September 14, 2012

Accidental Sweet and Sour Sauce (a.k.a. Sweet Red Pepper and Garlic Jelly)

In the midst of my Yellow Tomato Jam session a few nights ago, I realized I had all the ingredients to make yet another savory jam. I picked up a few patio bell pepper plants at work last spring and they're finally cranking out some fruit (although they are quite small). I also have a couple hefty bundles of garlic that I ripped straight out of the ground and hastily shoved (dirt and all) onto a shelf in my basement. As I mentioned before, I was feeling really guilty about my near total neglect for my vegetable garden this summer and the lack of garden produce I've managed to incorporate into my cooking (again, thank-you Master's degree)...hence, Sweet Red Pepper and Garlic Jelly (from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving).

I added a little red food coloring because I didn't think the aspic-like jelly looked particularly appetizing. By the time I got my act together and got all my jars and lids ready, the majority of the red pepper had nearly dissolved (wasn't expecting that), but the garlic stayed intact. I added a little black pepper and red pepper flakes because I thought some heat would be nice. 

It tastes remarkably like garlicky sweet and sour sauce, which I'm a little bummed about. Sweet and sour sauce is basically a syrup of sugar, vinegar, and bell pepper colored with either food dye or paprika (so, the exact same ingredients as the recipe I was using). Why wasn't I warned? I think Ball should consider renaming this recipe.

At least it's pretty? Maybe homemade egg rolls are in my near future.

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