Crisper Drawer Cast-Offs: Christmas Jelly

The jalapeños I bought a couple of weeks ago turned red and started to shrivel, so I figured I might as well make a big batch of red and green jalapeño jelly and put it in little jars for Christmas gifts. Jalapeño jelly got its lowbrow reputation from the holiday tradition of pouring the stuff over cream cheese and serving it with crackers. I'm not very fond of that appetizer, but I love jalapeño jelly.

Pepper jelly is wonderful to have around when you're grilling. Thin it with a little white wine and keep it in a pan on your grill. Just before you take your meat or seafood off the grill, paint it with the jalapeño jelly glaze and flip it over the fire a couple of times until it bubbles and sets. The sweet and hot glaze is perfect for grilled pork chops, lamb chops, venison backstrap and shrimp.

The recipe, after the jump.

Christmas Jelly Makes 48 ounces (fills 12 four-ounce jars)

1 cup chopped red jalapeño pepper 1 cup chopped green jalapeño pepper Half cup chopped rosemary 2 cups apple cider vinegar 7 cups white sugar 3 three-ounce packages liquid pectin

Seed and stem the jalapeños and mince in a food processor. Combine the jalapeño, rosemary, apple cider and sugar in a pot over high heat. Cook to a rolling boil; boil for three minutes. Remove the mixture from the fire and allow to cool for five minutes. Stir the pectin into the mixture and allow the jelly to cool for an additional two minutes. Once it's cool enough to handle, pour the contents into sanitized jars to a quarter inch from the top. Cover with a sanitized lid and place in a hot water bath for five minutes. Allow to cool, then check the seal. The top should be concave and tight. If it clicks when you press it, you have a bad seal and should store the jar in the fridge and use it up quickly.

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