The holiday season is about giving. The older I get the less I want to give useless trinkets or coffee mugs and the more I want to take some extra time to make something special from the heart. A little something that may spark a childhood memory of holidays past or create a new memory or tradition that one can look forward to year after year. In our family, I have a cousin that delivers handmade breakfast cakes to all the aunts for Christmas Eve morning beautifully wrapped for each to enjoy with their families.( To me the packaging is just as important as the item inside.) It truly is a gift from the heart and we all know that the way to someone's heart is through their stomach. This holiday season be sure to surprise not only family but a neighbor, friend or co-worker with a recipe of love. Below are a few unique Bellisari recipes that the whole family can help prepare as gifts.
Barista Beef Jerky
3 cups amber ale or lager 2 jars of Bellisari's Barista Sauce, 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns, plus 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, for sprinkling before drying the meat 2 pounds trimmed beef top round or bottom round, about 1 1/2 inches thick
In a large bowl, combine the ale or lager with the Bellisari's Barista Sauce and the cracked black peppercorns. Cut the beef into 1/4-inch-thick slices, either with or against the grain.
Add the beef to the marinade, a few slices at a time, stirring well to coat each slice with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.
Dry the Meat: Preheat the oven to 200°. Set a large wire rack on each of 3 large rimmed baking sheets. Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the beef on the racks, leaving 1/4 inch between slices. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper. Bake for about 4 hours, until the jerky is firm and almost completely dry, but still chewy. Let cool completely on the racks before serving.
Bring two jars of Bellisari's Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and boil, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reaches 223 degrees F, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 5 tablespoons liquid pectin. Pour into a foil-lined 8-inch-square pan and chill until firm. Cut into squares; toss in sugar.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Simmer 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling the pan but not stirring, until dark amber, about 12 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in 1 cup cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Let cool, then divide among jars and chill.
Dried Cranberry & Blue Cheese Cheesecake Bites
Line 36 mini-muffin cups with festive holiday paper liners. Mix 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers, 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons melted butter; press into the liners and chill until firm. Blend 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup each sour cream and confectioners sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each vanilla and lemon zest; fold in 1/2 cup Bellisari's Blue Cheese Honey & Shallot Spread add 1 cup dried cranberries and mix thoroughly. Pipe or spoon into the crusts; chill 1 hour. Top with toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds.
Saigon Spiced Pecans
1 pound pecan pieces
1 Jar Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce
4 Tablespoons of Butter
Melt butter and toss pecans in a bowl with butter. Lay on parchment lined sheet tray and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool. Pour the entire jar of Bellisari's Saigon Street Sauce over the cooked pecans in a bowl and use a rubber spatula to toss the pecans so they are coated entirely. Lay on the parchment paper sheet tray, separate with a fork and cook for 12-15 minutes. Let cool and serve. Pecans keep, layered between parchment or wax paper in an airtight container, at room temperature 3 days