At the end of August and beginning of September the focus on farm-fresh produce can start to wane. While dreams of strawberries are filed away for next year, the glory of other delicious treats from our local farmers can still be front and center for all of us.
For me, this means the end of melon season and the beginning of football season. It also means every single pepper ever created is showing up in meals daily. I love the interplay of sweet, salt, and spice in each perfect little bite of this dish.
As a note, you can certainly buy hot pepper jelly, but as any good Southerner knows it is very easy to make and is a great condiment to have on hand. Homemade is always best and gives you yet another chance to put away our farmers’ hard work for enjoyment through the rest of the year.
One more note: you certainly do not have to sear these bites, but I prefer the way it brings out the saltiness of the prosciutto and adds a little more texture to the finished dish. Just make sure to double up – these bites will fly off the plate!
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CANTALOUPE BITES WITH HOT PEPPER JELLY
Serves about 4-6 people
- 1 cantaloupe, rind and seeds removed and cut into 1-inch bites
- 6 ounces prosciutto
- 3-3/4 cups finely chopped bell peppers; a mix of colors is ideal
- 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño peppers
- 1/4 cup finely chopped habanero peppers
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1.75 ounces powdered pectin
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- Combine all of the peppers in a large pot over medium high heat.
- Stir in the vinegar and pectin.
- While constantly stirring, bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Return to a rolling boil and then boil for 60 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Remove the pot from the heat and skim the foam off the top.
- Ladle the jelly into jars and process as desired for canning or freezing.
- To make the bites, cut each slice of prosciutto into quarters.
- Wrap around each piece of cantaloupe and secure with a toothpick.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, then place the bites on the hot pan.
- Sear for about 1-2 minutes per side until a golden brown crust is achieved.
- Set aside and continue to sear until all of the bites have been cooked.
- Serve warm with the hot pepper jelly.
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