Saturday, August 31, 2013

Three Chile Garlic Jam (Toast Topper #27)

What qualifies as a jam?  Does it have to be sweet? Fruity? Jelled at all? Or can any thick spread earn that label? 

Dictionary.com states that a "jam" is "a preserve of whole fruit, slightly crushed, boiled with sugar".  If that's the case, I stand corrected in my terminology. But I prefer my last definition above, allowing cooked-down, thick spreads the label. That definitely includes this one - a smooth, thick puree of ancho, guajillo and roasted hot cherry peppers laced with a whole lot of garlic and cooked until spoon-mounding thick. 

As many people reading this blog know, I love my garlic and my chiles whether they're raw, sauteed or roasted. In this case, the massive amount of garlic and fresh peppers are roasted until super soft and almost sweet, so when they combine with the hotter dried peppers, honey and vinegar the overall sensation is intense flavour first followed by a gentle (but noticeable) kick. A dash of olive oil smooths things out a bit, making it the perfect consistency for smearing on burger or hot dog buns, mixing into eggs or pasta salad (hot or cold), and even thinning out a bit for use as mashed potato gravy. Whatever you call it, it's just plain old good.

Have you ever made or eaten a savoury jam? How did you use it?

Garlic Three Chile Jam
Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Three Chile Garlic Jam
Adapted from Epicurious
Makes 1 cup, 8 (2-tbsp) servings
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed
20 cloves garlic, peeled (yes, 20!)
2 cherry peppers (hot or sweet), stemmed and halved
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine the dried peppers in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand while garlic and fresh peppers roast.
  3. Seal the garlic in a foil packet and place on a baking sheet. Place the cherry peppers next to the foil packet on another square of foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until soft.
  4. Transfer garlic, vinegar, honey and olive oil to a food processor or blender, then drain the chiles (reserve ¼ cup liquid) and add to the processor as well.
  5. Puree mixture until smooth, adding just enough water to form a jam-like paste.
  6. Run through a food mill, then place into jars and store in the fridge or freezer.
*Note: this mixture does not have enough acid to be safely canned without a pressure canner. Consult your model's guide for directions

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 60.5
Total Fat: 2.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 81.3 mg
Total Carbs: 10.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 1.1 g