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Cha Cha Recipe

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a favorite Cha Cha recipe out there? My Goggling hasn't turned up anything significant. There seems to be two lines of recipes from Oklahoma and Mississippi that was always present at BBQs.
post #2 of 21
I don't even know what "cha cha" is... fill me in?
post #3 of 21

Sangria Cha Cha Cha Recipe
Source: Cook, Eat, Cha, Cha, Cha
Makes 8 cups (Serves 8)

Salvado Rodriguez prepares our sangria daily at Cha Cha Cha. We make more sangria than any restaurant in San Francisco, most nights selling enough to float a ship. No Cha Cha Cha meal feels right without sangria, but a glass of sangia, we believe, is also important to the cooking process. Put on some island music, pour a cool glass of sangria (keep in mind, we said one glass!), break out the chips and salsa, and start cooking.

1 orange, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1 bottle dry white wine
1 bottle dry red wine
Sliced peaches, grapes, strawberries, or other seasonal fruit
Gin, Grand Marnier, or brandy to taste (optional)


Combine the orange, lemon, sugar and wines in a large glass bowl and stir for several minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Add the optional fruits and spirits, if you like. Serve over ice or, just before serving, place some ice cubes in the punch bowl.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Cha Cha is a pepper relish that is served with ribs, brisket and chicken that was very prominent at Black BBQs. Some Southerners used cabbage as a filler but the purests used a variety of peppers, vinegar, pickling spices and some other unknown ingredients. The Mississippi stuff I had last week was hot and I asked if they cut it with battery acid. I think they were using some Hungarian peppers. It is also used in sauces as some kind of a right of passage into manhood. You kind of look forward to it at these BBQs.

Thanks Bassman for the Sangria recipe. I'll give it a try.
post #5 of 21
It's called Chow Chow, not Cha Cha
post #6 of 21
I have made chow chow. It's funny, not to be disrespectfull but I used to work with a guy and he brought a jar of what looked like relish. And said wants some cha cha. Well it was funny at the time. Anyway, If you pm me I will get them out and send it to you. I also have a recipe for what is called hot relish, that is kick a**, good on a hot dog, pot roast or whatever. I don't remember if it has cabbage in it or not.
post #7 of 21
C'mon rich you know, la ku a cha cha la ku a cha cha. Oh no that ain't it. As The late Gilda Radner would say .........Never mind Rosana Rosana Dana
post #8 of 21
cloud thats la kooka ra cha! and Its Charo not gilda-cha cha cha
post #9 of 21
and ya the relish is great
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
if you are from the rural Oklahoma with a heavy accent, it sounds like chow chow and that's what city folks call it. BTW, if you google "chow chow" all you get is dogs but "cha cha" at least gets you a couple of commercial ads for the stuff.

Cloud, thanks for the offer. I'll PM you for the recipee.
post #11 of 21
I am from Oklahoma and if you google chow chow recipe - you will get a ton of them. I meant no disrespect to you and I agree that people from OK pronounce it different than it's spelled.
post #12 of 21
Here is all I could find. I am not familiar with teh relish so I can't say how accurate this recipe is...

1 big cabbage head, grated
1/2 gal. tomatoes
1/2 qt. onions
1 Tbsp. pickling spice
1 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar
sprinkle of salt

Come to boil and cook 15 minutes.
Cha-Cha’d Cole Slaw
2 cups grated cabbage
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup sweet relish
2 tablespoons Florence’s HomeStyle Cha-Cha
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Mix all ingredients thoroughly and chill.
Serve cold. Makes 4-6 servings.
To find more recipes using Florence’s HomeStyle Cha-Cha, visit www.florenceshomestyle.com.

5 small green tomatoes
1/4 head cabbage
1/4 head cauliflower
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 small onion
1 Tbsp. pickling allspice
1 c. sugar (optional)
4 c. vinegar

Wash tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and peppers. Cut up
all vegetables and combine in a large cooking pot. Add remain-
ing ingredients to vegetables. Let stand overnight, covered.
Then, let cook over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Preheat
jar and its top while cooking Cha-Cha in a separate pot.
Spoon Cha-Cha into jar, top and let cool. Yields 1 quart jar.

post #13 of 21
Vlap, those sound great!
post #14 of 21
I found this recipe in an old recipe book that came down through the family from my Maternal Grandmother. (One of my Grand Aunts made sure I got it when Nanny passed.)

My comments and interpretations of the recipe are in parentheses. I transcribed this from a faded notebook that has all the recipes in my Nanny's handwriting. This has been a trip down memory lane.

I hope you can use it. I have never made it and it's been 35 years since I've tasted it.

