A surfeit of jalapenos. What to do!?
- GarlicandGinger Aug 8, 2007 12:49 PM
My summer garden is cranking out jalapenos like they're going out of style, and I want to make sure that I use them up instead of watching them slowly rot on my kitchen counter. So, if you could help me sort out the following that would be much appreciated:
1.) How best to store hot peppers? (I've heard the freezer, but any other suggestions?)
2.) Basic recipes where they'll add a nice zingy flavor (I'm thinking pastas, ethnic cuisines, etc.)
3.) Recipes where jalapenos can really shine, such as salsas
4.) Unusual ways to use jalapenos, such as jellies, etc.
If you have any suggestions for the above I would be grateful. I love these damn things and want to make sure I get maximal use out of them.
My Dad used to make a couple hot sauces, my favorite by far was a jalapeno hot sauces, and they keep for sooo long in the fridge! If you're still looking for a good recipe for hot sauce, I'd be happy to ask my Dad for the recipe. I'm a bit interested myself, although the one thing I remember as a kid is seeing him on the deck with a mask on doing it b/c of all the chili fumes! : )
I've made a few batches of my own hot sauces from mixes of jalapeno, seranno and habaneros. It's pretty easy to do. I slice the jalapenos / peppers into 1/4" rounds (keep the seeds in), throw them in a pot of boiling water 4X the height of the peppers then bring them down to a simmer until about 1/2 the water is gone. Then, cool the mess down, throw it in the food processor and puree. Strain through a strainer (to let the finer pulp through), then you've got your pepper base to work with.
My best batch has involved fresh grapefruit, lime, mango, honey, ginger, tumeric (for color), and a tiny bit of champagne vineagar. (It's pretty easy to find good, commercial peppery/vinegary sauces, much harder to find sweeter, fruit based sauces that aren't too sweet, that provide a neutral/floral heat to use in Thai, Chinese, island recipes, to say nothing of being great on omlettes).
I usually store it the batch in a spare growler (gallon beer bottle) and age it in the fridge (or outside if it's winter) for a little bit before using. I've had batches that have kept for a couple years and still tasted good. My sauces are still on the thin side (haven't quite figure out the trick for adding body without using corn starch or other thickeners. I'm going to try okra with the next batch to see if it will make it thicken up).
They make good pickles, either whole or sliced. You might let some ripen to full redness for some color in a jar.
Here's an old CH recipe for Jalapeno Jelly: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/279661
I, myself, will put them in just about anything. I mince them and add to ground beef/chicken/turkey when making burgers. Throw them in a pot with ground meat, beans, corn, onions, etc. and use as burrito/taco filling or over pasta as chili mac. I'll add them to mac and cheese, cheese grits, pasta and barbeque sauces, and more.
I also like jalapenos mixed in with cream cheese. Great on sandwiches instead of mayo. Or you can stuff shrimp with the jalapeno cream cheese, wrap with bacon, and grill. Really amazing.
The shrimp sounds really good. But I'm having a hard time visualizing how you'd stuff them and also contain everything with the bacon so it doesn't explode on the grill.
Do you just butterfly the shrimp and spread the cream cheese inside? And what's the smallest size you can get away with? 21-30 ct? Thanks!
I add them to salads in place of green pepper (just the green exterior).
Freezing really does work and they seem to last forever.