I recently catered the pre-wedding ceremony cocktail party for one of my very good friends down in the Outer Banks, NC. One of the favorite things was the cheese platter the bride's father had put together of all sorts of gourmet cheeses from his deli. I had brought along a few jars of this, and we set it out with the cheeses. Paired with an extra sharp cheddar, this jelly practically sings. It's actually fabulous with almost any kind of cheese, or by itself on a cracker. It can also be mixed into cream cheese for a super-fast dip, or melted down and used as a glaze.
I've also included some super-easy canning tips that won't require any special equipment.
*This recipe is also an entry into Kalyn's Kitchen Weekend Herb Blogging Round-up. Stop by Kalyn's site on Sunday to discover some other great food bloggers!
Hot Pepper and Garlic Jelly
yield 6 1/2pt jars
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 c fresh hot peppers, chopped
(I use any combination I happen to have on hand - banana, jalapenos, habaneros, etc)
1/2 c minced garlic
1 1/2 c vinegar
6 c sugar
2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 pkt liquid Certo
Place all ingredients in large saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Boil for 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and add Certo. Stir well. Pour into 1/2 pint jars and seal.
*The easiest way to can is this - wash and dry canning jars thoroughly. Place lids and rings in a pot of barely simmering water. Once jelly is ready, fill a jar, leaving about a 1/4" headspace. With tongs, remove lid and ring from water, place on jar, and tighten, although not all the way. Turn jar upside down on a dishtowel. Repeat with remaining jars. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn upright and allow to seal. Tighten rings on all jars. If any of the jars don't seal, simply store in the refrigerator once cool. The other jars can be stored in a pantry for 8 months to a year, if it lasts that long.