(Nanny's) Chow-Chow Relish

1 ½ TBL Mustard (Ground)

1 TBL Ginger
2 TBL Mustard Seed
2 TBL Pickling Spice
2 TBL Turmeric
2 TBL Celery Salt

1 Head Cabbage
2 Stalks Celery
8-10 Onions
4 Red (Bell) Peppers
4 Green Bell) Peppers
1 PK (Peck?) Green Tomatoes

Grind vegetables, add ½ cup of salt, and leave stand overnight, drain in morning

Add spices and 6 cups of sugar to 1 Qt of vinegar (Cider?)

Pour Vinegar, spices, sugar mixture over vegetable mixture

Boil ‘till done - pack at once


Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #15 of 21
Interesting... prolly could go with tomatillos too... Hmm. Thanks Meowy!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 


IronTide, thanks for kickback. You are correct on google. I didn't put "recipe" into the "chow chow" search chain and they certainly came up.
post #17 of 21
coochy coochy
post #18 of 21
Its called Chow-Chow here in Houston too, several commercial ones on the market, the best ones have a bit of pickled watermelon rind in them, it adds a really unique flavor.
post #19 of 21
and here is PA Dutch/German Chow Chow recipe.

  • 4 cups carrots - sliced thin
  • 4 medium size red bell peppers - cut in chunks (about 3/4" to 1")
  • 2 medium size heads cauliflower - cut in pieces (about 1")
  • 2 to 3 med. size zucchini - cut into small chunks (about 3 to 4 quarts)
  • 2 quarts fresh string beans - cut in 1" to 1-1/2"size pieces
  • 2 quarts fresh wax beans - cut in 1" to 1-1/2"size pieces
  • 3 or 4 large onions - chopped
  • 2 cups celery - chopped in pieces (about 1/2"wide)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • enough water to cover the vegetables
  • 4-1/2 cups vinegar
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp.celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp.cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp.tumeric
  • 1 tsp. alum
Preparation -
In a very large bowl or kettle, combine all the vegetables except the kidney beans. Pour the salt and water over the vegetables. Soak for about 4 hours. Drain off the water. In a large stockpot combine the vinegar, sugar, and all the remaining spices. Bring to a boil. Add the drained vegetables. Bring to a boil again & cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Ladle an amount to be eaten within a week into a bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Immediately ladle the remaining chow-chow into canning jars. Process in a boiling water bath canner or a pressure cooker.
post #20 of 21
chow-chow. its a southern thang.. ya wouldnt understand. LOLOLOL
it goes on everything, or in it. well, almost anyhoo. use it in place of pickle relish in any recipe that calls for that. i.e. tater salad, devilled eggs, etc..
on hot dogs, a spoonful in the BBQ sauce, its best tho as a spoonful over a serving of blackeyed peas or even better purplehulls. been made in my family for generations and the recipe is quite close to my great-grandmothers. lots of variations for sure but to technically be "chow-chow" its GOT to have the cardamom in it. aside from that its pretty much whats left in the garden the day before first freeze. i read the post about hot pepper chow chow... we make something very similar but call it simply "pepper relish". also make jelly and jam out of hot peppers too. yummy.

we make this stuff in the fall right before first frost when we have ample supply of the tomatoes it calls for. we give a lot of it away and friends and family constantly ask for more. its a lot of work but well worth it. this recipe has jalepenos in it but its not hot at all. the heat gets lost in the mix. i will often split a batch and make half w/ jalepenos and half with habeneros for some fire. hope yall enjoy....

10 to 15 lbs green to greenish pink tomatoes.
half a dozen or more big onions
2 bunches of celery
half a dozen each red and green bell peppers
3 or more jalepenos
1 can pitted black olives
1 head (or 2) of cabbage
1 lime. (the whole thing)

run all of this thru a food grinder using a small sized plate. pour off any water that collects in the bowl. add all this to a brine made from the following:

2 quarts vinegar
6 cups brown sugar
2 oz whole mustard seed
1 Tb ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground tumeric
1 Tb ground cardamom
1 Tb ground black pepper
1 Tb garlic powder
1/4 cup pickling salt.

let this sit for 4 to six hours, stirring it up every hour or so. pack into pint mason jars and add some brine to get level in jar 1/4th inch from the top. seal with lids and rings and hot water bath for fifteen minutes.

*the black olives are optional. they dont add much to the party except the chow-chow looks better in the jars with little bits of contrasting color.

** if you arent familiar with ground cardamom then only use the 1 tablespoon the recipe calls for. it wont be strong enough to be dominant but youll know its there. ive made this with 3 TBS of it in a batch and it was a bit strong but i love the stuff. dont taste the stuff right out of the jar, too pungent.
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