They say when life gives you lemons to make lemonade, right? How about jalapeños? That was my dilemma this past weekend. I asked my son to stop at the store on his way to our house for dinner. I needed one, just one, tiny jalapeño for the salsa I was making as an appetizer. You won't believe what he walked in the door with ....................
|This! They only sold jalapeños in bulk at the market he stopped at.|
Okay..... so .................. I started thinking about pepper jelly..................... pepper jelly? .............. yep, that's where my brain went. When I checked online and found a couple of interesting recipes. But when I saw this Red & Green Pepper Jelly on AllRecipes and read the rave reviews, I figured I had found the solution for my "pepper problem".
Let me tell you, it wasn't just a solution ................but rather, an amazing find!
Besides a bit of chopping, the jelly didn't take long to stir together and, after a brief cooking time it was ladled into jars. After taking photos of the gorgeous concoction, I set out a plate of crackers and a small portion of cream cheese with the pepper jelly spooned over the top.
"WOW"! That's what we both said when we took the first bite ................ and repeated the same "WOW" with each succeeding bite. It's sweet, savory, spicy, incredibly delicious and amazingly addictive (we polished off that small bowl you see in the picture lickety-split). ............... You just HAVE to try it!
My husband said that when he heard the name "Pepper Jelly", he didn't think he'd like it. Guess what? ............... he's a convert .................he loved it! ................ and he agrees, "You HAVE to try this'!
There's a zillion different uses for this yummy stuff. Traditionally, pepper jelly is used as a simple, delicious appetizer served, like I did, with cream cheese and crackers, but it also makes a wonderful glaze for grilled shrimp, pork or chicken. Try it mixed with a bit of soy sauce and fresh ginger for a finishing sauce for pan-seared salmon. Or how about warm corn bread, fresh from the oven with a pat of sweet cream butter and a spoonful of pepper jelly? ............... that's about as good as it comes. I'm sure once you make it, you'll find a myriad of ways to use the yummy stuff. Oh, and if you're thinking of giving me a Christmas present, I'd be happy as a pig in mud with a jar of this jelly and a bag of crispy crackers ..........that wasn't a hint or anything! ;)
P.S. You might want to ask someone to buy you just one jalapeño (and hope they come back with a pile of them, like my son did) or just load up on them yourself next time you're at the market. Make a few batches of this yummy jam now, 'cause you're going to love having it; for holiday entertaining and as delightful gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors, hostesses, etc.
Red & Green Pepper Jelly
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper
5 cups white sugar
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
3 ounces liquid pectin, 1 packet, I used Certo brand (comes in a box with 2 packets)
1. Remove stems, veins and most of the seeds of the bell and jalapeño peppers.
2. In a large pot over high heat, combine bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Stirring constantly, add the pectin and let mixture cool for 2 minutes. Now stir for 1 minute. Pour into clean jars to within an inch of the top. Cover tightly and allow to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month otherwise store in freezer*.