When thinking of what to do with jalapenos, a lot of interesting ideas come to mind. Maybe you’ve just harvested a large supply from your garden, or would like to purchase some at the grocery store and use them in recipes.
Some ideas, like stuffed jalapenos are easy, while candied jalapenos are little more involved. No matter what you choose to do with them, their iconic heat can be offset by sweet flavors, complemented with cheese and even spice up your pickling recipes.
Before we get started, you can dull some of the heat of jalapeno recipes. Simply boil them in water for 5-15 minutes, depending on your preferences for heat. The longer you boil them, the less spicy they’ll be!
Stuffed jalapeno peppers
If you’ve ever had jalapeno poppers, you know that the blending of jalapenos and cheese can only lead to satisfying flavors. Wrap your jalapeno poppers in bacon or add some mushrooms, and a whole new world of ideas will open up to you.
Considering the following, which is a stuffed jalapeno recipe.
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup cream cheese
- A dozen halved jalapenos
Mix your cheeses in a bowl. Fill your jalapenos (seeds and ribs removed) and cook in your oven at 400 degrees F. It’s an extremely simple recipe, which you can wrap with bacon slices as well.
Other recipes change things up a bit, by using parmesan cheese and mayo instead of cream cheese. You could also dice your jalapenos, cook them with garlic and olive oil, and instead of using them in a cream cheese jalapeno popper recipe, use it to stuff portabella mushrooms!
Fresh jalapenos can also be used to make chip dip. Complement their flavor with small red peppers, or use them in a green pepper sauce for spaghetti.
Pickled jalapeno peppers
The main reason for pickling or canning jalapeno peppers is for storage. Pickling them will change their flavor and soften them. You can use the following recipe for pickled jalapenos.
- 20 jalapenos
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. oregano
Boil all of your ingredients together. Before adding the jalapenos, cut them widthwise, then stir them into the boiling mixture.
Once cooled, strain the jalapenos out, keeping the liquid. Fill mason jars to the top with jalapenos, then pour in the pickling mixture to fill the rest. You don’t want any oxygen left in the jar when you seal the lids on.
Often, we prefer canned jalapenos not pickled, simply for long-term storage. In this case, the recipe is much simpler. All you need, in terms of ingredients, is:
Start with a large pot of boiling water. Cut your jalapeno peppers into halves lengthwise and boil them for about 5 minutes.
Remove them from the water and pack tightly into your mason jars. Add ½ tbsp. vinegar and fill the rest of the jar with a fresh supply of boiling water. The canning process itself is more complex than the uses of jalapenos, and requires a pressure canner for best results.
An effective alternative to jarred jalapenos is to use a food dehydrator machine. You can place whole jalapenos with their seeds left in, on dehydrator trays. This works equally well with sliced jalapenos.
The end result essentially has its moisture reduced by about 95%. They retain their natural enzymes, nutrients and flavors, which makes dehydrating an easy and reliable way to store all of your fresh produce.
Jalapeno juice, syrup and candied jalapenos
Jalapeno juice can actually be mad with a juicer. It’s a surprisingly harmonious complement to fruit juices and fresh, green vegetables like cucumber and kale. The jalapeno pepper plant is, itself, a vegetable and is an effective ingredient for weight loss.
We’ve covered the process of making candied jalapenos and syrup in a previous article. There are a ton of delicious kinds, including chews, cocktail drinks and hard candy, just to name a few.
Using a small food dehydrator will help you enjoy your fresh jalapenos in many new ways, and preserve them authentically.