Pepper Jelly Reconsidered

   I’ve never been a fan of pepper jelly. I have memories of extremely hot jalapeno jelly with cream cheese and I didn’t like it at all. I was persuaded to make some to sell — many people asked for it, including some Farmer’s Market buddies so I’ve been making it all spring. It’s a steady seller, and I commonly get complaints that my version is not hot enough, but I think its pretty good.

The traditional, to my mind, way to eat it is to glop a jar over a block of cream cheese and let your guests slather it on Ritz crackers. And while this is fun, and good in a middle-American fashion, I’ve been collecting suggestions for more interesting ways to use your Pepper Jelly.

1. Serve it as a side relish — with pork, lamb or fried rice. Perhaps with Turkey.

2. Use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or Vietnamese salad rolls. You could thin it our with rice wine vinegar, soy sauce or fish sauce.

3. I use it instead of cranberry sauce on my turkey sandwich.

4. It makes a great glaze on barbecued fish — salmon or halibut. I haven’t tried it on barbecued chicken but it sounds good.

5. Glop a spoonful in a vinaigrette, then use it on salad, or even better on a coleslaw or pepperhash. (Pepperhash = finely chopped cabbage, sweet bell peppers, some onion with a vinaigrette. )

I’ll take other suggestions this weekend. I’ll be at Issaquah Saturday and Fremont Sunday as usual.

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