But I Did Make the Pickled Fresno Chiles

Pickled Fresno Chiles

I seem to have done it again. Rather than cook during the long hot pandemic summer, I’ve been assembling our dinners these days from a few delicious tidbits that cry to be served together on the same plate. Look at my latest compilation: crab cakes, corn relish, beefsteak tomato, and pickled chiles. Somebody (not me) made the crab cakes. Another friend made the corn relish and generously gifted it to me. I didn’t even grow the beefsteak tomato myself. But I did make the Pickled Fresno Chiles! So I’m here to brag…

…about my friends. This isn’t the first time during this lockdown that friends and neighbors have dropped off treats at my house. I’ve mentioned the plums I got last month, but there have been bags of flour, chocolate cakes, smoked oysters, and plenty of other delicacies. Featuring some of them here is my way of saying thank you.

Crab Cakes with Corn Relish and Pickled Fresno Chiles

Today’s thank you is for the corn relish lavishly crowning my crab cake creation. I wasn’t on the particular ZOOM call, or text thread, or socially distanced backyard gathering, or whatever it was that led to the sharing of this corn relish but I imagine the story goes something like this…

Friend A tells friend B about the corn-filled summers he spent on a farm in Missouri. Believe it or not, I can see this happening quite naturally. Friend A even has a recurring corn joke waiting for the merest mention of corn. It’s potty humor so I won’t repeat it here. The point is, there’s something special about Mid-Western corn. So you know that a corn recipe from Missouri has been fully vetted. Friend B is so impressed that he asks friend A’s mom if she would share the recipe. She’s from Missouri so of course, she says yes. Mid-Westerners are so nice.

Once the corn relish was in my refrigerator I had to give it a special place on my plate. The crab cakes (I didn’t make) seemed the perfect starting place. Someone else’s beefsteak tomato got invited to the party too. After that, I felt I should make a small contribution of my own and quickly made some Pickled Fresno Chiles as a garnish.

It may not be the kind of cooking you’re used to seeing on this blog but it sure is delicious. GREG

Crab cakes, corn relish, and pickled Fresno chiles.
Raw Fresno Chiles
Corn Relish

Crab Cakes with Corn Relish and Pickled Chiles 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Published
Crab Cakes with Corn Relish and Pickled Chiles


  • 4 slice ripe beefsteak tomatoes
  • 4 freshly cooked crab cakes (use your favorite recipe)
  • 4 scoops of Mid-Western corn relish (see recipe: https://​www​.sippitysup​.com/​r​e​c​i​p​e​/​m​i​d​-​w​e​s​t​e​r​n​-​c​o​r​n​-​r​e​l​i​sh/ )
  • 12 to 20 slice pickled Fresno chiles (see recipe: https://​www​.sippitysup​.com/​r​e​c​i​p​e​/​s​p​i​c​y​-​a​n​d​-​s​w​e​e​t​-​p​i​c​k​l​e​d​-​c​h​i​l​es/ )


Place a big thick slice a ripe beefsteak tomato on a serving plate. Lay a straight from the skillet crab cake from your favorite recipe on top. Garnish with a generous scoop of Mid-Western corn chowder and as many hot pickled Fresno chiles as you can handle. Drizzle a little of the chile brine on top for extra zing. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Spicy and Sweet Pickled Chiles 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 pintSource Chef Noah von BlömPublished

The more chile seeds that go into the brine the spicier it will be. You may alternatively put the sealed jars through a heated canning process and store them in the pantry.

Pickled Fresno Chiles


  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 7 Fresno chiles (or other similarly sized chile pepper thinly sliced into rings)


Bring vinegar, coriander seeds, sugar, salt, and peppercorns to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar, remove from heat, and add chiles.

Pour into a pint canning jar, cover, and let cool. Chill at least 12 hours and up to 5 days.

Mid-Western Corn Relish 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8–10 pintsSource Joan VienhagePublished

If you want to skip the traditional boiling water bath canning process you may keep the sealed jars refrigerated for up to 6 months.

Corn Relish


  • 12 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from up to 24 ears of corn, depending on size)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced small)
  • 1 green bell pepper (seeded and diced small)
  • 7 cup sweet onion (peeled and diced small)
  • 3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon tumeric
  • 2 ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 cup granulated sugar


In a large saucepan combine corn kernels with all the other ingredients and mix well. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil then lower the heat just enough to achieve a soft rolling boil. Cook the mixture 30 minutes, stirring often.

Spoon the relish into sterilized jars, cover and seal then place the jars a water bath. Bring to a boil. 

Once boiling, cook for ten minutes, adjusting the boil so the water does not overflow. Remove the jars from the water bath and place them on a cloth on the counter in a draft-free area for 24 hours. Check that all lids are sealed then label and store them. 

If any of the jars do not seal, remove the lid, clean the surface and boil in a water bath for ten minutes. Otherwise, you may refrigerate the jars up to 30 days.