows of corn this year in all different varieties. We pulled corn for 2 hours in the garden. Do you know how to tell of your corn is ready to pick???
**** When you have your corn in hand, pull back the husks. Pierce one kernel with your fingernail. If the kernel pops and the corn juice resembles 1% milk it is ripe and ready to eat. If it is more clear it needs a few more days. If its old the juice will be starchy white. So there is your tip for the day. What a difference this knowledge has brought me.
Back to my corn harvest. So we pulled the ears and shucked them. (Save those corn husks for a later project) Keep your corn chilled. We put ours in coolers with light layers of ice. Once you pull the corn the juices begin into turn to starch. Keeping them cold slows this process. Between the 4 of us we pulled and shucked between 500-600 ears of corn. We filled 5 large coolers with corn.
Corn Canning Day
The next day we all gathered together and got to work. Canning with friends it so much fun!
To start we brought our water to a boil. We used a Camp Chef Stove and a large banquet table in the garage. Working in the garage was great. We were able to keep most of the heat outside and gave us a few extra burners and work space.
Step 1: Bring water to a boil
Step 2: Add corn and cook for 7 minutes
Step 3: Place corn in ice water for cooling. You want to cool it fast to stop it from cooking any longer.
Step 4: Cut corn off cob. We did this using a serrated knife onto cookie sheets. Save your cobs!! They will be used for the corn Jelly and a later craft project.
Now you can scoop into bags for freezing or measure for the corn relish.
Here is the recipe:
Corn and Cabbage Relish
9 C fresh corn kernels
3 C finely chopped cabbage
1 C finely chopped onion
2 C finely chopped, seeded red bell pepper (about 2 peppers)
2 stalks of celery (1/2 cup)
1 cuke, diced (1 cup)
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T sea salt
½ t celery seed
½ t yellow mustard seed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper, if desired*
Combine ingredients for brine in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil,
stirring to make sure the sugars have dissolved and aren't sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add all of the prepared vegetables to the brine, and bring back to a boil, stirring well to combine.
Reduce heat to a strong simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes till veggies
are tender-crisp. Taste and add salt if needed.
Spoon corn relish into hot pint-size jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Release any trapped air bubbles by
carefully running a chopstick or other non-metallic utensil around the edges. Wipe rims clean with a
damp paper towel. Set lids atop jars and screw on bands until fingertip-tight. Water bath 20 minutes.
Rest 5 minutes in kettle and remove. Makes approximately 6 pint jars
*Add small can of diced green chilis and ¼ t chipotle chili powder for some extra zip!
Here is what we used it in: Just add your relish, tomatoes, beans of choice, avocado and dressing.
Other uses for Corn Relish:
· Makes a great topping for brats or hamburgers
· Use as a base for Taco Soup
· Add sour cream (1:1 ratio), ranch dip mix, and serve as a dip with chips. (Also makes a yummy baked potato topping)
· Great fajita or taco topping!
Next we made Corn Jelly. Now I had some reservations about this. It is a little weird. Remember those cobs I told you to keep above? Well here is one use for them.
Corn Cob Jelly
24 large ears of corn
1 gallon water
¼ c lemon juice
2 packages powdered pectin
sugar (1:1 ratio with corn liquid)
1) Place corn cobs and water in a large stock pot with the lid on. Bring to boil, remove lid, and boil hard
for 30 minutes (you want to be able to concentrate the liquid). Turn off heat and remove cobs. Strain corn
liquid through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer–if desired (I kind of like the flecks of corn in there as a
reminder from whence it came!).
2) Measure how much corn liquid remains (typically about a third will evaporate during the boiling
process) so that you’ll know how much sugar to add. Return liquid to the large pot. Stir in lemon juice
and pectin and bring to a boil. Add sugar to match the measure of your corn liquid all at once (1:1 ratio).
Stir to dissolve sugar and bring pot to a ROLLING boil. Boil hard one-two minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
3) Ladle hot corn cob jelly into hot jars. Adjust lids and bands. Process in pint size jars in a boiling water
bath for 15 minutes (times may change a bit for altitude).
Makes about 5 pints.
*Lavender version: Infuse 1 Tb lavender blossoms / quart of liquid. Steep during last 10 min of boiling
(while cobs are boiling) and strain.
*Kettle Corn version: After removing corn cobs, add sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
*Citrus version: After removing corn cobs, add an additional ¼ c of citrus juice (tangerine, orange, etc.)
and several drops of tangerine and orange essential oils.