Thursday, August 14, 2014
Jezebel, the “wicked temptress” of the Old Testament, is the perfect name for a traditional southern sauce that’s a blend of sweetness and spicy sumptuousness. Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida all claim it began there. It has lots of uses — especially to enhance pork and chicken entrees. And don’t forget beef and particularly meatloaf. It also stars in alluring appetizers and has been called an addicting cracker spread. There are also innumerable “authentic” recipes for this delightful concoction.
The first time I tried it at was at a dinner party in the 1980s as a sauce for baked chicken. The hostess told me it was one of her favorite — and most requested — recipes as it only contained two ingredients. Now that’s my style: good and easy! Her sauce? Apricot preserves with horseradish to taste. It was delightful and in many ways is still my favorite variation.
Many other recipes use pineapple and/or peach preserves and apple jelly along with mustard (prepared or dried) and black pepper. It’s really a matter of how much “heat” you like. Another good aspect — it keeps for a long time in the fridge. One cook claims it lasts for months. (This I don’t believe, both because that seems excessive — and besides it’s too good to last that long.) It will keep for a couple of weeks though, making it a nice accompaniment over the holidays.
For appetizers it can be spooned over a block of cream or goat cheese or mixed with the softened cheese. Serve with crackers, or try tortilla chips. If you’re feeling very fancy, top a round of brie either heated or cold and feel like royalty.
For entrees it can be spread over meats as a glaze. Give this sauce recipe a try — and adapt it to your taste for spiciness and types of fruit. It makes a “gracious plenty” and can be used in the following Crock-Pot recipe, with leftovers adding to appetizers. I’ve actually doubled this when I have some special event coming up and really do use it up in a couple of weeks. (In fact the storage jars deplete so fast I really suspect that the man of my dreams for 57 years is snacking on it on the sly — to say nothing of yours truly.)
2 18-ounce jars apricot preserves
3 Tablespoons to a 5-oz jar of horseradish
Fresh ground black pepper
Instructions: mix by hand or with a mixer or in a blender, whichever you prefer.
I use this sauce in a Crock-Pot dish at least a couple of times a season.
Some friends tell me they don’t like hot dishes in the summer. We eat roasts, fried chicken and barbeque in the summer, I tell them. Why not a Crock-Pot meal? Less heat, less work and time left over to enjoy the beach. What could be better?
Give this a try. It could also be done with chicken breasts or thighs.
Jazzy Jezebel Pork Chops
4 6-ounce bone-in center cut pork chops
Trim and brown in skillet with olive oil or butter spray
2 chopped onions
3 cups Jezebel Sauce
Put half the sauce in the bottom of a Crock-Pot. Layer chops and cover with rest of the sauce
Cook for 3 to 4 hours on low or until fork tender.