|An heirloom recipe, Million Dollar Relish is a sweet pickle relish made from cucumbers, onion and sweet red and green bell peppers.|
Million Dollar RelishA couple of years back, Mary Fonville, a reader from our Facebook page, shared her personal recipe for Million Dollar Relish, an heirloom recipe for a sweet pickle relish that she's been personally making for more than 40 years.
I'm not sure of the history of this recipe, where the name comes from, or really, what sets Million Dollar Relish apart from any other regular sweet pickle relish, except that many of the Million Dollar recipes are extremely heavy on turmeric. Some cover the vegetable mixture with iced water to soak, some hot water, some, no water at all. Some recipes add carrots and some are also very heavy in sweet peppers. I guess like anything else, there are as many recipes for this relish as there are cooks.
A lot of folks run the vegetables through a food processor or meat grinder for relish, but I like more of a cubed style pickle relish and wanted more texture in mine, so I hand chop instead of grinding them.
I'm a big fan of hot dogs, always have been, always will be, and sweet pickle relish is a pretty standard condiment for me. Besides the classic hot dog, use this relish in potato salad, ham, tuna and chicken salads, on burgers or sandwiches, wherever you happen to like pickles. It's delicious!
As always, with all canning recipes that you find here on my site, I have to add my caveat. Before proceeding with any recipe for canning or preserving on Deep South Dish, I advise you to always consult a professional canning resource for complete details on how to safely can foods, from start to finish, to make them pantry stable.
Here's how to make it.
First things first, you need to peel and seed the cucumbers before chopping them. I just use regular, garden variety cucumbers. You need 2 quarts diced.
Use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds.
In a large glass or plastic bowl, mix together the chopped cucumbers, onion and peppers. Toss to mix well, add 2 tablespoons of salt - I just used kosher salt - then stir, cover and refrigerate; let stand at least 6 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, if possible. Drain well, stirring occasionally to release as much liquid as possible, but do not rinse.
In a large pot, mix together the vinegar (white or cider), sugar, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly until sugar is dissolved. Add in the drained vegetables and red pepper flakes, if using, return to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer relish into sterilized jars and top off with syrup. Seal, refrigerate, or process for canning. Makes about 6 pints.
Recipe: Million Dollar Sweet Pickle Relish©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 6 pints
For the Relish:
For the Syrup:
- 8 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 quarts diced)
- 2 cups of chopped onion
- 3 green bell peppers, chopped
- 3 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large can of pimento, drained and chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 quart of white or cider vinegar
- 4 cups of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of finely minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of mustard seed
- 2 tablespoons of celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, or to taste, optional
In a large glass or plastic bowl, mix together the cucumbers, onion and peppers; toss to mix well. Add salt, stir, cover and refrigerate; let stand 6 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Drain well, but do not rinse.
In a large pot, mix together the vinegar, sugar, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly until sugar is dissolved. Add in the drained vegetables and red pepper flakes, if using, return to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer relish into sterilized jars and top off with syrup. Seal, refrigerate, or process for canning. Makes about 6 pints.
To Process for Canning: Sterilize jar and lids. Prepare a hot water bath. Pack hot pickles and liquid into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Add Pickle Crisp to each jar if desired. Remove air bubbles. Add lids and rings and process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Cook's Notes: I am not a professional canning expert. Please consult a professional canning resource for details on water bath canning before attempting to home can. I didn't find it necessary, but some folks like to thicken the syrup with cornstarch. You can use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water and add to pot after it has simmered for 5 minutes. Continue cooking and stirring, until thickened. Ladle into sterilized jars and refrigerate, or process for canning. The pictured pickles do not contain cornstarch.
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