Jim and Liz came over the other night for a “simple” wine and cheese. We’ve been friends for over 40 years, and Liz and I have cooked many wonderful things together. Some of my favorites over the years have come from her (corn tamale dip in the crockpot she served at Christmas was awesome!). And neither one of us can just bring a can of dip and a chip to anything! So this was our simple night. And a good bit of wine went along with this great food.
LIZ’S BASIL SALSA
2 handfulls Basil leaves (so plentiful right now. Use fresh!)
2 tsp. capers
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive oil
Put all ingredients in a blender. Add black pepper to taste. Process till smooth. Chill till ready to serve with tomato/mozarella skewers.
NOTE: this would be pretty easy to double or triple if you are having a bigger party. But the 4 of us did a great job of putting this away!
COOK 44’S RED PEPPER JELLY (I’m Cook 44)
3 large or 4 small red bell peppers (these were large)
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
4 jalapeños (or for a brighter red, 4 red Serranos)
3 cups sugar
Chop peppers and put into a processor. (try not to puree them. Just pulse. You want some little chunks. )
In a heavy saucepan, put all ingredients and add one cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook about an hour, or till the consistency is thick like jam. Cool and serve 100 different ways! On crackers, bread, or as above, poured over mascarpone or cream cheese.
NOTE: I am loving my little Ninja smoothie blender. It’s little, easy to use, and easy to clean. And you don’t have to get the big boy out! It was perfect for chopping these peppers in batches. Target, Walmart, Amazon
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