5/9/11

A Monday Recipe: Red Pepper Jelly and THE Best Sandwich EVER!


A couple weeks ago, I tasted this FABULOUS sandwich that I couldn't stop thinking about! I vowed to make it for myself, but it had a pepper jelly on it, and neither of the stores I frequent carried any. Boo to you! Anyway, figuring it couldn't be hard, and my own would probably be better anyway, I scoured the Internets to check out the ingredients.



I've really been making a lot of jellies/jams lately, and to be honest, I hadn't had that much experience with them. I mainly canned things that were too expensive to buy or came in weird quantities that weren't convenient, but I'm TOTALLY getting the hang of jams and jellies! I say this, but I haven't had anything go really wrong yet that I've had to try to figure out!! (knock on wood). I pretty much have found that I prefer using the low sugar/no sugar pectin because it use less sugar (thus, healthier and CHEAPER) and I really prefer the texture, especially on the jellies...it's WAY less gelatinous and easier to spread on bread. And, I've figured out my sugar to pectin ratio that works well, too.

So, anyway, I looked all over the web for a recipes for red pepper jelly, and cobbled together this one (as usual....ha ha!). This is a great version, fabulous flavor, and doesn't require any food coloring to look attractive.


Red Pepper Jelly (5 half -pints)

About 1.5 lbs red peppers (I used four, and chose the MOST red I could I find..you need about 6 c of  chunks of peppers total, counting the jalapenos)
2 jalapenos. These added no discernible heat to me, so you may need to add more if you want it hot.
3 1/2 T no sugar/ low sugar pectin ( I buy a bulk canister of this stuff)
3 1/4c sugar
1 c white wine vinegar
1T butter
3/4t salt

Before you do anything else, get the jars going on a short wash in the dishwasher, to clean them and heat them up. Go ahead and get your rings and lids in hot water, and start heating up the water in your canner. This only makes 5  half-pints, so I prepared enough stuff for 6.

This is the pectin I bought last time. This is SO convenient! Much better than having half-used packets in pink boxes all over the place.

Wash all of your peppers thoroughly, then cut up in one-inch chunks. Be careful with the jalapenos to not touch the inside of them. I seed mine under running water with a melon baller. 6-ish cups here, carefully measured. ha ha, no they're not.

Use the food processor to chop into fine pieces. I did mine in batches because my processor is small, and I nearly pureed the jalapenos because I did NOT want any chunks of those anywhere in my jelly. I wanted it to be more evenly distributed.

Combine all the peppers, vinegar, butter, salt and 3 c of sugar in a heavy pan.  Bring to a vigorous boil over high heat, then continue to boil vigorously for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

While your pepper mixture boils vigorously, stir together 1/4c sugar and the pectin. After the 5 minutes is up, stir the pectin/sugar mixture into the boiling pot, return to a vigorous boil, continue boiling 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Line up your hot jars, ladle hot pepper jelly into jars. Put on the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes. I had a bit left over (like 3 T) that I just put in a tiny jar in the fridge. mmmmmm!




Now, on to the fancy sandwich for which this jelly was created. So good!

Fancy Goat Cheese and Strawberry Sandwich.
1 loaf good sourdough bread.
butter
goat cheese
soft ripe strawberries
baby spinach with big flat leaves
PEPPER JELLY!!

Big yummy loaf of sour dough. Slice in sandwich-thick slices.

This goat cheese is from Aldi. It cost about $3 or so, so use it liberally! At that price, you can really enjoy it!

Flat leaf spinach. Perfect. Rinse and dry some leaves.

Yummy strawberries. You want these to be almost TOO ripe. Almost. Take the stems off and slice them up.

Spread the butter lightly (you won't need much) and grill on both sides. Only one side really needs to be toasty. The other just needs to be hot.

On the "hot" side (not the toasty side...ha ha) spread goat cheese on one, pepper jelly on the other. If your pepper jelly isn't too hot, like mine, put a LOT...it's SO good!! Of course, use plenty of goat cheese, too. It should spread pretty easily (for goat cheese) on the warm bread.

Stick the strawberries to the goat cheese, and the leaves to the pepper jelly. They both work like glue to hold the sandwich components together.

Slice in half, place on a pretty glass plate, and take fancy pics of it for your blog. Or, just eat it up!! YUMMY!! This is NOT an overly sweet sandwich..it has a lot of strong flavors and is just delicious! Even my picky husband loves it!


Doesn't this look divine? It's perfect for summer....so yummy! Now, go can some pepper jelly!

4 comments:

Michael Massimino said...

Great recipe, love pepper jelly. You ever try making with pulped Granny Smith apples instead of pectin? Adds a nice sweet note as well.

Jacki said...

oooh, no, Michael, I haven't! what are the proportions? I'd love to try that!

Michelle said...

That sandwich looks amazing! Just picked up some more jars at a garage sale, so may have to give the red pepper jelly a try. :)

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