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What to do with a pepper jelly

One of my most favorite people who I met through blogging is Mary who writes Arugula Files. Last week Mary and I went to dinner and she brought me a glass jar of habanero gold jelly (aka pepper jelly) that she canned herself! I was so excited. I've never done any canning, but my mom used to can fruits and vegetables when we lived in Russia. I know how much work goes into the canning process, and was looking forward to trying the fruits of Mary's labor.

It might be hard to believe, but I've never actually tried pepper jelly. What on Earth would I do with it? Mary said it goes well with cheese, but then what doesn't? The jelly is a great combination of sweet and spicy flavors. I was in for a treat.

Here are two "recipes" I made with Mary's pepper jelly. One is a cold open sandwich, another a hot sandwich.

Wasa cracker with brie, arugula and pepper jelly. This really doesn't need any explanation or directions. I loved the crunchiness of the Wasa cracker, the creaminess of the brie cheese and the freshness of the arugula. The slightly bitter arugula flavors were subdued by the sweetness of the pepper jelly. This was a great quick breakfast on Saturday morning before I got together with Julia for apple picking. More on that later...

The second sandwich takes a little bit more time. But like anything else I blog about, it's definitely not going to take you hours.

2 slices of wheat bread
pepper jelly
rotisserie chicken
2 slices of cheese (initially I was going to use only one slice, but who am I kidding?)
red onion, thinly sliced

1. Preheat your George Foreman grill (or use a skillet, or an actual grill, or an oven).
2. Put together your sandwich: bread, cheese, chicken, arugula, onions, cheese, pepper jelly, bread.
3. Grill your sandwich.

This was so simple to make and yet packed so much flavor. It's all really about the ingredients.

I still have half a jar of pepper jelly leftover. What should I make with it?


Amanda said...

My dad makes pepper jelly every year, and in NC, it's common to serve it over a block of cream cheese with crackers for an hors d'oeuvre. That sandwich looks amazing!

Lemmonex said...

What Amanda said.

Also, I love Wasa crackers. So glad to see them getting love here.

The Purple Carrot said...

My mom makes hot pepper jelly often. The way we always ate it was as Amanda said, serving it on top of a block of cream cheese with crackers. It's always a big hit ;)

Marta said...

One of my favorite salads ever is a spinach salad with a pepper jelly vinaigrette that's SUPER easy to make. It's from a restaurant in New Orleans.

It's amazing!

I also second the suggestion to serve it with cream cheese and wheat thins! Amazing app.

Delicious Dishings said...

I know it seems boring but I really love red pepper jelly with cream cheese. Your ideas were so much more creative though... I can see the pepper jelly tasting so good with brie!

Julia said...

I like pepper jelly as part of a breakfast sandwich. If you have homemade biscuits on hand slice biscuits in half, spread pepper jelly on each side, top with a fried egg, slice of ham, and cheese. It sounds crazy but is so yummy.

RJ Flamingo said...

In fact, I just made a batch of starfruit pepper jelly, and yes, it's amazing on cheese. You can also melt some down and brush it on meats, chicken, or fish as a glaze. Yum!

Unknown said...

Looks gorgeous! I would try it over baked brie.

FOODalogue said...

I'm a big fan of Wasa crackers -- with peanut butter for breakfast or smeared with hummus or fresh avocado for lunch.

The pepper jelly looks delicious. Lucky you.

Kenny J Almodovar said...

I've never had pepper jelly but it sounds and looks like something I should be eating... I think that the jelly glazed over pork loin should work.

Chef Fresco said...

YUM! I love pepper jelly! We have an annual festival in my hometown in western NC and my mom always rakes up. Quite tasty looking sammie!

Amanda said...

Just used pepper jelly tonight to make meatballs - so good! Turkey burger, garlic, basil, and the jelly.

Jena said...

We found a garlic pepper jelly at an art show that we really like. Took home three jars and have used it mostly on pork chops, though I've also used it as a dipping sauce for prawns and would use it as a dipping sauce for chicken, too. Because it's really not convenient to track down more jars of the stuff (or feasible for the current budget), I'm hoping to find a suitable recipe to make my own when we finally open the third jar.