I have friends who travel a few hours south of here every summer to pick the very best tomatoes, which they bring back to town and sell them. The first year I learned of their tomato migration, I had them pick Roma tomatoes for me to can into sauce. The following year, I noticed they had picked a lot of green tomatoes, and I decided to get some and try a recipe for green tomato mince meat.....which is fabulous by the way. This summer, with an interest in finding other recipes using green tomatoes, I decided to make Chow Chow. We have quite a few friends who are transplants from the east coast who miss their Chow Chow since it is not something you can find on the store shelves out here in B.C. Turns out I just couldn't make enough of this stuff. Between mincemeat and Chow Chow....I used 40 pounds of green tomatoes this year and I am quickly getting to the end of my Chow Chow and Mince Meat. I can tell already, next year, I could devote 60 pounds to Chow Chow alone. I get it....this Chow Chow is tasty.....it's sweet (although you can adjust to your liking), and it tastes of pickling spice with a little bite from the vinegar. I'm told it's nice served along side meat, on a cheese sandwich, and apparently straight out of the jar. When you have some green tomatoes to use up....consider giving this a try. If you are already a fan of Chow Chow....what do you eat it with? I'm curious....
Chow Chow(makes 10 pints)
9 pounds green tomatoes washed
6 pounds onions peeled
Slice tomatoes and onions thinly ( I used a mandoline slicer) which makes the job very quick! Set aside the sliced tomato and onion in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup coarse pickling salt and mix in a little......cover and leave over night.
In the morning, drain in a colander and transfer tomato and onion to a large pot.
Add to the pot:
4 cups pickling vinegar
2 cups water
1 red pepper cored, and chopped in 1/4 inch squares
7 cups white sugar (or less to taste)
a spice ball or piece of cheese cloth filled with 2 tsp mixed pickling spice
Put pot on medium high heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. (this will take 10 -15 minutes) Remove 1/2 cup of liquid from the pot and set aside to cool. Once cool ....
Add to the cooled 1/2 cup of liquid:
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp turmeric
Whisk this mixture smooth, then stir it into the Chow Chow to thicken. Once the cornstarch mixture is added, you must stir the Chow Chow often to make sure it does not burn on the bottom. Cook a further 15 minutes on medium low heat stirring frequently. Remove spice bag. Fill sterilized canning jars to within 1/4 inch from the top. Seal and process in a hot water bath.