Habanero Jelly

"This recipe is based on Rita--'s excellent recipe, but I wanted to add carrots. The end product looks like an innocent jar of orange marmalade, but don't be fooled: this is very hot!"
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
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  • Remove stems and seeds from habanero peppers. Make sure to wear eye protection and clean your hands thoroughly afterward. Don't wipe your eyes or touch anything else with your hands. You may also want to wear gloves if you have sensitive skin.
  • Chop peppers and carrots and add to food processor with 1/4 cup of vinegar. Continue to wear eye protection! Puree thoroughly, placing a towel over the top to avoid any splashing.
  • Add puree with sugar and remaining vinegar to a small pan., stir until integrated, and then bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes while constantly stirring. Don't lean over the top of the pan will it's cooking as the fumes can be painful to smell.
  • Stir pectin into the mixture and boil for another minute while stirring. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Fill a jar with hot water, then empty the water. so adding the hot mixture doesn't crack the jar. Very carefully pour mixture into the jar, then seal. Allow to reach room temperature before refrigerating.
  • Cool mixture completely before serving. Try a small amount at a time, since it's very spicy (but, what did you expect: they're habanero peppers!). Jelly takes 24-48 hours to set, but it can be enjoyed (carefully!) before that if you like.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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