Introduction: Spicy Dill Cucumber Relish
This relish is spicy and sweet.
It can be enjoyed with burgers, hot dogs, sausage, roast pork etc....
When nothing else is available, it goes great on a fork all by it self.
Step 1: First Ingredient Cucumbers
This set up works great for growing cucumbers.
They stay out of the dirt, this makes them the go to plant on a hot day working in the garden. Just pick, bite off the blossom end and enjoy. No need to run inside for a drink. Keeping the plants off the soil also stops the downy mildew that plagued me for years. I gave up long ago on the idea of growing organic cucumbers. The plants would turn white, then crispy brown before giving me any fruit. Once I tried this technique, I was successful.
Step 2: Wash and Refrigerate
Even though the cucumbers are clean I wash them anyway. This cleans all the little spiky bits off. They then go into the refrigerators crisper drawer.
Step 3: Second Ingredient Peppers
These are Hungarian Hot. They aren't at the upper end of the Scoville scale, but I can kick up the heat with my home made DANGER POWDER if need be.
That's it for today. It's far to nice out to spend the day in the kitchen. A storm front is coming through tomorrow so I'll wait.
Step 4: Storm Front!
So Its kitchen time. I love it when a plan comes together.
Step 5: Here's What We Are Working With Today.
7 cups Cucumber
3 cups Peppers
3 cups Onion
1 cup Fresh Dill
1 cup Garlic Cloves
3 cups Pickling Vinegar
2½ cups Sugar
½ cup Pickling Salt
3 tbsp Mustard Seed
3 tbsp Celery Seed
1 tsp Hot Pepper Powder aka DANGER POWDER
Of course other items like a food processor, bowls, cutting board and knife, pot and lid, sieve and cheese cloth, fork, large spoon, funnel, jars and lids, I also used a chopping tool for the garlic.
Step 6: Prepare the Cucumbers
The ends are removed because they can be quite bitter. We're not making beer here so there's no place for bitterness. Bitterness can also lurk in the skin so I like to peel them as well.
Step 7: Trim the Garlic
The base of the garlic clove is rather hard. You don't wand hard bits floating around in the relish.
Step 8: Remove the Pepper Stems
Pepper stems have no culinary use, as far as I know. They compost well as do all the cuttings left after this project is complete. The garbage is for garbage, the compost bin is for organics. Be kind to the planet. It needs all the help we can give it.
Step 9: Onion Time
Peel and quarter then seal into bowl with lid. I do this as quick as I can to avoid tearing up.
Step 10: Prepare for Processing
I split the ingredients into piles that should fit the food processor. Less mixing will be required if a bit of everything is in each load of the processor. I'm leaving the onion in its bowl, only uncovering to scoop some into the processor. I'll chop the garlic later with a chopper to keep the pieces evenly chopped.
Step 11: Pulse to Your Liking
Pulsing the processor allows larger pieces to fall back into the blades. I found that breaking up the peppers was required if the processor bowl was too full.
Step 12: Add Salt
Now add pickling salt a bit at a time as you move the mix to another bowl.
Step 13: Chop Garlic
This chopper came with an electric pressure cooker I bought years ago. The cooker died two days after the warranty expired but the chopper remains. I put in ½ cup at a time and the chopper makes short work of it.
A side note to that story. My Instant Pot has lasted twice as long as the other one did and is still going strong. I've not been paid to endorse the product. I just wish I hadn't wasted the money on the previous one.
Step 14: Add Garlic
Now add the garlic. All the garlic. The chopper gets covered with garlic bits, rinse it clean over a sieve. It will surprise you how much you could have wasted. Stir in the garlic and cover. This will now rest for four hours.
Step 15: Its Brine Time!
In a large pot add the sugar and vinegar. This will be heated to a boil so turn on the heat and melt the sugar. Stir often so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot.
Step 16: Add Spices
Now that the sugar is melted, add your spices and simmer.
Step 17: Danger Powder
The Danger Powder is a mix of hot peppers. The first picture is one days picking out of my organic garden. It was one of many pickings of the 2018 season. The habanero and cayanne make up the bulk of the mix 60% to 70% the rest of the mix are there for flavor and aroma. I made 2kg of powder using an Excalibur 3926TB 9-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator. The machine is amazing. I killed a few lesser machines before buying this one.
One tsp should be enough for this. I can add more if needed.
Step 18: Drain and Rinse
After 4 hrs line a sieve with cheese cloth and pour in the veggie mixture. Drain and rinse to remove the salt and liquid.
Step 19: Squeeze!!!
I moved the bundle to a colander so I could apply more pressure. I didn't want to break my sieve. Once the moisture is squeezed out remove the cheese cloth, rolling the ball into a bowl.
Step 20: Brine Time Again
Now add the veggies to the brine mix. Bring it back to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir often to avoid burning to the bottom of the pot.
Step 21: Taste
OK, now taste the finished product. Is it spicy enough for you? If you wanted to enter a Spice Is Your Life Contest, you could add a cup of Danger Powder to the mix. I'm happy with the result. I feel that most of my family will find it quite spicy but will still be able to enjoy it. I don't think the grand kids will be able to handle it though. It is sweet so I may tempt them to give it a try. One day I hope that they will enjoy spice in their life like Granny and Pops do.
Step 22: Put Into Jars
I boiled water in the jars to clean them, let them cool a bit then filled and capped them. After a few hours they went into the refrigerator. You could process them in a water bath caner for 10 minutes for long term storage. Check your altitude and adjust processing time if necessary.
Step 23: A Beautiful Thing
These are beautiful!
Now what to do with tomorrows cucumber picking?
First Prize in the