Last week I was in California preparing for the holidays, surrounded by friends and family. Whenever I’m in town, I enjoy getting together with the girls for a night of cocktails and cooking. My dear friend Nadia offered her cocina so that we could host a Girls’ Night: Holiday Entertaining Cooking Class. We mostly caught up over a drink and learned some fun and easy drink and appetizer recipes that take the stress out of entertaining. We also took the opportunity to collect a new toy, book, or pajamas for Junior Foundation Charities as a way to give back to others in need.
When coming up with which appetizers we’d be making, I thought it would be fun to create something with homemade pineapple jam. Immediately I remembered my Manchego Cheese with Quince Jam recipe, which is always a hit, and created a play on this classic finger food. With only three ingredients, I made a spicy pineapple jam that has just the right kick and pairs perfectly with cheese. The best part? The jam also doubles as an adorable edible gift if you’re into making homemade presents. Buen provecho and happy holidays!
Preparation: 40 minutes
1 20-ounce can Dole Pineapple Tidbits in 100% Pineapple Juice
1 cup sugar
2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, sliced down the middle
1 lemon, zest and juice
½ cup water
¼ pound Manchego cheese
2 tablespoons crushed pecans
2 tablespoons agave syrup
- Bring pineapple (with juice), sugar, chiles, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water to a boil in a heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquids reduce by at least half of the original amount, about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- Transfer mixture to sterilized jars.
- To serve, cut Manchego cheese into 1/8-inch slices and top with a dollop of jam, crushed pecans, and a drizzle of agave syrup.
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.