17 June 2021

Roasted pepper jam: how to make your dishes irresistible

“Let medicine be thy food, and food thy medicine”, was the theory coined by Hippocrates many centuries ago. This precept, back in the days of Ancient Greece, made one thing clear: the importance of food. To give what we place in our mouths the importance it deserves, as the purpose of food is not merely to provide your body (and your mind) with energy. Food is a pleasure for all your senses, and is also undoubtedly a healer.

In recent years, a food that has become increasingly common in homes is traditional jam. Why do we like homemade jam so much? This is most likely due to the versatility of jam, as the manner in which it is stored enables us to eat certain products throughout the year in a format that is ideal for pairing with many dishes.

Moreover, there is now a wide range of tasty, exquisite jams that can be used in countless ways: made from Valencian tomatoes, Pajarero figs, quince, oranges, succulent roasted red peppers; for consumption with meat and fish, as a snack, with cheese ... All you need to do is to spread a little jam and place it alongside a product to add that special touch. A touch that can often make the difference between a non-descript dish and a tasty, appetising one.  

Red pepper jam can be used with a wide range of foods.   Cheese, meat, fish and even salad dressings are just some of the types of food that are irresistibly drawn to the flavour and texture of pepper jam. But why eat pepper jam? What´s it made of? And above all, how is it used in meals? Pay attention, and we will now explain everything.  

Pepper jam: how to make it and its properties

Pepper jam is basically composed of roasted red peppers, sugar, lemon juice and locust bean gum. The mix is a simple one considering the powerful result arising from the combination of these ingredients. However, an essential additional element is required to obtain a rich homemade jam: plenty of care and devotion.

The procedure for making homemade pepper jam consists of washing and drying the peppers, roasting them in the oven until they caramelise and obtain that characteristic flavour, peeling them, removing the seeds and cutting them into strips.

The strips of pepper are then placed in a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice and a little locust bean gum is added to thicken it slightly. Patience is then required, as it will take around 40 minutes to fully soften up. The product is then left for another 10 minutes to thicken and… voilà, your pepper jam is ready for use! Indeed, if the entire process has been carried out correctly, your homemade jam will last for up to a year in perfect condition.

However, as time is often of the essence, you should know that you can also buy traditional jam at a number of different establishments. Those that use premium products, have a long, sound track record and put the necessary care into manufacturing a first-rate product are the best options for purchasing one of these jams.

Finally, with regard to their properties, red peppers are one of those foods that are almost always on the shopping list. It's easy to see why: this fruit (they are classified as such, at least in the botanical sense) provides numerous health benefits, one of the most noteworthy of which is its high vitamin C content. It is also a great source of antioxidants.

Recipes with pepper jam

How homemade pepper jam is made and why you should consume these products is already quite clear. But how do you include it in your diet? The options are just about unlimited and depend on the time you have. Let's look at two methods: one faster, the other a little slower.

The first method and a good way (in addition to being quick and simple) of using pepper jam is in the form of canapés: the snack of a lifetime. Cheese and jam is a winning combination; not to mention, moreover, that one of the quintessential jam desserts is that made up of various cheeses; a tradition that is not so common in Spain, but is in other regions. More specifically, pepper jam is the perfect pair for Camembert cheese.

Furthermore, this jam can be served together with other products. Jam on a piece of toast with crispy ham on top is a spectacular option. Another product that is bound to be a huge success when paired with pepper jam is anchovies. And, if you really want to impress your guests, you can serve them pepper jam and anchovies on a thin round boiled or roast potato (to serve as a base).

Finally, you can add pepper jam to guacamole. A couple of splashes of jam in this mixture of Mexican origin will suffice to make it a top-ten hit. And this type of jam recipe doesn´t end here. Red peppers are the perfect pairing for many more appetisers.

Moreover, if you want to use it in a more full-bodied dish, you can opt for cod with pepper jam: a classic that never goes out of fashion. All you have to do to prepare this dish is to desalt the cod loins first of all. Once that´s been done, place them in a saucepan covered in warm oil to confit and cook them over low heat for around 10 minutes.

If you would like to add a green touch to the dish, you can include green shoots. The gourmet step (if you so wish) will comprise placing crunchy ham on top of the cod, which will round off a first-rate experience where the pepper jam will provide the sweetest and most irresistible touch.

Yes, we know: there are so many delicious, succulent jam recipes that the only problem you´re going to have from now on is knowing which one you´re going to make next.

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