I got myself into trouble when we were invited to dinner at a friend’s house and I asked them if could bring some appetizers that would blow their minds. The trouble is, I had no clue what I was going to do! Enter my sweet friend Jackie, who brought an appetizer to OUR house last night…..and I am now inspired and off and running! She Brought this simple, yet delicious, spread for crackers. There are ways to do it simply or do the “difficult” way, (which I always seem to do…. Because when you need pickled onions, I like to pickle them myself. When it calls for Candied jalapeños, I’m gonna candy them myself, in spite of the fact that I can buy them at our little country store.
p.s. I think we say “appetizer” now because nobody knows how to spell “hors d’oeuvres” (I googled it, even though I came in second in the 4th grade spelling bee…..)
So, here’s what you do: you mix some candied jalapeños with softened cream cheese. You decide how hot you want it. Serve it with crackers or little breads. Now, just in case you are anything like me and you’d like to make your OWN candied jalapeños. Here’s how:
CANDIED JALAPENOS or, “COWBOY CANDY” at least 400 recipes on Google….
About 1 lb. fresh jalapeños. (or more) (somebody asked if you can use the canned ones. NO! The canned ones are already cooked and seasoned)
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp. chili powder (try some different ones, like chipotle!)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (or, take a change on a Tbs. of grated fresh! I did!)
Put everything in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer awhile till it just slightly thickens.
Now here’s the thing. You can jar these in sterile jars and “can” them for at least a year. AND, you can take that sweet juice left in the jar and pour it into a Margarita……..OR use the jalapeños in your Mexican cornbread or just plain cornbread. The point is, just DON’T throw it away!!!
So, on my pretty platter I will have a little mound of this jalapeño/cream cheese, along with some pickled red onions (slice a small onion, simmer it 5 minutes in 2 parts vinegar and one part water. Cool, drain and serve). And I will also have a nice mound of Mascarpone cheese, covered with my red chili jelly. (See blog for that recipe too!)
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