Easy, Delicious, Elegant Snacks for Football Sunday and Beyond
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Homemade Jalapeno Jelly
Every year for the holidays I like to give some sort of gift to my friends and coworkers. It's hard because I don't have money coming out my ears and with my coworkers at least, I don't know their personal preferences well enough to buy them something personal. And, seriously, I don't want a bottle of lotion or a bar of soap, so why would I ever give that to someone else? It seems like it's this generally accepted gift to give people you don't know, but to me it's sort of an implication that the other person smells.
Regardless, a few years ago I took up a tune from my mother (writing this blog has given me some new insight into how much inspiration I've taken from my mom...) and started giving heart-felt, homemade, food stuffs. The past few years I've gone down to the dollar store for tins, plates, buckets etc. to fill with a myriad of cookies.
2010 Holiday Cookies
This year I was cookied out. It's surprisingly expensive in butter, sugar, flour, nuts etc; massively time consuming; and... well have you seen that vidoe where the kids throw flour everywhere? that's pretty much my kitchen at the end of the day.
yep... disaster area
So this year I decided to try something different and make (once again from my mom's arsenal) some little jars of jalapeno pepper jelly. It's sweet, spicy, and colored to be festive! Plus you stick a bow on top and it's an instant gift. It's also relatively inexpensive (you do have to purchase the jars) and involves fewer pots and pans. It does take a little bit more planning and attention to detail, so read through the directions before starting to make sure that you're on a good timeline.
I ended up with quite a bit extra, so I put it in a tupperware and used it this weekend for snack day, also showing two of the ways you can use the jelly once it's made.
Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
2/3 to 1 C hot pickled jalapeno peppers depending on how hot you want it
2 small red peppers (I use red because I like red jelly but you can use green if you make green jelly,
1/4 C vinegar
6 C sugar
1 C vinegar (I used half white and half cider)
6 oz bottle of certo (ok... so I couldn't find a bottle of certo, it was a box with two 3oz packets. I found it in my baking aisle at the store, but I saw it at a different store with the dried fruit. Look around, it's there)
red or green food coloring to suit - about 10 drops
Parrafin Wax (also found this in the baking aisle)
About a dozen small canning jars (found these with foil and tupperware)
2 glass measuring cups
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. On a baking sheet, put all of your cleaned jars with tops separated from the body, measuring cups, and metal ladle. Bake them to sanitize for at least 30minutes.
Add jalapenos, pepper, and 1/4 cup vinegar to a food processor and blend until the peppers are finely chopped.
Put the sugar, vinegar, and pepper mixture into a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil (one which can not be stirred down). Add the certo and let go at a rolling boil for one minutes. Remove the pot from heat and skim off the foam.
Use your sterilized measuring cups and ladle to pour the mixture into the sterilized jars. Do not pour down sides and make sure that the top of the jar (where it touches the lid) stays clean (otherwise you will not get a solid seal). Leave an 1/2 to 1 inch at the top.
Using a double boiler, melt the parrafin wax according to the package instructions. It will turn super clear when it is melted. Pour 1/4 inch of wax on top of the jelly making sure it hits the sides of the jar. Seal with lid immediately. Let the jars come to room temperature (over night). If they have sealed the middle of the lid should be indented slightly.
You can store jars at room temperature, but try to keep cool and in a dark place. After opening, refrigerate.
it's almost like it glows from within
Okay, so you have your jelly made and it looks amazing! But now what to do with it? Two easy and delicious snacks ideas are below, but it's way more versatile than that! You can use it as the glaze on chicken or pork, as the topping for a meatloaf, or really for anything that calls for jelly!
Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
1 package frozen pre-cooked meatballs or your own recipe about 1" meatballs
1 cup jalapeno jelly
In a pot or slow cooker, add frozen meatballs and jelly over medium heat. Stir until coated with jelly and heated through. Serve.
Cream Cheese and Jalapeno Jelly
1 softend block of cream cheese (I used non-fat)
1 cup jalapeno jelly (more or less)
alternately, you could serve cream cheese with a small bowl of the jelly
Place your softened block of cream cheese on a plate. Top with the jelly. Serve on top of the crackers.
about 3 second before it went in my mouth
See, once you've made the jelly the appetizers come really easily... I guess you could buy it from somewhere or you could become good enough friends with me that I make you some next Christmas.