Pickled Corn-Bacon Relish

These days you are as likely to find a producer of delicious, high-quality relishes-or, in the same category, compotes and preserves-at your local farmers' market as you are to make them yourself. I'm all for making things from scratch, but when you can find a jar that is as good as one you would make, I'm quick to give in. However, you won't find this relish just anywhere. If I can find a way to put a piece of bacon in something, I will. This relish is a great addition to any picnic meal: in sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, or with pulled pork on soft buttery rolls. Don't forget the iced tea and salty potato chips. Now, that's my kind of afternoon.

Excerpted from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013. Photograph by Grant Cornett.
TOTAL TIME: 48 hr 30 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: 48 hr 10 min
Cook: 10 min
YIELD: 8 cups


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1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

2. Cut the kernels off the corncobs with a sharp knife. Combine the corn, peppers, and red onions in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for 10 minutes to rinse out some of the starch. Drain.

3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the corn, peppers, and onions and bring back to a simmer.

4. Transfer the relish to a glass jar. Add the bacon, whole or crumbled, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate. The relish will be ready to eat in 2 days, and it will keep for up to a week.

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