My friend Jennie gave me a grocery bag full of gorgeous Anaheim chilies from her garden. She also gave me a bag of pared jalapeño peppers she wanted smoked so she could make some jalapeño mustard (more on homemade mustard, later). I decided to smoke the Anaheims along with the others peppers on the grill with its maximum surface area and easier reach than the cylindrical smoker. Peppers are small and will burn to a crisp in a short time if not tended a lot.
I let them smoke at a low temperature for about an hour, then turned up the heat to blister the skins. It was my initial thought, once skinned and seeded, to freeze them for use in making chili relleños. Then I realized that we really don’t eat them at home. I rarely deep-fry foods, and really, I like to use things in a variety of ways that gets the most out of the flavor without boring us to death. I am not one of those “If it’s Wednesday, it’s Prince Spaghetti Day” types.
Thus the idea of canning them began to roll around. And while that idea rolled around in my head, half a dozen ears of corn were rolling around on the grill with the apple wood. And so the two items became one. Romantic, eh? Heres what I came up with for a recipe:
75 Anaheim chilies, smoked, skinned, seeded and chopped
Corn from 4 smoked/roasted ears, removed from the cob
6 bell peppers – I used an heirloom variety with a beautiful garnet-bordering-on-chocolate color, seeded and chopped
1 yellow onion, pretty finely chopped
1 tsp canning salt
1 Tbsp Celery Seed
3 Tbsp Cumin
4 ounces Lime juice. I used bottled
About a cup of apple cider vinegar – enough to provide a nice liquid for the relish without turning it into salsa.
Into a pot the ingredients went to be heated and poured into sterilized jars and processed in a water bath for 15 minutes. This amount made 7 half-pints and 2 pints.
This relish is going to look and taste fantastic this winter, topping some chicken, cheese, or vegetable enchiladas, or added to corn muffins, or tossed in with some black beans, or chili, or baked eggs. The Anaheims pack just enough heat to warm the body and the soul!