What was that you said?
You don’t know what a kumquat is?
Well, neither did I until a few days ago. The sweet peeps at Melissa’s Produce sent me some and they’re cute, sweet little citrusy thingies – like a cross between a baby orange and tangarine, kinda sorta. AND OXO graciously sent me these GreenSavers to try and OMG I adore them! Check ‘em out in my fridge below.
Let me just tell you about these Greensavers. First of all, I put some cilantro in them the first day I got them. Fast forward three days later, when I would expect my cilantro to be soggy and nasty. Nope, perfectly green and perky and fragrant. I’m IMPRESSED.
So, here are the main reasons that fresh produce goes bad so quickly:
Ethylene Gas: Fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas. Exposing produce to ethylene gas speeds up the ripening process, causing it to over ripen and go bad.
Improper Airflow: When produce rests against the walls of containers, bags or crispers, moisture can build up and cause rotting.
Uncontrolled Humidity: Fruits and vegetables require the perfect balance of humidity to keep them crisp and prevent wilting. To make things more difficult, different kinds of produce require different humidity levels.
The OXO GreenSavers are lifesavers (especially us foodies).
Ok, so back to the kumquats. Apparently, you can eat them whole, rind and all. I didn’t – but I may get brave very soon and tackle that. I decided I wanted to make jam, which I’ve never really done before, and naturally I had to heat it up. I made it with two peppers; jalapeno and habanero. It was really pretty simple. You basically deseed the little things, throw the seeds into some cheesecloth, tie them up and boil all of it with the peppers and refrigerate overnight. The next day boil all of that with sugar and…
Voilà – Jalapeno Habanero Kumquat Jam.
I put it on multigrain crackers with slices of sharp cheddar – it’s a spicy-sweet-salty-crunchy combo that’s off the charts. I mean….this is ridiculousness.
Holy Lord. This stuff is amazing. I’m thinking I may try making a grilled cheese with Gruyere or Brie with it.
I love sweet/salty/spicy combinations.
Jalapeno-Habanero Kumquat Jam
- 1 lb kumquats
- 5 cups water
- 1 medium habanero pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
- 3 ½ cups sugar (regular white cane sugar)
- Slice kumquats cross-wise into rings, popping out and reserving seeds as you go. Place seeds in a tea ball or cheesecloth bundle.
- Add kumquats, water, seeds, and minced habanero to a medium stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and boil, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a heat-safe bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove and discard seeds. Return fruit mixture to the preserving pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
- Return to a boil and continue to boil over high heat, stirring only as necessary to prevent sticking, until marmalade reaches the set point, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars to ¼-inch head space.
- Wipe rims, affix lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Once jars are out of the water bath and have cooled for approximately 30 minutes (still very warm to the touch) turn upside down and shake gently to distribute kumquat peel evenly through the jelly.
- Return jars to upright position and allow to cool undisturbed overnight.