August 2019 View more

Photo by Regan Baroni


A spoonful of this chow chow dresses up a warm bowl of chili (pictured). The relish also is great with a classic shore lunch: a Great Lakes tradition of fish fried in a skillet with potatoes, bacon, and onions. Other ideas: spoon onto shrimp tacos; use as a garnish on deviled eggs; or try it on a mixed grill spread of brats, steak, chicken, fish, and veggies. If DIY chow chow isn’t for you, pick up a ready-made jar of Sweet Corn Chow Chow from Chef Paul’s Jar Sessions collection.

Yield: 5 pints

8 cups cut-off-the-cob corn kernels (about 8 ears)

1 sweet onion, such as candy or Vidalia, diced

½ sweet pepper, such as red bell pepper, seeded and diced

½ cup brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons kosher salt

1½ tablespoons black mustard seeds

1½ tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1½ teaspoons black pepper, ground

3 cups water

1¾ cups Champagne vinegar

In a large pot over medium-high heat, mix the corn, onion, sweet pepper, sugar, salt, black and yellow mustard seeds, paprika, and black pepper. Pour in the water and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Decrease to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Keep hot. 

Scald 5 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack. You will use this pot to process the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal. 

Ladle the relish into the jars, ensuring there is enough liquid to cover the vegetables in each jar. Leave a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar, and check for air pockets, adding more relish or liquid if necessary to fill in the gaps. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug, but not tight. 

Using kitchen tongs or a jar lifter, place the jars in the pot with the rack, and add enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil, and process the jars for 15 minutes. (Start your timer when the water reaches a boil.) Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars from the water with kitchen tongs or a jar lifter, and let cool completely.

Recipe courtesy Chef Paul Virant: Vie, Vistro, Gaijin (coming soon). From The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux, by Paul Virant with Kate Leahy.