29 July 2011

Sweet-and-sour red-pepper jam

My mother is always researching and trying new recipes. She found this one somewhere in the web, or in one of the multitude of cooking books and magazines that she owns, who knows, and since then it has been almost a constant in her fridge. I love its sweet and sour taste, its gorgeous shiny red color, and it fits perfectly with cheese, of which I am a huge fan. So I have decided it should definitely appear in this blog.

You will need:

  • Two large, very-red peppers
  • A bit less than one glass of apple vinegar
  • One glass of white sugar

How to make this red-pepper jam:

Wash the peppers and chop them into very small pieces. Put them in a saucepan, add the vinegar and the sugar, and stir to mix well all the ingredients.

If chopping the pepper feels like a tedious process to you, think about using your blender instead. In that case, break the peppers into pieces, add the vinegar and blend-blend-blend until you obtain a mixture with the desired texture. I prefer to see small pieces in the jam, completely homogeneous jams seem artificial to me, but I guess this is a matter of taste. Afterwards, just bring the mixture to the saucepan, add the sugar, and stir together.

Let the jam cook very slowly for a couple of hours, stirring every now and then to check that it is not sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Do not use a lid, since we want the vinegar to evaporate. In order to know when you can stop cooking, you can check that the mixture has the consistency of any jam that you have seen before (although you should keep in mind that a warm jam is somewhat more liquid-ish than a cold jam). A second test is trying a little bit to see if it still tastes too much like vinegar. If it does, let it cook a bit longer.

As I said, this jam fits perfectly with cheese. You can use some creamy cheese, for example. In the picture above, I am combining it with some old goat cheese, which makes a very good companion. But you can also simply spread it on plain bread, on butter, or on some liver pate.


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