Use our foolproof blanching method below and your veggies will look as good as they taste. Serve leftover chowchow with cheese and crackers, ham sandwiches, or burgers.
Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Blanch asparagus, and pat dry with paper towels. (See The Blanching Blueprint, below.) Repeat with sugar snap peas and English peas.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and English peas, and sauté 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in Red Pepper Chowchow, and sauté 1 minute. Serve immediately.
THE BLANCHING BLUEPRINT
BRING TO A BOIL. Wash and trim vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in kosher salt until the water tastes as salty as the sea (about 1 1/2 Tbsp. per every 5 qt. of water). The salt will enhance the flavor of the vegetables. While the water returns to a boil, fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes. Add just enough cold water to make the ice float.
COOK AND SHOCK. Working with one variety at a time, boil vegetables until they are bright green and crisp-tender (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to ice water to set the color and texture, using a slotted spoon or tongs. Chill until ice-cold. Cool tip: Try nestling a colander in the ice bath before adding the vegetables. That allows you to drain without bothering with pesky ice.
STORE AND SERVE. Drain vegetables, and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Blanched, shocked vegetables will retain their bright color and crisp-tender texture when chilled up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months. Store in a zip-top plastic bag. Serve as crudités, use in stir-fries or pasta, or sauté.