Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, June 16, 1999


Jams and jellies have possibilities
in the kitchen that go far beyond
dressing up toast. In place of sugar,
they offer a quick way to enliven
and personalize simple recipes

By Cynthia Oi


OK, quick answer and no fibbing. Are there several -- maybe dozens -- of half-used jars of jams, fruit spreads, jellies and preserves cluttering your fridge or cupboard?

If the answer is yes, don't feel guilty. Just use up the stuff.

But, you may protest, that blackberry jam you bought in Seattle, absolutely scrumptious the first five times you spread it on your toast, is now boring with its familiarity.

What a pickle for the fickle.

First, get it out of your head that jams and jellies blend only with butter on toast, bread or muffins. Think sauces instead. That boring blackberry jam, when stirred with a splash of balsamic vinegar, spices up a bland broiled breast of chicken.

Marmalade whipped with some cream cheese and spread between layers of a store-bought pound cake makes a super-quick dessert.

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Deceptive Dessert and Spicy Easy Chicken are two of the
many ways to clear out half-empty jam jars and
sweeten your repertoire.

A dab of jam softens the acidity of a vinaigrette. Lilikoi jelly combined with Worcestershire sauce works wonders on a pork chop. And a spoonful or two of jelly rounds out the flavor of a tomato or spaghetti sauce.

Randall Francisco, an assistant professor with the culinary arts program at Kapi'olani Community College, has been experimenting with jams and jellies in his cooking. Adapting a recipe from Williams-Sonoma, where he also works part time, he recently concocted a guava jam-based barbecue sauce that he described as "wonderful."

He balances ease of preparation with flavor when he cooks. "I don't like to spend more than 30 minutes cooking," says Francisco, who describes himself as a reluctant cook. "I have more important things to do -- like sit and watch TV."

Cooking shouldn't be a hardship, Francisco maintains. "You can make something special without it being a chore."

The way to do this is to think creatively about what's in your pantry. Jams, fruit spreads, preserves and jellies are often overlooked, but when used as an alternative to sugar in some recipes, will impart a variety of flavors that transform the mundane to marvelous.

Take your typical teriyaki sauce. Recipes may vary, but most combine soy sauce and sugar in equal parts. Substituting melted guava jelly for the sugar, however, will add a surprising, fruity tang. In the same vein, mixing jelly with vinegar or lemon juice also makes for a sweet-sour sauce that's quick and easy.

The trick is to use a jam or jelly that doesn't overwhelm the tastes of the rest of your ingredients.

"And remember," Francisco says, "Recipes are just guides. Your dishes should reflect who you are."

With this thought in mind, we present these "guides." Choose the jams and jellies to suit your palate. All take less than 5 minutes to prepare. They may be microwaved or heated in a saucepan on the stove.


1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of jam or jelly (lilikoi or pineapple works well) or fruit spread

Put in a heat-proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on high. Stir.

Brush over beef steak, pork chops or fish fillets before broiling or grilling. Pour over chicken in last few minutes of roasting or broiling. Makes 4 tablespoons

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (2 Tablespoon each) 100 calories, 6 g total fat, 4 g. saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium*


2 tablespoons blackberry (or raspberry or blueberry) fruit spread
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Combine all in bowl; microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir.

Good on chicken, fish and sausages. Makes 3 tablespoons

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (2 tablespoon each) 25 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, 10 mg sodium*


4 tablespoons jam or jelly (guava, lilikoi, apricot, peach)
1 tablespoon chili paste (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Combine all in bowl. Microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes. Stir. This makes a good dipping sauce for fried chicken wings, won ton and dim sum. Great as a marinade for hibachi shrimp and chicken. Makes 5 tablespoons

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (2 Tablespoon each) 80 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g. saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium.*


1 cup water
2/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons melted jelly or jam (guava, pineapple)
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (or to taste)

Combine water, peanut butter and garlic in a small sauce pan. Cook on medium-low heat until mixture comes to a slow boil. Stir in melted jelly or jam, lemon juice, soy sauce and chili paste. Remove from heat, cool slightly.

Drizzle over skewered broiled chicken or beef. Toss with cooked shrimp and chopped green onions and serve over raw, finely chopped cabbage. Or spread over broiled fish in last few minutes of cooking. Also good as a dipping sauce. Makes 1-1/2 cup sauce

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (2 tablespoons each) 90 calories, 7 g total fat, 1.5 g. saturated fat, no cholesterol, 70 mg sodium*


(Adapted from Sue Bee Honey)

1 package taco seasoning mix
1 pound chicken, boned and cut into chunks
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup jelly or jam (strawberry, orange marmalade)
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried peppers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a frying pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with refried beans and rice or roll up in tortillas. About 4 servings.

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per chicken breast and 1-ounce package taco seasoning 260 calories, 9 g total fat, 2.5 g. saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium. Per chicken thigh: 290 calories, 15 g total fat, 4 g. saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium. (Analysis for chicken and sauce only.)*


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sweet orange marmalade (strawberry or poha jam), plus 4 tablespoons
1 10-ounce frozen pound cake

Mix cream cheese and orange marmalade. Set aside in refrigerator. Using a serrated knife, cut off the brown top and sides (not the bottom) from the cake while its still frozen.

Cut cake in half lengthwise to make two layers. Spread 2 tablespoons marmalade over bottom layer, then spread half of cream cheese mixture over all. Place top layer and spread the rest of the marmalade and the rest of the cream cheese mixture on top.

Garnish with fresh orange segments (membranes and pith removed) or with dollops of marmalade. Refrigerate until serving. Makes 7 to 8 servings.

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (extra marmalade dollops not included) 330 calories, 17 g total fat, 8 g. saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium


(Courtesy of Randall Francisco, Kapi'olani Community College)

5 pounds chicken thighs, wings or drumsticks
1/3 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups tomato sauce or ketchup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup guava jam (vanilla bean, blood orange, apricot or cherry jam)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper to taste

If using chicken thighs, slice meat away from bone. Parboil chicken pieces in salted water for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, cool and pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in flat pan or container.

In a bowl, combine rest of ingredients and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place in a saucepan and heat for 5 to 7 minutes.

Marinate chicken in sauce for at least 4 hours in refrigerator. Grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes on each side, depending on size of piece. Brush sauce generously over chicken. Serves 16

Approximate Nutritional Analysis per Serving (based on 1 tsp added salt) 290 calories, 17 g total fat, 5 g. saturated fat, 95 mg cholesterol, greater than 500 mg sodium.*

Waiokeola updates cookbook

Another tasty choice for guava chicken can be found in the Waiokeola Pre-School Cookbook, now in its third printing.

The book, first distributed 16 years ago, has been updated and includes recipes for cooking with children. Recipes are contributed by students' families. The guava chicken recipe comes from Shannon Lowrey.

The book is available at the school office or by mail. Cost is $12 plus $2.75 for postage. School hours are 7 to noon; call the school at 734-4277 before going there. Proceeds benefit the school fund.


Now is the chance for you or someone you know to get national recognition for a homemade jam or jelly.

Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin is accepting nominations for its national Hall of Fame Class of 1999, which will feature 50 of the nation's best jams and jelly makers. Inductees into the Hall of Fame will receive a Hall of Fame apron, blue ribbon, framed certificate and a check for $50.

To nominate yourself or someone you know, submit name, birthday, address and daytime phone number, along with a 250-word essay describing jam and jelly making accomplishments, and send to: Sure-Jell Hall of Fame Class of 1999, c/o Hunter & Associates, 41 Madison Ave., 5th floor, New York, NY 10010-2202. Entries must be received by Sept. 30.

Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address above for a complete set of rules.

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