Chili jam on cheese

This post was inspired by a question that my friend Yvonne Maffei of My Halal Kitchen asked her followers on FB few days ago: "Chili peppers are in season now. Are you cooking up anything with them (red or green)?".
I wrote "nice chili jam, great on strong Sicilian cheeses" and Yvonne answered asking whether my recipe was on my blog. That made me realize that it was time to write a post about it with recipe included.

This is actually my mother's recipe. She loves chilli as a decorative plants, she says the various shapes and intense colours of chillies make her happy. In fact her balconies and veranda are full of chilli plants of all kinds, so we get a moment during the year when we collect so many.....and making jam is a great way to preserve them. After we made it for the first time, years ago, and tried it on our Sicilian cheese or "bollito", making chili jam has become a yearly family appointment.

Here is the recipe:

750gr red bell peppers
250gr chillies (we use what in Italy is known as "peperoncino comune", similar to cayenne or jalapeño)
450gr sugar
1 generous pinch of salt
1/2 glass red wine or water

Clean the peppers and the chillies, chop them roughly and place them in a pan with sugar, salt and wine/water. Let them cook for an hour on a low heat, then pass them through a vegetable mill (if you prefer you can put them in a blender instead) and return to the fire to thicken for other 20 minutes.
Once the mixture starts becoming sticky, continue cooking for 10-15 mins more, stirring frequently. Cool slightly, transfer to sterilised jars, then leave to cool completely upside down. Seal jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes rapped in tea towels. Once you open a jar, keep it in the fridge.
This is great served on Sicilian cheeses, from a light tasting "provoletta" to a strong mature "caciocavallo ragusano". Enjoy it with a glass of Cerasuolo di Vittoria or, if you do not drink wine, try it with a nice cold Mexican Agua de Guava ;)!

PS: I think that if they left international affairs and religious dialogue in the hands of food lovers like Yvonne and me, the world would be a better place ;)!

Written on
October 1, 2010
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