Flossie’s (Amazing) Chow


Flossie's ChowSeasonality is so important to Canadian home cooking.  We need to preserve the harvest.

There are many names for green tomato pickle…Chow[Chow] or Ketchup Vert or Governor’s Sauce. In the Maritimes, it’s a must-serve with salt cod. In Quebec, it goes with tourtière and in Ontario and further west it is assumed that it’s essential with cold roast beef.  

IMG_6473Some versions call for whole pickling spice which may be tied in a bag – or not. Others call for a series of spices which usually include mustard and celery seeds and a bit of cinnamon. They all take turmeric. Most versions are not thickened with flour or cornstarch but are simmered, concentrating the flavours to a pungent intensity, but this recipe, from Prince Edward Islander, Flossie MacDonald, is milder and faster to make.

IMG_6474Just a word…I always at least double or triple this recipe.  Using the slicing blade of a food processor, it takes about 10 minutes to do all the chopping.

  • 6 cups (1.5L ) thinly sliced green tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 mL) thinly sliced cooking onions
  • 2 ½ tbsps (40 mL) coarse pickling salt
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) white vinegar
  • 2 tsps (10 mL) whole pickling spice
  • 2 tbsps (30 mL) cornstarch
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) turmeric
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard

Combine green tomatoes and onions; sprinkle with salt and cover. Let stand overnight.

In the morning, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a heavy saucepan.

IMG_6484Stir in sugar, 1 cup (250 mL) of the vinegar and the whole pickling spice. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, turmeric, dry mustard and the remaining vinegar. When smooth, add to the saucepan and continue to cook and stir for 10 – 15 minutes or until thickened and bubbling.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal.  Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (for 2 cup/500 mL jars).

Lift carefully with canning tongs; let cool on the counter.

Store in a cool, dark place.

Makes 4 cups (1 L) or 2 – 12 cup/500 mL jars.

 

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