Raspberry Jalapeno Jam

We had a mimosa mocktail potluck at the office on New Year’s eve, and I wound up taking home two half-pints of raspberries that didn’t get used. They’ve been sitting the fridge for a week and today was clean out the fridge day. I couldn’t bring myself to toss them, and decided to use them up in some jam. This is yummy – nice raspberry-forward with a little heat at the finish. This is going to be awesome on some grilled chicken kebabs, layered on some goat cheese in a savory-sweet crostata, or on a grilled cheese (if you’re lucky enough to eat cheese.)
Bon apetit!

Raspberry Jalapeno Jam
Yield: two 4-oz jars.

12 oz fresh raspberries
12 oz sugar
2 medium jalapenos, sliced into ⅛” crescents
1/4c water
½ juicy lime

Toss everything but the lime in to a saucepan on low. (You need the water at first to keep things from burning until the berries release their juices.) Simmer about 20-ish minutes until it passes the spoon test. When it’s almost done, squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir (should be about 2 Tbsp.) and heat up/sterilize your jars – drain out the water and fill them with the jam. Lid them and either water bath them to can, or let them cool and keep in the fridge for several weeks.

Damn Fine Cowboy Beans

I love pinto beans. No, I mean I really love them. Nothing beats a nice bowl of frijoles straight out of the pot, with lots of broth with some minced onion and cilantro and a big squeeze of lime. It is comfort food at its finest.

For years I made shite beans. Then I went to my friend D’s for a dinner party, and his beans were awesome – so of course I had to ask how he did it. He looked at me like I was a simpleton (hey, he’s from New Mexico and I’m from Arizona – knowing how to make a pot of beans is a basic life skill.) Then he said dry beans, bay leaf, ham hock, beef broth. That’s it. Kaplowie – mind blown. And I’ve never looked back – or stopped thanking him. No soaking, no weird mumbo jumbo with baking soda and what not. Just toss it in the pot and snap, Bob’s your uncle.

Himself is highly partial to charro-style beans – you know, the kind with lots of broth and bits of bacon and jalapeno. Here’s our version. We think it’s damn good – and hope you do, too.

Damn Fine Cowboy Beans

1# dry pinto beans, picked and rinsed

3-4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced

½ white onion, diced (½ c.)

½ – 1 jalapeno, in ⅛” discs

2 Tbsp chili powder (I use New Mexico, medium)

2 Tbsp. Mexican oregano, crushed

½ tsp. Ground cumin

1 bouillon cube or 1 Tbsp better than bouillon (beef, chicken, pork – doesn’t matter.)

2 ½ qts water.

You do NOT need to soak the beans.  Throw everything in the crock pot on low and in about six or seven hours you’ve got some damn fine cowboy beans.  (In other words, before you go to bed or before you leave for work in the morning.) They are good as-is, refried, or made in to some pozole de frijol by adding some hominy.  I love a big bowl of these with some fresh lime juice, chopped cilantro and white onion. SO tasty!
I usually make a crock pot of these about every third Sunday, and freeze them in ½ quart deli containers – they’re easy to thaw in the microwave and are a perfect size for the two of us for dinner during the week.

This cooks in about four hours stovetop.
This recipe yields about two quarts of beans, with some broth left over.

Buen provencho, my friends.

Sweet Hot Jammy Jams

Remember to wear gloves!

This all started with goat cheese. We’d gone down to Willcox for our annual corn/squash/green chile splurge, and on the drive back I was mentally planning what to cook. I decided on a green chile/sqash/chèvre enchilada with verde sauce. So of course, we had to stop for the goat cheese on the way home and I got the big package.

Thing is, I made the dish (and it was delicious and took a bajillion cheese pills to eat some), but now I have 3/4 of this big log of chèvre frais in the fridge. So, I’ll take it to work. Only, you can just take nekkid cheese to work – that would be sad. I got out some onions and balsamic to make some quick jam to go with when I remembered I had a lot of jalapenos in the fridge. And I thought, mmmmm jalapeno jam on that smooth creamy cheese would be forking delicious. Time to consult the Google Overlords.

