3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1½ cups red wine vinegar
2 quarts fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice berries onto the center of an 8-inch square piece of cheesecloth. Gather together the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen twine to secure. Place spice sachet into a large saucepan and pour in the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook for 5 minutes. Stir blueberries into the vinegar; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. As the blueberries heat, gently shake the pot. Don’t stir to avoid breaking the berries. Remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
Pour berries and liquid into a colander set over a bowl. Remove spice sachet. Transfer berries to hot, sterilized canning jars; reserve the liquid. Return liquid to saucepan and place over high heat. Stir in the white and brown sugars; boil until thickened, about 4 minutes.
Ladle hot syrup over berries, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with sterilized lids; screw on rings.
Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot and process for 15 minutes.
Recipe By: foodelicious
Add some heat to that margarita or Paloma with jalapenos
BY CAREY JONES – Tasting Table
Spicy cocktails have never been hotter (pardon the pun). Bar goers can’t get enough of drinks that pack a little heat; in fact, even bars that don’t have a spicy margarita on the menu will hear requests for one. And if you’re looking to recreate those spicy drinks at home, there’s no easier way than these two magic words: jalapeño tequila.
Some mixologists will use hot peppers to create tinctures or bitters that impart serious sizzle; others, meanwhile, will muddle slices of pepper right in the cocktail shaker. But as a home bartender, odds are you’re not looking to get too technical. And muddling fresh jalapeño peppers into every cocktail can be messy and cumbersome—it’s also impractical when serving a crowd, since some jalapeños are hotter than others.
That’s why infusing tequila is your best bet. All you need to do is place the peppers in the liquor, let the mixture sit, strain it—and boom, you’re done.
Now, about specifics: A solid ratio is two medium-sized jalapeño peppers to every 750-milliliter bottle of tequila. Choose whichever brand you like, just make sure it says “100 percent blue agave” on the label. Z Tequila is a great value.
Slice the tops off the peppers, cut them into thin strips, and place both the cut peppers and the seeds into a sealable container. Pour in the tequila, cover, let sit overnight, and then strain out the peppers and seeds. Pour the infused tequila back into the bottle, and you’re good to go.
Once you’ve mastered your first batch, toy with the heat level—try a single jalapeño for a gentle tingle and a few for a spicy punch.
Here are two great drinks to make with jalapeno-infused tequila.
Combine two ounces of jalapeño tequila, an ounce of fresh lime juice and ¾ ounce of agave syrup (agave cut 1:1 with hot water) in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass with ice (salted rim optional). Garnish with a lime wheel or a thin slice of jalapeño.
Combine 1½ ounces of jalapeño tequila, 1 ounce of fresh grapefruit juice and ½ ounce of agave syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with 2 ounces of club soda and give it a brief stir. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and/or a few thin slices of jalapeño.
Carey Jones is a New York-based food and travel writer and the author of Brooklyn Bartender: A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits. Follow her on Twitter at @careyjones.
A sweet and spicy sipper to quench your thirst
Can you handle the heat? Cocktails have gotten spicier than ever—and we’re not complaining. Which is why we’ve developed a shrub by macerating blueberries and jalapeños with sugar before straining and preserving them with basil- and coriander-infused vinegar. It’s the perfect base for a range of drinks, particularly this sparkling gin cocktail that’s got a beautiful balance of sweet and spice.
Don’t love blueberries? The best part of a shrub is how interchangeable the ingredients are. Try playing around with different berries and chiles (such as cascabellas) for an infinite number of variations. Strawberry and Fresno? Raspberry and poblano? The sky’s the limit. Just keep it hot with chile peppers.
To learn more, read “Burn Notice.”
Jalapeño Shrub Cocktail
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time
For the Shrub:
2 cups blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar
3 jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup basil leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
For the Cocktail:
1 ounce jalapeño shrub
1 ounce gin
½ ounce lime juice
2 ounces soda
Thinly sliced jalapeño, for garnish
1. Make the shrub: In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar and jalapeño slices. Toss to coat with sugar and mash to begin to release the juices from the blueberries. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours, shaking the container halfway through.
2. In another sealable container, combine the remaining shrub ingredients and store in the fridge while the berries macerate.
3. After 2 days (or less if you’re pressed for time), strain both the macerated berries and the vinegar, discarding the solids. Combine the strained vinegar and syrup to make the shrub; makes about 3 cups.
4. Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled glass, combine the shrub, gin and lime juice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe. Top with soda, garnish with a jalapeño slice, then serve.
By Krissie Mason – Outdoorhub
Time to make some room in the freezer for the 2017 fall hunting season? Here’s a scrumptious maple marinade recipe for a cast-iron seared venison, elk or other big game steak that produces a caramelized crust on a plush, butter-tender, eye-popping, sub-primal cut of meat.
Are you hungry yet? Use it on a freezer steak, or save this one for a fresh cut from deer camp. Either way, start off with super sharp knives so you can carve juicy, succulent slices of tender, tantalizing medium-rare meat for any steak sandwich you want to create. That is, if you don’t gobble them up hot off the grill first!
Maybe you are thinking a VBLT (venison, bacon, lettuce and tomato) as shown in the photo above, or maybe elk sliders? In the past, I’ve combined the tongue wagging slabs from this recipe with thick-cut bacon, heirloom tomatoes, griddle grilled sweet potato, lettuce, and a peppered wild plum aioli spread for a VBLT.
I’ve also used them to make elk sliders that will knock you silly. Build this sandwich on mini pretzel buns with a double soft cream cheese, slaw, and an onion ring for garnish. This maple marinade is well suited for venison, elk, pronghorn, mountain goat, moose, bison or any other large game animal.
How to Make the Marinade:
Ingredients for Vermont Maple Seasonings Marinade (for approximately 1.5 pounds of meat)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon fennel
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 jalapenos quartered lengthwise
Mix all ingredients into a paste. If desired, add more seasoning according to what your taste buds are telling you. Halve the mixture and then massage into meat tissue on each side. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
When you are ready, heat the griddle to medium high. You don’t want it too high or your brown sugar and maple syrup components will burn. When the griddle is hot, drizzle some olive oil on the pan and lay on the steak, searing the first side. Don’t flip flop the meat from one side to the other. Leave it alone.
After 5-7 minutes, turn the meat and allow to char for another 3-5 minutes. The absolute best way to serve this cut is medium-rare to rare, so take care of that steak you worked so hard to harvest!
Throw on the jalapenos, seeds and all, and char. A bite of one of these along with a jigger of whiskey, or Kentucky bourbon, will warm you like nothing else when you come in from your deer stand or down off the mountain.
Remove steak and jalapenos and let rest for about 5 minutes. Slice thin and devour. Or, prepare this succulent bite as the hero ingredient in a steak sandwich of choice.
Fried Pickle Sliders
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
24 pickle slices
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil, for frying
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
12 frozen meatballs, prepared
¼ cup shredded lettuce
6 grape tomatoes, halved
1. In a small mixing bowl combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper, and mix until evenly distributed.
2. Place the sliced pickles in the flour, then egg wash, and then bread crumbs.
3. Preheat oil to 350˚F(120˚C) in a pot.
4. Fry the pickles for 3-5 minutes, or until browned and crispy on the outside.
5. For the ranch dressing, combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
6. Use a toothpick to assemble the sliders with fried pickles, the ranch dressing, a meatball, lettuce, tomato, and one more pickle.
It’s a mouthful to say, and a savory mouthful to eat. Smoked turkey, stuffed with cheddar and jalapenos, wrapped in bacon and smoked to perfection!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Turkey tenderloins, or cutlets
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- shredded cheddar cheese
- thin cut bacon
- your favorite rub ( or mine )
Take the tenderloins and flatten them slightly with a meat mallet. Then prepare the brine. Poultry has a tendency to dry out in the smoker, so a brine is always a good idea. I only needed about 4 cups total, so here is the brine I used.
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Serrano pepper sauce (which I get at Oneida Market )
Mix together and pour into a resealable bag. Add the turkey tenderloins, seal the bag and place back in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
When ready to prepare, get your smoker up to temp (240°). Take the tenderloins out of the brine and rinse well with cold water to remove any excess salt. Pat dry with paper towel and place on a sheet of wax paper.
Add a layer of rub to both sides of the turkey. For ease of wrapping, I place two pieces of bacon in an X pattern under the turkey. Sprinkle the jalapenos on one half of the turkey, then cover with the cheddar cheese. Fold the turkey over on itself and wrap tightly with the bacon, using toothpicks to hold it in place if necessary. Add another layer of rub to the outside of the bacon wrapped turkey.
