I love Christmastime. People are in happier moods, you get to spend time with your friends and family, college bowl games are on TV and there is plenty of good food. The best part is that many of the dishes are often homemade, seasonal family recipes.
There are several things that I look forward to that my mom will inevitably cook: her world renown green chile queso, chili and cornbread, chocolate turtle brownies, a big pot of beans, enchilada casserole, cranberry jalapeño salsa and fudge. Seeing these items come out of the kitchen signals that it is Christmas to me.
Since I am a long distance from my hometown, I often try to make some of these dishes myself before traveling home for the holidays. The cranberry jalapeño salsa and fudge are some of my favorites to make, and a hit when I bring them to a party. Here are the recipes so that you can try them this holiday season.
Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa
This salsa is sweet with a kick and looks like Christmas with the red and green. People initially shy away from it when I set it out at a party because they don’t know what it is. But once they hear the buzz from other partygoers, they become interested and try it on a Wheat Thin. Soon enough it is tough to keep in stock!
1 package of cranberries
1 bunch of green onions minced
2 minced jalapeños (de-vein and de-seed if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 cup chopped cilantro
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
juice of 1 lime
Place the cranberries in a food processor and turn on low; you kind of want them to be a little chunky. I usually do half the bag at first and add the additional ingredients to the blender. Mix everything together real good. Serve chilled with Wheat Thins. I have found if you let it sit overnight you get a nicer spice as all the ingredients got to mix together.
I don’t like mine with pecans, but feel free to add it in if you do!
4 ½ cups of sugar
2 sticks of Parkay
12 oz Carnation evaporated milk
Put the above on medium heat and bring to a full boil; once there, let it boil for 7 ½ minutes. Remove from heat and add:
18 oz of Nestle Tollhouse Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
7 oz jar of marshmellow cream
1 tsp of vanilla
Stir all these things in well. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: After stirring for a while, take a spatula and scrape the top edge of the bowl where some of the fudge is caught but is not being stirred into the mixture. Be cautious as you remove it to make sure nothing drops in your mixture; wipe it on a paper towel and throw away. This is important because you are getting all the crystallized stuff out of your mixture which makes it smooth.
Do this about three times and make sure you have a consistent color. Pour mixture into a pan that is rubbed with butter so that the fudge won’t stick. Let the mixture set before you serve (but enjoy licking the bowl).
I hope you enjoy the recipes that are popular from my family. If you have any that you enjoy and would like to share, send me a message with it and I will post on the site. Include your name and/or Twitter username (if you want) and a story of why you like your particular recipe!
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