Come to Variety on Graham Avenue to buy PandaJam jams and salsas…they make great gifts for the holidays!

Come to Variety on Graham Avenue to buy PandaJam jams and salsas…they make great gifts for the holidays!

Panda Jam at Treehouse in Williamsburg!

Starting in November, Treehouse, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will be carrying Panda Jam products! Treehouse is located at 430 Graham Avenue…Keep checking in for new updates, and please email me if you have any requests (for new jams or salsas!)

Jalapeño Jelly!

Last night I stopped by the grocery store and headin home with my usual fare for a Jam Session: a couple pounds of plums, peaches, and some more pection. However, in my tote bag was an indredient more unusual than most: 2 lbs. of bright green jalapeño peppers!

I was wary at first, and to be honest, a little scared as to how toxic these dozens of peppers would be in my kitchen. Would my eyes start watering, would I start coughing? Jalapeños are no habaneros, but cooking them in such a large quantity could make for a really spicy salsa (when using jalapeños fresh, I usually only use 3-5 at a time).

However, after removing the seeds, grinding the peppers, and boiling them with cider vinegar for a few hours, I came out alive with a delicious green jelly! I was suprised at how pleasant the taste was, not too spicy, and not too sweet.

I brought a little tester jar into work today, and it was gone within a matter of minutes! Jalapeño is perfect on crackers (we ate it with cheddar crackers today), chips, or spread across a block of soft cheese (cream cheese or goat cheese) as a dip!

New This Week!

I’ve been busy in the kitchen so that this Saturday you can expect:

  • More Ginger Spice Peach Jam and more Texas Caviar (back by popular demand!)
  • Strawberry-Kiwi Jam
  • Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
  • Jalapeno Corn Salsa
  • Blue Plum and Mango Preserves
  • Applesauce

Thursday Night Jam Session: Pear Fig Jam

Last night I made jam with Pears and Figs. I had so much fun working with the figs, they are so beautiful! This jam is very minimal, and as always, I hardly had to use any sugar. The main ingredients included: Black Mission figs, Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc pears, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and Pomona’s Pectin. Rather than keeping it chunky and leaving the skins on (like in my fruit preserves, and also my preferred texture), I skinned the fruits and pureed the batch. It is delicious!

The fruitful bounty!

Peeling the skins….

Peeling the skins...

Panda Jam available for sale!

Panda Jam is available for sale in both 8 and 16 oz. mason jars. Available now:

Jams & Preserves

  • Italian Prune Preserves
  • Blueberry Preserves
  • Ginger Spice Peach Jam
  • August Peach Preserves
  • Triple Berry Cherry Jam
  • Pear Fig Jam

Salsas

  • Texas Caviar (medium, chunky)
  • Roasted Chipotle Peach Salsa (medium, chunky)
  • White Beauty Salsa (pureed, very mild)
  • Heirloom Tomato Salsa (pureed, hot)
  • Sweet & Spicy Ketchup

For further information, please contact me at: pandajambrooklyn@gmail.com

Up Next: White Beauty Salsa!

*Update: Oh my tomato, I made this salsa last night, and I have to say I really outdid myself this time! This is my first pureed salsa, and it is delicious (and roommate approved!)

Indredients: White Beauty Heirloom Tomatoes, red wine carmelized onions, nectarines, roasted garlic and jalapenos, *secret ingredient!!!*, olive oil, and a dash of salt

Come try some this weekend! Available in 8 and 16 oz jars.

I just found an amazing batch of White Beauty Heirloom tomatoes! Get excited for the salsa this weekend!

tomato

I’m also excited to announce that I am exclusively using jars, pectin, and canning supplies purchased from The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. 

Making Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar

A few years ago I found a recipe for Texas Caviar, and I have to admit, I made it for the first time because I loved the novelty of the name! Now, I continue to make it because I would eat a cracker with Texas Caviar on it than Sturgeon Caviar any day (and my friends keep asking me when I’m making the next batch!). It seems to appeal to all tastes: it’s chunky and fresh, spicy, nutritious, savory, and good by itself straight from the jar, on any dish, or just with tortilla chips!

I am not one to follow recipes strictly, so every batch turns out differently. I experiment with different peppers, types of tomatoes, vinegars, and more, but there is one rule I usually stick to with salsas: the more colorful, the more tasty!

The ingredient in Panda Jam Texas Caviar include: Black Eyed Peas, Tomatoes, Green and/or Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Garlic, Cilantro,

Vinegar, Olive Oil, Lemon or Lime Juice, Salt, Pepper, and a pepper (most often Jalapeno, but sometimes I’ll use Chipotle Peppers in Adobe sauce for a more smoky, savory flavor).

About the ingredients:

Black Eyed Peas: I usually use organic canned beans since they already contain some natural preservatives and salt, but you could also use dry beans soaked in a water bath overnight. You must have Black Eyed Peas or else it isn’t Texas Caviar!

Tomatoes: I use all types of tomatoes. The tomatoes used in Panda Jam batches are grown locally, and hopefully I can start using heirloom tomatoes this month.

Bell Peppers: These add a nice, fresh crunch to the salsa, as well as a sweet note.

Red Onion: I prefer red onion when using fresh onion, as they are not as bitter as yellow or white onions, which I usually would use while cooking or making a roasted/blended salsa.

Garlic: I love garlic, and nobody can ever tell how many cloves (or heads!) is too much!

Cilantro: I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a fan of cilantro, but I know when a salsa or guacamole is missing it. This herb just belongs in Texas Caviar!

Olive Oil and Vinegar: The two essential ingredients that can always be added to a salsa. They act as both binding ingredients and add many dimensions of flavors. When I lived in Wisconsin, I used to buy bulk oil and vinegar from Vom Fass. Does anybody know where I can buy vinegar like that in Brooklyn!?

Peppers: I find that Jalapeno peppers add a quicker spice, one that really hits your lips right away, whereas the Chipotle peppers create more of a dark, lingering spice. This week I’ve used Jalapeno peppers, but feel free to ask what I have available that day!

I hope you enjoy my Texas Caviar as much as my roommates and family do!

Prune Jam (like Smucker’s Grape Jelly, but for foodies)

I first starting making jam 3 years ago while living in Rennes, France. I rented out a small, basement room with a French family. The ‘host mother’ there always had a fresh batch of jam in the cellar, and I could look forward to it every morning with a fresh, daily baguette. Helene would can and preserve fruits and vegetables all summer long so that her family could eat it all year long (here in America, one would also add “so that they could eat fresh and local fruit and vegetables all year long”, however, in France, this is just a way of life.)

I loved the confiture d’apricots and the gélee de pommes, but what I would look forward to the most was confiture de pruneaux, or prune jam. These are not prunes like the dried fruit that stereotyped as “grandma’s snack,” but a tart kind of plum. They are oval shaped, smaller than your average plum, and a deep, rich yellow on the inside. I can never seem to find them, so when I saw them last weekend, I bought 10 lbs!


Using Helene’s recipe, I now have Italian Prune Preserves on sale at Panda Jam! I keep the skin on, as they provide a nice surprise in the otherwise, smooth and tartly sweet jelly. I hope you enjoy, bon appetit!