So, turns out this is a huge thing. It even has a special name – Cowboy Candy. I went through a bunch of the recipes, got a feel for the commonalities, and adjusted from there. I had to go small batch – I only had about seven peppers. But this made exactly one 8-oz jar. Perfect to take to work with the cheese. Hell, I might get ambitious today and make some crackers, too. Woo – goin’ crazy!


I love savoury-sweet with a little tang. Yum!

Well, here ’tis. Give it a whirl. Apparently pouring this over a block of cream cheese is quite a thing.

Cowboy Candy
1 1/2c. sliced jalapenos (about 7 medium)
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. celery seed
1/8 tsp. tumeric
Sprinkle Cayenne
In a small pan, bring everything but the jalapenos to a quick boil, turn the heat down to simmer and add the jalapenos. Simmer about 20ish minutes, until it is reduced to jammy thickness*. Take it off the heat and stir in one tsp. more of cider vinegar. Pour in to a clean hot jar (I always rinse mine with boiling water right before filling. Use common sense if your glass is cold. )

That’s it – I imagine this would be super scrumptious on a grilled chicken breast or shrimp kebab, as well as the aforementioned cheese.

Give this a whirl – hope you like it!

* To test the thickness, dip spoon in the jam then let that cool. Run your finger through it – is it thick like jam and your finger streak remains? Then it’s done. If not, reduce some more



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Crispy Spicy Jicama Slaw

This is an easy, pretty, and super-fresh side for the summer – especially when you’re grilling or having tacos, but rice and beans on the side just seem way too heavy.

I was making mexi-pizza* last night, and I wanted something a little more than the usual cabbage and onion on top. And rice and beans, and even calbacitas, just sounded too heavy. So I made a batch of jicama slaw and it hit the spot.  It is so fresh, with a little zing from the vinegar and a little heat from the jalapeno.

*Mexi-pizza – When you spread refrieds between two small flour tortillas and then bake them until brown and crunchy. Like a flat chimichanga. Mmmmm….

Jicama Slaw

2 Tbsp sugar (or agave sweetener, or honey, or…you get the idea)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

½ small yellow or white onion, cut in ⅛” crescents
½ to 1 fresh jalapeno**, de-seeded and de-veined, sliced in ⅛” crescents
½ c. chopped cilantro
2 c. jicama, in 1” long matchsticks

Whisk together the sugar and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Then whisk in the oil.  Add the sliced veg, stir and eat. The amount of jalapeno is going to vary depending on the heat of the pepper (because we’ve all been surprised by that one that burns your lips off) and how hot your fam likes their food.

Try this – it’s fast and delicious, and oh so easy and fresh.

**Can you leave out the jalapeno? Of course – this will still be delicious.

Jalapeno Cilantro Slaw with Lime


My new favorite coleslaw is easy, fast, zesty and bright. And easy. Wait, I said that. Oh! And no mayo! This is zippy the day you make it, the next day it will have more juice from the cabbage and it will be hotter because the jalapeno has been infusing everything.

We love this with grilled chicken, or pork. As a side with tacos, and actually ON fish tacos. It is super yummy.
You ready? Let’s do this!

Whisk together:
3 Tbsp. mild oil
¼ c. agave sweetener (or 2 Tbsp sugar)
¼ c. freshy squeezed lime juice.
Pour over:
3 c. napa or green cabbage, chopped for slaw
¼ c. chopped cilantro
¼ c. white onion in wafter thin crescents
½ to 1 small fresh jalapeno, in wafer thin rings or crescents.
Toss. Eat. Add S&P to taste.

Nutritional info for four servings (according to verywell.com recipe analyzer).
Cal 164
Fat 10.3g
Carb: 19.1g (sugars 17.2g)
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A 79%, Vitamin C 49% of daily allowance.