Giving Thanks for Turkeys, Leftovers and Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserves

Hamptons Wild turkeys

Unconcerned Wild Turkeys in Southampton - Thanksgiving 2012


Thanksgiving is that easy holiday – it feels as comfortable as a warm fire on a cool fall evening.  A bit more laid back than most – it has always been my husband Sean’s favorite day.  A casual feast with family and friends – what could be better?

After the upheaval of Sandy – I feel the exact same way.  A loss of power and a few days stuck at home is a small price to pay when so many have lost so much – we all have something to be thankful for.  At Josephine’s Feast! our cooking schedule was disrupted for a week.  Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserves were on the schedule and is something I love to make.  Just after Irene hit last year, Quail Hill Farm in Amaganset had an amazing assortment of hot peppers standing defiantly on the vine  long after the hurricane had left.  I thought the peppers were outstanding little devils to resist the storm and set out to harvest all that I could. In the kitchen our first vintage of Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserves was born.  And it was amazing.

I waited patiently this year watching the peppers ripened on the vines on the farm and placed a substantial order with Kate the market manager at Quail Hill.  We worked together at the Montauk Farmer’s Market and I told her that I had great plans for a second vintage of Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserves.  I would take all the hot peppers that I could get – not realizing that history was about to repeat itself

As the day approached for my pick up, the frankenstorm was looming.  Kate assured me the peppers were would be fine in her care.  Packed away in refrigerators.  The storm hit and it hit hard wiping out electricity on long island and nyc.  It took us a week but Sean and my brother Chris finally picked up the peppers.  They were just maganificent – as was Quail Hill Farm, a testament to the miracle of mother nature.

Baskets of Hot Peppers

They trucked a couple hundred pounds of red hot peppers to my kitchen in Astoria, and my my staff & I car pooled over the 59th street bridge to slice, pickle, cook and preserve – what we all do best.

Mix of Hot Peppers

We had sweet red peppers that were so perfect it was hard to cook them – they were a masterpiece of beautiful crimson set against bright green crates.  We had green and red jalepenos that we picked in a brine that was scented with anise and coriander.  We had Habernaro and Pardon peppers – a Spanish hot pepper that I had never worked with.  Tasting it mindlessly I realized it was far hotter than I expected and it burned my lips but had a delicious flavor.  I would balance the heat of the Habernaro with the Pardon Pepper in a new preserve  – a Red Hot Chili Pepper Jam.  The color is a glorious red and the heat is quite strong.

And then there were the chilis – waiting to be sliced simmered in an apple cider based preserve.  That would become out second vintage of the Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserve.  Sean jokes that we might want to name it “After the Hurricane” – I thought why not?

My team and I cooked, crafted and packed the hot peppers into the most wonderful preserves.  And in the end absolutely nothing tastes better with a plowman’s lunch or a Double Decker Hurricane Hot Peppered Preserve Turkey Club Sandwich. This delicious mayonnaise blend is absolutely simple and turns Thanksgiving leftovers into a FEAST!

Turkey Leftover Sandwich

Double Decker Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserve Turkey Club Sandwich

1/4 pound Sliced Turkey Breast – leftover from Thanksgiving is best

3 slices of Rye Bread


JF After the Hurricane Hot Pepper Preserves

Romaine Lettuce

Sliced tomato

Toast the bread

Turkey Leftover Sandwich

  1. Salt & pepper the turkey breast.  My husband likes to heat the turkey slices in the pan which I find most delicious.
  2. Add 2T of Mayonnaise to 1T of JF After the Hurricane Preserves and mix well.
  3. Pull off 4 to 5 leaves of romaine and slice the tomato extra thin
  4. Spread the mayonnaise/pepper preserves on two slices of bread and stack bacon, turkey, tomato and romaine in that order.  Add a second slice of bread and repeat finishing off with the last and  final slice of bread.
  5. Enjoy the Feast!

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