At the beginning of the year I declared that I was going to concentrate on savoury preserving recipes rather than sweet as we don't tend to eat a lot of jam and the savoury preserves that I make tend to run out long before the time to make them comes around again. I duly went about making a wishlist and sweetcorn relish featured pretty highly.
I searched and searched for a recipe that suited what I was trying to achieve but in the end I concocted my own using ratios that seem quite basic in a lot of recipes and then adding my own personal touches.
When I think of sweetcorn relish, I imagine hot, smoky summer barbecues and so my additions included adding some finely chopped chillies and also (one of my favourite ingredients) smoked paprika.
The relish was easy to make, no fussing or setting points required, and turned out just as I wanted it to - retaining bite in the sweetcorn kernels and slightly sweet with a spicy kick and smoky undertones.
I'm so pleased with it and, although it was made with burgers and barbecue foods in mind, I love it so much that I'm eating it in sandwiches, on crackers as if it were a chutney and with salad, too.
Here's the recipe in case you fancy having a try. You can use fresh, tinned or frozen sweetcorn.
Spicy Sweetcorn Relish
(makes around 2 pints)
3 bell peppers
2 onions (I used red)
1 chili (depending on how spicy you want to make it), optional
4 cups sweetcorn
1.5 cups white vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cornflour, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Half a teaspoon turmeric
Half a teaspoon cumin
Finely dice the onions and sauté in a large pan with the salt and a little of your favourite cooking oil.
Meanwhile, finely dice the peppers and add to the pan. Stir as necessary.
When the onions and peppers have softened, chop the chilli(es) extremely finely and add to the pan along with the sweetcorn and all other ingredients. Stir well.
Bring to the boil, stirring when necessary. Let the mixture simmer for 15+ minutes until the juices thicken to a thin syrup-like consistency.
Pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool - the mixture will thicken more upon cooling.