Jams and jellies (wait, did anyone get my obscure “80’s musical reference in the title of this blog post?) where was I…OH YES!! Jams and jellies are pantry staples in my kitchen. They are great in desserts like thumbprint cookies or between layers of cake but I also like to use them in savory dishes.
Last summer I was fortunate enough to get a bushel of ripe peaches and I made peach/rosemary jam for my first canning project. It was a beautiful thing. One night I needed an hors d’oeuvre for a casual party and the peach/rosemary jam was the perfect answer. I roasted chicken wing sections with a little salt and pepper and at the end of cooking I coated the wings with the jam and broiled them for a few minutes just to get a bit of char on them. They were a huge hit; guests were licking the sweet sticky jam from their fingers ( I guess I should have given them napkins…oh well, hindsight is 20/20).
I needed a quick solution for dinner the other night and I needed to cook some chicken drumsticks I had in the fridge. I remembered that delicious party dish, but unfortunately I was out of the homemade peach/rosemary jam. I did , however, have some store bought apricot jam that I bought at a half price sale a few weeks before. I roasted the chicken drumsticks just as I did the chicken wings, but I sprinkled a bit of dried rosemary on them along with the salt and pepper. Delicious, easy and pretty darn quick.
Peach, guava and apricot jams go really well with turkey, pork and cheese; for beef dishes blueberry and blackberry jams would make great sauces with red wine reduction and pan juices.
I knew it was going to be a ridiculously busy week. Three extra kids staying over and lots of activities to participate in. So how do you feed all of those hungry people night after night without wearing yourself out?? BRISKET! that’s how. With a little advanced planning you can slow cook a 5 pound flat cut beef brisket (seasoned with salt and pepper) at 300 degrees on a bed of sliced onions, and a half cup of water in a roasting pan tightly covered with foil for about 4 hours and feed your family a variety of different meals for days.
The first night was taco night. We just heated some sliced brisket and served it with chunky salsa, shredded cheese, fresh leafy salad greens and a choice of flour or corn tortillas….not to shabby.
The second night we had ramen noodles (yes, the cheap stuff) but instead of using the awful seasoning packet we served the noodles in a pool of the brisket broth with sliced brisket, green onions and a boiled egg, not authentic but it was deeeelicious!
We skipped one night and had chicken instead, but the next night we sliced the brisket and glazed it with tangy, sweet barbecue sauce. That was the family favorite hands down. You can take a peek at that in the picture over there served with some buttered egg noodles with broccoli and garlic. We still have a big hunk of brisket and some broth left. Not bad for about $4.50 a pound. The flat cut of brisket is usually sold with a layer of fat about 1/4 inch thick on one side, cook it with the fat on and trim it before you eat if you like.