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Hot Jalapeno Jelly

One of the great advantages of working in the Southern Living Test Kitchens is having the opportunity to try new food products. High on our list of favorites is hot jalapeno jelly, a feisty first cousin of the milder red and green pepper jellies often paired with cream cheese as an appetizer. Hot jalapeno jelly combines the heat of jalapeno peppers with the sassy boldness of a sweet-and-sour sauce and can transform everyday ingredients into company fare in a matter of minutes. It's naturally fat free and terrific tossed with hot grilled vegetables or steamed green beans. It packs a concentrated punch, so start with a small amount and adjust according to taste.

The next time you're preparing stir-fry, add a few tablespoons of the jelly to the skillet after browning the meat. It can also add a kick to caramelized onions or a pot of baked beans. Whisk a little into your favorite dressing for marinated vegetables, or use it to glaze carrots-the possibilities are almost endless. Here are three of our most popular recipes using this delicious product.

SPICY SUMMER SALSA: Whisk together 1/3 cup hot jalapeno jelly, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup diced red onion, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Stir in 2 cups coarsely chopped mango, 1 cup fresh sliced strawberries, and 1 large avocado, chopped. Serve over a platter of hot grilled chicken cutlets for a quick and colorful entree. Fresh nectarines make a great substitution for mango. Makes 4 cups.

JALAPENO-GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN: Sprinkle 2 (12-ounce) pork tenderloins with salt and pepper, and brown in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer to a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking pan. Whisk together 1 (10.5-ounce) jar hot jalapeno jelly and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and pour over the pork tenderloins. Bake at 350[degrees] for 20 to 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160[degrees], basting occasionally. Let stand 10 minutes; slice and serve with sauce from pan. Makes 6 servings. (If you're a fan of Buffalo Chicken, you'll love this glaze as a dip for fried chicken strips. To serve warm, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds on HIGH.)

SPICY SWEET-AND-SOUR MEATBALLS: Whisk together 1 (10.5-ounce) jar hot jalapeno jelly and 1 (12-ounce) jar cocktail sauce in a Dutch oven. Stir in 1/2 (3-pound) package frozen cooked meatballs, and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Makes 8 to 10 appetizer servings.

Braswell's, a Georgia-based company, makes a terrific hot jalapeno jelly. You can find it in the jelly section of your local supermarket or order it directly from their Web site at www.braswells.com.

Copyright Southern Progress Corporation Aug 2003
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