Cooking on an open flame makes me happy. It feels primal, natural, and when the flames are going I feel a little like Tom Hanks in Cast Away. I am man! I make fire! On top of the fire pride, smoke adds an element of flavor to your food you can’t get any other way. A lot of times when people think about cooking on fire meat and potatoes are the first things they think of, but you can cook anything out on a flame. We can’t always build a fire in our backyard, though, but a gas grill does the trick in a pinch.
Last Sunday at the Indie Flea I picked up a loaf of sourdough bread from Jamison B Breadhouse Bakes and my mind starting pinging around with ideas on how I was going to eat the bread all week. With our grill in full swing again I immediately wanted to fire up a few pieces. I had also gotten a tub of sweet corn from Little Pond Farm that I had been wanting to make into a corn relish. The two seemed to lend themselves to each other.
These grilled toasts need a day of prep. The first part of the recipe is putting up some corn relish. Corn relish is a very traditional southern staple. I grew up eating a variety of it's iterations, but I was almost always left thinking that the corn in the relish was a little mushy. I found later on the reason was that most recipes call for you to cook the veg in a brine for 20 minutes or more before jarring and canning it. For my recipe I cold pack the corn into the jars to keep it fresher and I also add some cumin and smoked paprika for a more earthy, woody flavor profile.
What you’ll need to make the corn relish is: A hot water bath canner, a non reactive stock pot, a dish towel and pot holders, measuring cups and spoons, a canning ladle, canning funnel, canning tongs, 9 pint size mason jars with lids and rings, corn, red peppers, sweet onions, apple cider vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, turmeric, celery seed, cumin seed and smoked paprika.
½ Bushel of corn shucked and de-kerneled to make 14 cups of corn kernels
(We got ours from Little Pond Farm)
4 Cups of red pepper diced
1 Medium onion diced
5 Cups of apple cider vinegar
2 Cups of sugar
¼ Cup pickling salt
1 TB turmeric
1 TB celery seed
½ TB cumin seed
1 TS smoked paprika
Fill canner with water until there is about 3 to 4 inches of space left at the top. Put on the lid and place it on the back burner turned on high.
In your bowl combine corn, red peppers and onion. Let it sit.
In hot soapy water wash the mason jars, lids and rings. Place on table or working station.
Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in your non reactive pot. Stir and place it onto the stove on high. Allow it come up to a full rolling boil. I stir it occasionally to make sure that the salt and sugar don’t settle on the bottom.
While you are waiting for the brine to come up to a boil, using your canning funnel begin to fill your jars with corn mixture. You want to push down and pack the jars tightly making sure to fill them leaving 1 inch of headspace.
After the brine comes to a boil use your pot holders and bring it over to your jars. Using your canning ladle and canning funnel fill each jar up leaving a 1 inch headspace. A point of reference is the second ring from the top of your jar’s mouth.
With a damp towel wipe down the rim of each jar. Place lids and rings onto the jars closing it finger tight.
By this time your canner should be at a full rolling boil. Place all the jars into the canner using your canning tongs. Put the lid on. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
After the timer goes off using your canning tongs remove all the jars and place them on a towel on your table or counter.
Depending on your canner you may not be able to fit all 9 jars in. If not you may have to process two loads of jars.
After all the jars are processed allow them to cool for about 12 hours.
- After the jars have cooled down you can place them into your cool dry cupboard for storage. Refrigerate jars that did not seal and refrigerate after you open a jar.
For the toast I sliced the bread and rubbed it down with a little olive oil. Then I grilled it on medium low heat until it toasted up. I smeared the toast with about 1 TB of our D'anjou Pear Ginger + Habanero Jam, a half a avocado per each toast piece, a sliver of heirloom tomato, salt + pepper to taste, then I sprinkled it with the corn relish, lime juice, queso fresco and chopped cilantro.
Et voila! One of the best damn avocado toasts I've ever had!
You can find the D'anjou Pear Ginger + Habanero Jam out at the farmer's markets with us or at one of our retail partner's locations. They are also coming to our online store which will be launching soon. If you've had a chance to pick it up before we'd love to see how you're using it! Use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Markets + Events page! Cheers!