I've found out about Melanie Harty and her jellies when looking up local produce and local farmer markets and how grateful I am for doing so. Melanie has a great product, very versatile (which you will notice below) and quite unique too. I've never attempted making my own jelly (being it pepper, cranberry, mint or any other...). I was lucky enough to try 4 of the jellies: Cranberry hot pepper jelly, Mint jelly, Char grilled pepper jelly and Hot apple and sage jelly. Only natural products, no preservatives and no colourings are a huge advantage of all the jellies. I cooked with them quite a lot and it was a nice addition to all of my dishes - and even one drink!
Char grilled pepper jelly
This is my favourite of all the jellies that I've tried so far. - it's a shame it doesn't come in a bigger jar (like a 3 litre jar! that is ;) ) So versatile you wouldn't believe it! It's peppery, little sweet and you can definitely taste the 'char grilled' peppers! It dissolves well in sauces and stews. Just a tablespoon or 2 will make a difference with your dish. I will stock up on this one, as from now on it's an essential ingredient in my cupboard!
This jelly is very nice and delicate. A versatile condiment. The traditional mint sauce for lamb dish comes to mind, but I encourage you to broaden your horizons and try something different with it, like me in a drink(!) - apple & mint Zubrowka, or a dessert suggested by Melanie - strawberries with minted creme fraiche.
Hot apple and sage jelly
Little on the hot side, so if you're not a fan of spicy food that might not be your prefect jelly. Great with all pork dishes. Hubby uses it as a dipping sauce instead of chili sauce. I've went a little further and created a recipe for beautiful glaze for a piece of ham - ham cooked in cider than baked in honey, apple and sage glaze. Next on the list to try with this jelly are: prawns in tempura batter and stir fry pork.
Cranberry hot pepper jelly
It's perfect in a sandwich with chicken breast or turkey. It can replace (and will for me) all those dishes when you traditionally use cranberry sauce/jelly. This jelly is a step further from your traditional cranberry one. It gives a little kick and more flavour into your meals, but it's not hot at all, mild flavour of peppers so even a toddler a child wouldn't mid it. Great idea for a salad dressing with this jelly is on Melanie's site - summer leaves with blue cheese, beetroot and cranberry pepper dressing.
The jellies would help to bring the flavour in lots of your dishes. They will be perfect as a dipping sauces, they have the right consistency, so you would just have to put them in your little serving bowls and they're ready to serve. They would be great as a dipping sauce for fish cakes, nuggets, prawns, anything in tempura batter etc.Harty's jellies are definitely our family's favourite jellies and a must have in our cupboard. All the jellies are great - more so, my Hubby couldn't decide which one is his favourite, as he loves them all (yes, love is the word he used!). That kind of standard for that price is a real bargain and I wouldn't even attempt to make those kind of jellies myself. There are more jellies than those above and personally I can't wait to try the rest in Harty's range of jellies. The jellies we didn't try yet are the hot pepper ones, as I have to admit of being a little "chicken" when it comes to hot peppers in the kitchen ;) but I'll try them for sure, with moderation that is... which means only one thing for me - a trip to the next Glenbeigh farmers market!
The jellies are available in lots of different shops and supermarkets across Ireland and outside of the country too. Full list can be found on the official website www.hartysjellies.ie, there's also possibility of buying the range on-line.
*I received a free sample of all the above products to review from the harty's Foods. All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.