Place in the smoker on full smoke for approximately 2 hours, or until the turkey has reached a safe eating temp of 165°. I used mesquite wood in my smoker and made sure the water basin was full. For a little variation, I filled it with some wheat beer I had on hand.
**Full disclosure: My daughter was complaining that it was taking too long, so I smoked it for an hour, then finished it on the grill for about 10 minutes. I thought it might crisp up the bacon… it did not.
Let the meat sit for 15-20 minutes and serve.
6 Jersey Fresh jalapenos
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of onion powder
dash of parsley
old bay, to taste
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. or 1 cup of lump crab meat
lemon juice, to taste
12 pieces of thick cut, uncured, applewood smoked bacon
- Slice off the top of the jalapeno leaving the stem area intact and dig out seeds. NOTE: protect skin by wearing plastic gloves or avoid touching the seeds with your hands.
- Create filling by mixing together cream cheese, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, parsley, old bay, cheese, lemon juice and crab in a large mixing bowl.
- Roll crab dip into a log shape and place it into the jalapeno peppers
- Spiral one slice of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno finishing at the thin end of the jalapeno, secure with toothpick if needed.
- Cook at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Broil on high for an additional 5-8 minutes to crisp up.
Recipe submitted by Caitlin Scharff of Cait Straight Up Cooking
Cumin, chili powder, onions, garlic, green chilies or jalapenos, all on something, topped with cheese makes it Tex-Mex, it seems. Tex-Mex bananas anyone? Or how about chicken instead? Now we are talking.
Quite a while ago, reader Josephine Belknap sent along a grand collection of Tex-Mex recipes. Every once in a while, when I feel bored with my cooking, I thumb through them, and have shared some with you already. The Tex-Mex Chicken with Chiles and Cheese appealed this time and I made it for supper to general household approbation.
Josephine had noted on the recipe that she likes to use chicken thighs in this recipe, but breasts work, too, and that is what I used. Boneless is better, and whether or not you leave the skin on is up to you. Mine were skinless and I thought the corn and peppers in this dish provided enough moisture that skins didn’t seem necessary. Speaking of peppers, I seldom have jalapenos on hand, so I used a small can of chopped green chilies. To add just a bit of heat, I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes. The corn, homegrown, came out of the freezer but before too long (next week) it will come out of the garden here.
I made Spanish rice to go with the chicken, but if you wanted to, you could roll the chicken and vegetables up in a flour tortilla, enchilada style.
This dish came together pretty quickly – about a half-hour’s time. It tasted like something that took longer to cook.
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into two to three strips
- Vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small can of green chilies or a medium jalapeno finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 cup corn kernels
- Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Toss together the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Dredge the chicken strips in the spiced flour mix and shake off excess.
- Put the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, and brown the chicken lightly on both sides, then set aside.
- Add the onion, garlic, chilies or jalapeno to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened. Add the oregano and corn, and heat through about three minutes.
- Put the chicken back in the skillet to rewarm.
- Grate cheese over the top and put under a broiler to brown lightly.
A Japanese-style dish that’s quick and easy
Wash 180g of sushi rice in a bowl filled with warm water, then pour off the water and repeat. Tip the rice into a medium-sized saucepan, pour in 300ml of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat so that the water is simmering, add half a teaspoon of salt, then cover the saucepan with a lid and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
Wash and trim 150g of small courgettes, then, using a vegetable peeler, remove slices of each courgette in long, thin shavings. Toss them in a little sesame oil and season lightly with salt. Roughly chop 75g of assorted Japanese pickled vegetables. Shred 20g of pickled ginger. Roughly chop a handful of basil and coriander leaves.
When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and leave it to rest for 5 minutes, still covered by its lid. Then remove the lid and gently fold the chopped pickles, basil, coriander and raw courgettes into the rice with a fork. Stir in a tablespoon of dried seaweed flakes, a tablespoon of rice vinegar and season to taste. Serves 2.
If the rice has stuck to the bottom of the pan during cooking, empty out the rice, then pour a little water in to the pan, bring it to the boil and leave it for a minute or two. The rice will then be easy to remove from the pan.
The shavings of courgettes soften in the residual heat of the cooked rice. You could stir in a few other good ingredients instead. Try chopped tomatoes marinated briefly in olive oil and basil, French beans, lightly cooked and cut into short lengths, or, better still, thin batons of cucumber tossed in a little rice-wine vinegar and a few nigella seeds.