quesadillas with corn and red pepper relishIt’s hard to go wrong with a quessadilla, I mean, who doesn’t love melty cheese and other flavour bits toasted between two flour tortillas. As the ‘pizza’ of Mexican cuisine it’s always going to elicit much joy and happiness when you make, and this recipe using the preserved Ball corn relish is now my favourite.

corn and red pepper relish

Ball Jars have launched in South Africa along with 120 years of preserving expertise so pop on over to their Fresh Preserving website to learn all there is to know. This corn relish recipe makes exactly 3 half pint (500ml) jars, which is how many you get if you buy the preserving kit.

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relishI’m feeling rather smug and very domestic- goddess-like lately now that I have learned the proper method of home-preserving. I’ve been whipping out jars of strawberry jam to go with the scones and zesty tomato salsa to dip the corn chips in. Friends and family have been very impressed. In fact I’d say you get the same kind of eye brow raising positive looks as when you plonk down freshly baked things. The best part is making a few jars at a time and then storing in the cupboard until you need it. No more nasty preservative-laden canned products. When you preserve with the proper Ball water bath method, it’s not necessary to store the unopened jars in the fridge

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relish

*Cooks Notes ~Unopened flour tortillas can be stored in the cupboard so you always have them on hand. Once opened keep them in the freezer. They are perfect for so many things. I’ve used a 6 month matured Cheddar. Mild but sharp enough to offset the sweetness of the relish. I’ve served it with my nearly instant slaw with chipotle hot sauce to add the crunchy element to the dish. A few sprigs of fresh cilantro finish it off perfectly.

The corn relish recipe called for red and green pepper, but I used red pepper only because weirdly I couldn’t find any in the supermarket yesterday. It’s deliciously sweet with a little nostril-curling heat from the mustard powder. Perfect for any hotdog, burger or sandwich. I definitely want to try it on Nachos and with scrambled eggs in a wrap.

Recipe – Corn and red pepper relish

Makes 3 x 500ml / pint jars

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cups cooked corn kernels (about 8 ears)
  • 2 cups diced mixed red and green bell peppers (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small)
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 x 500ml / pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

COMBINE vinegar, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add corn, red and green peppers, celery, onion, mustard, celery seeds and turmeric. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

LADLE hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Recipe – Quessadilla

Make as many as you need:

  • flour tortillas (2 x per person)
  • Cheddar, matured for 6 months, grated
  • corn and red pepper relish
  • red onion, sliced very thinly
  • coriander / cilantro
  • quick slaw

Heat a large non-stick skillet / frying pan over high heat. Sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over the surface of a tortilla. Add a thinn layer of sliced red onion and then about 4 – 5 tablespoons of corn relish. Top with another tortilla and transfer this to the hot pan. Turn the heat down and toast until golden brown. Flip over and toast the other side until brown and crispy. Remove, cut in four and serve right away.

To make the slaw simply mix equal parts red and white cabagge (or just one or the other) with a light coating of your favourite mayonnaise. Add a few drops of chipotle hot sauce such as Tabasco or Cholula. Taste and adjust seasoning.

quesadillas with corn and red pepper relishFollow along with all the Ball Jar updates in SA on their Facebook page and Twitter

To find a retailer that stocks the Ball Jar product range in South Africa – click here.

*Disclaimer – This post is sponsored by Ball Jars


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  1. Everything tastes better with home preserving :-). Your quesadillas look delicious by the way, and of course your pics are outstanding. Have a lovely day.

  2. Much, much nicer with corn tortillas. Flour ones are so cardboard like!

  3. Cary Hill

    This looks great and as a beginner at canning, I want to try it. As we are now past the prime season for fresh corn on the cob, can I substitute an equal amount of defrosted frozen corn. If so, do you recommend first cooking it according to package instructions? Thank you.

  4. I love homemade relish. It’s just so much better than store bought!
    If I read a menu and it says homemade relish, I order that dish. It doesn’t matter what’s underneath the relish, I know it’ll be tasty. We have a cafe down the road from us that serves up homemade beetroot chutney and it is amazing on a steak sandwich.

  5. Sam

    HI Pete, I actually far prefer flour tortillas and once you fried them they go quite crispy. We sadly cant get good quality commercial corn tortillas in SA. Even ones made from masa at restaurants arent that gerat (but this is a preference thing). Im sure if I went to Mexico I would feel differently. I also like to give tehm a quick blitz in the microwave which softens them before using them.

  6. Cary Hill

    Sam, would you please comment on my 10/14 question concerning the substitution of frozen corn? Thank you

  7. Sam

    Hi Cary, sorry I did reply but obviously it didn’t come through. Yes you can of course use frozen corn just look it before.

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