Each summer my dad would grow the hottest peppers on the planet. Come August we'd be preserving and pickling them to be used in the spiciest winter chili ever tasted. He would have had a super foodie crush on Ms. Danner and her Hell Fire Pepper jelly. In his honor and name, I dedicate this post to him.
What is Hell Fire Pepper Jelly?
A locally owned Los Angeles business by Hillary Danner, Jenkins Jellies makes Hell Fire Pepper Jelly. A blend of 7 types of fresh peppers with organic sugar the jelly is a little sweet and a lot spicy and incredibly delectable. Made in small batches, with no preservatives, Hell Fire Pepper Jelly is a perfect hostess gift, a fridge favorite, and a cocktail party's dream date. And you can get it with a cookbook, too!
The Perfect Corn Companion
One fine summer day fresh corn arrived from the farmers' market. Taking a break from our standard corn on the cob we made corn cakes from the recipe below, adapted from the Fannie at Chez Panisse cookbook, and served the Hell Fire Pepper Jelly atop the cakes garnished with cilantro. We're lucky to have snapped the above photo before they disappeared.
Fresh Corn Cakes with Hell Fire Pepper Jelly
1 ½ cups corn flour (masa harina)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
1 ear sweet corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Hell Fire Pepper Jelly
1. Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob.
2. Mix the corn flour, baking powder, and salt together in a big bowl and make a well (hole in the center) for the liquids
3. Separate the eggs and set the whites aside. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk, honey, buttermilk, and oil. Pour this into the well in the dry ingredients. Use a spoon to slowly mix the flour into the liquids.
4. Beat the egg whites until they make soft peaks when you lift them off the whisk or beater. Pour the egg whites into the batter and use a rubber spatula to fold them in.
5. Stir the kernels into the batter.
6. Scoop about ¼ cup of the batter pour onto hot griddle or frying pan coated with oil. Turn cakes over as soon as bubbles form on the top.
7. Top with Hell Fire Pepper Jelly & chopped cilantro
Sweet Heat ~ The Cookbook
In her cookbook Sweet Heat Ms. Danner writes a prelude to the Cole Slaw for the Soul recipe. She tells the reader she intended to grow purple cabbage in the garden to use it for the book. “Didn’t happen,” she confesses. In the end she ran out to the local market to grab some green cabbage for the shoot. Story of my life and, so it seems, Ms. Danner's, too. Anyone so honest and authentic has my attention. And my heart.
Sweet Heat sports a variety of uses for Hell Fire Pepper Jelly ranging from the simple (cream cheese and crackers), to the sublime (grilled peaches, vanilla ice cream). There is something for all levels of home chef. Chef Barbara Beck offers a Spirited Saffron Sauce with fancy reduction methods. Chef Jared Levy keeps things simple and down-home with a Raging Roasted Chicken with Vegetables. Sweet Heat also kindly supports local businesses shout-outs to northeast Los Angeles shops and restaurants such as Fresco’s Community Market and Folliero’s Pizza. Sweet Heat is now a fixture on my shelves as much as Hell Fire Pepper Jelly is a fixture in my fridge.
This summer run out and pick up a peck of Hell Fire Pepper Jelly. Bring on the heat!