Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Apricot and Habanero Glaze

1 dried habanero pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, optional
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
12 whole golden raisins, chopped
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

In a large skillet heat about a half cup water over medium heat until it begins steaming. Carefully cut small slices from the dried habanero and finely chop those to accumulate about 1/2 teaspoon or so of flakes, adjusting to your taste and heat tolerance. You might want to wear rubber gloves when touching the pepper; at least be careful and don't touch your eyes until your hands have been thoroughly washed.

Add the pepper flakes with the salt and butter to the water and allow the flakes to soften and the butter to melt.Add the brown sugar; stir to dissolve. Add raisins. When the water is simmering, add the apricot preserves.

Cut up any large pieces of apricot in the pan and make sure all the gelatinous matter is dissolved. Add the vinegar a little at a time, being careful not to make the mixture at all sour; the vinegar should just brighten up the taste. Allow the glaze to simmer.

As it thickens, water can be added a bit at a time to keep the glaze from scorching; it should be allowed to darken a bit.

Coat grilled chops or meat slices with the glaze by simmering the meats with the glaze for a couple minutes on each side.

Spread a teaspoon or so on each serving plate and arrange meats on top. Mint sprigs and curls of orange peel could be used for garnish.

For grilled meats, paint some of this glaze on both sides of the meat a few minutes before you remove it form the grill.