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Jalapeno Balsamic Wine Reduction

Posted on December 19, 2011.


If anything exemplifies my cooking style, it is combining sweet and spicy elements to a dish to accentuate the true flavors of peppers (not just the heat). Most peppers have a wonderful flavor that can be masked by the fire that hits your tongue when you bite into them. I learned this from a Mexican neighbor of mine when I was very young. My mother used to grow her own jalapeno peppers, and we were in the backyard with our neighbor picking vegetables when he encouraged me to try a raw jalapeno. I bit into one and thought my mouth had caught on fire. I immediately gulped down a glass of water, which only made it worse. He then handed me a pack of sugar and told me to coat my tongue with it. The fire in my mouth subsided almost immediately. That was my first lesson in balancing the ingredients!

This is a very simple sauce to make and it is excellent for use on meats, especially a pepper encrusted steak au poivre. Since the sugars in the balsamic vinegar and the jam counteract the heat from the pepper, it is not really that spicy, so I would encourage someone who does not normally like spicy foods to try this sauce.


1/2 stick butter
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced thin
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup port wine
2 tablespoons berry jam


In a pre-heated pan on medium to high heat, melt butter.

As soon as the butter foams, add the jalapenos and cook on both sides until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes).

Stir in balsamic vinegar, port wine, and jam and cook until reduced (about 5-8 minutes).

Reduce to simmer until ready to serve.


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Posted By: Chief Foodie Officer