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Hats off to Jalapeños!

By Alana Sugar, August 1, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
While people the world over include a variety of chili peppers in their cooking, jalapeños are a great place to start for heat novices. After a too spicy bowl of soup in India made me feel like I was dying, I kept my distance from all peppers for a good while. But I gradually learned that jalapeños are peppers that my palate enjoys! I bet yours will too. Ranging in color from bright green to red, they’re up to three inches long and rank fairly low on the Scoville scale, a measure of the units of heat produced by the capsaicin, the natural compound in peppers that makes them spicy. To put it in perspective, bell peppers rank zero Scoville units; jalapeños rank 5,000 Scoville units; and habañeros, some of the hottest peppers in the world, rank up to 300,000 Scoville units. Jalapeños are incredibly versatile. You can enjoy them fresh, roasted, stuffed, pickled, canned, jarred and dried. Once dried and smoked, they develop a deeper, sweeter flavor and are called chipotle peppers. Look for fresh jalapeños with smooth, tight skin, no bruising or soft spots. Use fresh or store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to two weeks. Wash before eating and, remember, the ribs and seeds contain a good deal of the heat. Remove both if you want a milder taste. If you’ve shied away from chili peppers like I have, you may be in for a nice surprise with some of these dishes: Do you tip your hat to jalapeños? Got a favorite snack or recipe? Let me know!
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce




NoRecipeRequired says ...
Love these freshly chopped into a salsa, but they are even better roasted on the grill first. Yum!!
08/01/2011 2:44:16 PM CDT
Youssef says ...
Sounds like a tasty treat. Looking forward to trying it out.
08/01/2011 3:14:14 PM CDT
Martha (Marty) Last says ...
We slice jalapenos and pickle them. That way we have some all year round.
08/01/2011 4:12:39 PM CDT
Jorie says ...
Whatever you would use sautéd onions for; add jalepenos to the skillet. Especially good with piergoi, on chicken or steak. YUM!
08/01/2011 6:34:19 PM CDT
Anne Dunham says ...
I shared your wariness about peppers. I grew up in Iowa when neither hot peppers nor tortillas had dared to cross the border. When I moved to California many years ago, I discovered a few culinary gems unknown to Iowans (this included garlic). But when I ordered chile verde in Pacific Grove quite a few years back, I discovered what chiles can do. I had both beer and water handy, but after a bite of chile verde, I could not tell the difference. I have since come to know my chiles and jalapeños are now my friend, actually my addiction.
08/01/2011 9:14:41 PM CDT
Julie Sardeson says ...
I substitute my homegrown jalapenos into the Japanese Pickles recipe on the Whole Foods Website instead of the red chili peppers. They come out great and super spicy!
08/03/2011 8:01:52 PM CDT
todd gregory says ...
I love anything spicy. Really enjoyed this article on jalapenos. One of my favorite things to make is jalapeno margaritas. You slice fresh jalapenos seeds and all and drop in tequila, infuse for 2-3 days then use with margarita mix. Then I put a slice on the edge of my glass.
08/04/2011 2:18:25 PM CDT
Amy says ...
Jalapenos RULE...period!!
08/04/2011 4:13:06 PM CDT
Nicole La Placa says ...
I LOVE spicy food and jalapenos are one of my favorites to use in soups and salsas.
08/06/2011 6:48:54 PM CDT
Lana says ...
searched for jalapeno in recipes, and found this among many others in results, did various other searches, for dips, spring onions, jalapeno spring onion dip, etc. trying to find recipe for great whole foods dip, just had hand dipped jalapeno spring onion, if anyone, knows this recipe, please, share, thank you!
02/27/2013 1:03:53 AM CST