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You Can Pickle That: Spicy Sweet Corn

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 19, 2013 3:20PM


The whole point of pickling is to preserve abundance; to pick that exact moment when the thing you are pickling is so plentiful that the bins are bursting and your refrigerator shelves cannot hold any more and capture that moment in a jar. Well, this week, sweet corn is having its moment. It's less than $1 an ear at most markets (with great deals if you buy in bulk) and you can preserve it in so many wonderful ways.

The easiest, most common way to preserve sweet corn is to shuck it and freeze it, and this is a wonderful way to replace that frozen corn from the grocery store with a bit of summer magic of your own. If you want to go one extra step and have that brilliant corny yellow staring you in the face all winter from your pantry shelves, pickled corn is a great option.

This may not be quite like the some of pickles you are used to. This is a cross between a hot corn salsa and a chow chow, and is incredibly versatile - it can be used for anything from a fish topping to a quesadilla filling, and if you're looking for a quick side dish, just open a jar.

Pickled Sweet Corn
Makes approximately 6 pints.

16 ears of sweet corn, shucked
5 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
5 Jalapeno peppers, split in half
5 Tablespoons chili flakes
1 large red onion, chopped
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt

After the corn is shucked, mix it with the onion in a large bowl.

In each jar, place 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1 of the peppers and 1 tablespoon of chili flakes. If you're not into super spicy foods, seed the peppers before you put them in. Pack in the corn and onion mix on top, using a spoon to press down the corn and eliminate as much airspace as possible. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace in each jar.

Some recipes call for the addition of chopped red pepper, to turn the dish into more of a relish. We hate red pepper in relish, so we omitted it, but if you want the color or the taste, add one whole minced red pepper - and perhaps leave out one ear of corn.

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar and salt are disolved, pour the brine into each jar and seal. Process for 15 minutes.