Pepper Jelly is one of the most interesting concoctions that has come to be. It combines the texture and style of jelly or jam and then mixes it up with the flavors of different peppers. Think of a normal jar of jam or jelly, and you'll have your answer to the question what is pepper jelly. Well, almost, that is. In consistency and texture it is similar, but when it comes to its uses or flavors, it is quite unique. We shall come to the point of pepper jelly uses a little later in the article; but for now, let us get into some more details about pepper jelly and what it really is.
What is Pepper Jelly?
Pepper jelly is made from a variety of fruits that fall under the category of 'pepper'. These include the various varieties of capsicum. Therefore, pepper jelly ingredients could include a variety of capsicum. The unique quality of pepper jelly is that it can manifest itself into different flavors. It can vary from being sweet, salty, hot, spicy and various degrees of the same. This is again owing to the fact that there are several capsicum varieties to choose from. The most common pepper jelly ingredients used are green bell peppers, red bell peppers, jalapenos and habaneros. Each of these peppers could be used on their own, or as a combination of 2-3 peppers.
These peppers are mixed with a combination of fruits like apples, peaches, pineapples, strawberries and others to create a unique flavor and texture that is a mix of sweet and spicy. As stated earlier, pepper jelly has a jam and jelly consistency and texture, and just as jams use pectin for thickness, pepper jelly also uses pectin and sugar along with additional flavors like wine, vinegar, liqueur and fruits for the same.
The Varied Uses of Pepper Jelly
Owing to its unique flavors, which could range anywhere from hot to sweet to tangy and have varied degrees of spice to them, its uses are many. Let us take a look at some of them.
- Choose a flavor that you want to try out. Now take some of the pepper jelly and spread it over a cheese cracker as it is. The crunchy texture of the cracker will make for an interesting snack.
- If a cheese cracker seems too small, toast a bread and spread pepper jelly on it.
- Use it as a spread on bagels and cookies. Or simply roll into a frankie.
- Alternately one can combine it with peanut butter jam to add some more flavor to it.
- Use it as a tangy dressing. Heat some in the micro so that it melts a little. Then spread it over a salad to lend a different flavor to it.
- Use it as an added flavor in a hamburger or any other dish - for example crusted fried shrimp.
- Use it in drinks like margaritas or sangrias - the combination of tangy and sweet-sour, combined with an icy cool drink and alcohol is quite unique.
- Use it as a dip for cheese and fish.
- Some people pour a drop on their ice creams.
- Add it to plain noodles to give it an added flavor.
- Use it with plain rice instead of the other sauces.
- Use it as a glaze to fry meats like pork, chicken and beef.
- Use it as a glaze for fish like salmon.
- Mix it with any dip to make a unique flavor.
- Use it as a topping on waffles and pancakes.
- Mix it with plain yogurt to make your own flavor.
- Use it to sauté and stir fry vegetables.
- Alternately, one can do this with different meat balls and chicken.
Pepper Jelly Recipes
Pepper Jelly Sandwich
- Mix mayonnaise and pepper jelly and spread over two slices.
- Add a layer of smoky ham, turkey or chicken.
- Add cheese.
- Now beat some eggs into a bowl and season with pepper and salt.
- Dip the sandwich into this and grill.
- Mix bourbon liquor, butter, honey and pepper jelly in a bowl.
- Add salt and pepper and any other spice if you wish to.
- Now spread a thick paste over the fish and cook.
- Take any meat - turkey, chicken, ham, beef.
- In a bowl, mix butter, dried sage, pepper jelly, salt and pepper.
- Glaze over the meat and grill it.
Now that you know some of the yummiest pepper jelly uses, aren't you dying to try them out? Let me not get in the way then - Have a great cook-a-thon.