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Olde Virden's Red Hot Spicy Chow Chow - An Apalachian Tradition

October 09, 2017

Olde Virden's Red Hot Spicy Chow Chow - An Apalachian Tradition

When scouring the internet for the perfect chow chow recipe, we checked one of our favorite websites, Southern Foodways Alliance. We chose to create a spicy version of April McGreger's Mississippi Chow Chow. As in all of our recipes, you can adjust the amount of Red Hot Sprinkle for your level of preferred heat. We like it hot, so grab a glass of sweet tea, a bowl of your favorite collards, and top it off with this chow chow. You won't be sorry.

Red Hot Chow Chow

2 lbs. or about 7 cups chopped green tomatoes or cabbage or a mixture  (We chose a mixture)

1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 teaspoons Red Hot Sprinkle

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 Tablespoons pickling salt or fine sea salt

2 ¾ cups distilled white vinegar

2 cups sugar

1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

¾ teaspoon celery seeds

¼ teaspoon of ground tumeric

Place the green tomatoes or cabbage, onions, peppers, 2 tsps of Red Hot Sprinkle, and salt in a nonreactive bowl and toss well to combine. Cover and set aside for 4 hours, tossing every hour or so. Alternately, you can just refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Drain off the brine that has leached out of the vegetables. Press or squeeze out the remaining brine. I like to give the vegetable mixture a spin in the salad spinner. Alternately, wrap the mixture in a large piece of cheesecloth or muslin or an old (clean) pillow case and give it a good squeeze.

In a nonreactive 5.5 qt. pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, remaining 2 tsps Red Hot Sprinkle, and spices to a boil. Stir in the chopped vegetable mixture and bring to boil. Turn down to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the mixture shifts in color and transforms into relish. If you mixture gets too dry, you can add a tablespoon or two of water.

Pack into to clean, sterilized jars and refrigerate.


Adapted from April McGreger's Chow Chow recipe.