Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spicy Vegan Chow Chow

Spicy Chow Chow

I love animals but this is not a blog about chow chow the dog  although I love this type of dog, so cute.  This is about chow chow the relish.  It is a famous kind of relish in southern part of the United States. My idea of trying it came from Michael Symon's  Chow Chow in the show The Chew.  It looked pretty darn good that I got to try it.  I have never heard of chow chow relish before.  It is time to experiment.

I modified the recipe by adding cauliflower and revising the amount of salt.  I used agave nectar instead of sugar.  I also add more fresh jalapenos since I like it spicy.

Chow Chow ingredients from left to right: fresh corn, yellow, red, and green bell peppers, cauliflower, fresh jalapenos, and red onion.
Unfortunately, I could not find yellow fresh corn so I used white corn.  It will be more colorful to use yellow corn.  Frozen sweet yellow corn can also be used (about 10 oz bag).

Spicy Vegan Chow Chow
Serve 6 (makes 6 cups, 2 jars)
Adapted from Michael Symon's recipe

2 ears fresh yellow corn (cut the corn kernels of the cobs)
Note:  substitute with 10 oz yellow sweet corn bag, thawed, if fresh corn are not available
1/2 cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 medium green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 medium yellow bell pepper (seeded and chopped_
1 red onion (peeled and chopped)
3 fresh jalapenos (stemmed and chopped)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. table salt
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1.5 tsp. whole black peppercorn

2 jars with tight lids

  1. Combine vinegar, agave nectar, salt, allspice, cinnamon stick, celery seeds, mustard seeds, and black peppercorns in a saucepan over high heat.  Wait till it boils, then turn it down to simmer for 30 minutes.  Set aside.  Remove cinnamon sticks and whole allspice.
  2. In the video, Michael Symon used a food processor to chop all the vegetables (corn kernel not included). This is a real quick method to chop vegetables. I tried this method but I prefer to chop the vegetables into small pieces with a knife.
  3. In a saucepan, combine corn kernels and cut vegetables with the pickling mixture from no.1.  Add enough water to cover the vegetables but not too soupy.
  4. Bring to a boil with a high heat.  Once it is boiling, turn it down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once the relish is cooled down, pour into a jar, seal, and keep refridgerated up to 2 weeks.
Refridgerated Chow Chow in a jar.

What can you use this relish with?  You can use it as a topping of veggie hot dog, veggie burger, or  on a sandwich filling.   My favorite use of it is using it with slaw.  I mixed this relish with cabbage slaw or broccoli slaw.  I don't add anything to it, just combine the chow chow and shredded cabbage or shredded broccoli stalks and carrots (see picture below).   It is a great slaw for those who don't like mayonnaise-based slaw just like DH. 

Broccoli slaw mixed with spicy chow chow.
Furthermore, you can use the chow chow based slaw in a sandwich or veggie hot dog.  Below is my use of this kind of slaw in a BBQ sandwich.  I ate this kind of sandwich at Phoney Baloney's Healthy Sandwiches called Cali BBQ.   This BBQ sandwich starts with 2 toasted squaw sandwich bread, slathered with yellow mustard, topped with BBQ  'beef' steak trips (strips from Trader Joe's combined with your favorite BBQ sauce), and topped with chow chow broccoli slaw and sliced pickles.
BBQ sandwich with chow chow broccoli slaw.

I hope you are as brave as I am to experiment, too!