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As promised, I’d like to serve up the recipe for my riesling jelly, sparkling with confetti bits of lemon peel, rosemary and chili flakes.  It appears in my monthly food column in the Eugene Weekly today, yay!  The basic recipe is to steep the flavoring agents in a bottle of white wine, then add sugar and pectin for the gel.  It’s great served in any way you’d serve pepper jelly for the holidays.

The secret is to use a really dry riesling.  I’ve spent several months tasting cheap PNW rieslings, because it’s such an underrated grape that does so well in our soil (hence easy on the budget and almost always a good buy).  My prime motivation was to find an Alsatian-style dry riesling to make wine-braised sauerkraut with large, varied pieces of pork and sausage.  The French call this winey, salty, crunchy, sour, porkulent concoction Choucroute Garnie à l’Alsacienne; I call it eyes-rolling-back-in-my-head delicious.

The search took a detour into the marvels of drinking the stuff straight all summer, and even into the depths of winter.  Every vintage, every winery is very different, so it’s worth sampling around for your favorite.

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The jelly was a happy accident; since I usually have a half-dozen bottles of riesling hanging out with me at any time, and I wanted to make an herbal jelly but absolutely loathe apple juice (usually recommended as a “neutral” base, gah), I thought I’d give a pale gold, lovely dry wine a whirl.  For the recipe I prepared in class and the one in the EW photograph, I used an Airlie dry riesling from Monmouth, OR, a wine so dry it leaves a trail of dust.

It would be fun to taste the jelly made with different kinds of wine; if you make it with something else, please let me know how it turns out.

I’ll be away for the next week or so: Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year!

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