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A surfeit of jalapenos. What to do!?

Hello, folks.

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.

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  1. I myself have never made hot sauce, but I'm wondering if someone out there has a good recipe that uses jalapenos....? The vinegar (that's typically a component) should probably preserve their goodness for a long time :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: 4Snisl

      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! : )

      1. re: roasted138

        I don't know about the OP, but I'd love to see your dad's hot sauce recipe. I've been fooling around with the idea of making my own hot sauce for a while now.

        1. re: wawajb

          Awesome! I'll email him today! I'll post it here when I get it.

      2. re: 4Snisl

        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).

      3. They make good pickles, either whole or sliced. You might let some ripen to full redness for some color in a jar.

        1. I have the same predicament. I'm anxiously awaiting more recs!

          1 Reply
          1. re: elizabeththinks

            I don't have a recipe for these, but my local produce market sells candied jalapenos - they're in a syrup, canned....and surprisingly good!

          2. 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.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mojoeater

              Along the same lines as jalapeno jelly is candied jalapenos which is really addicting on crackers and cream cheese. Or, on thumbprint cookies.

              http://www.jalapenomadness.com/jalape...

              1. re: mojoeater

                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!

              2. I add them to salads in place of green pepper (just the green exterior).

                Freezing really does work and they seem to last forever.

                1. I love jalapeño jelly and butter. I also always like them in fajitas, tex-mex style salad. I would think they would be good in a cream style pasta like alfredo with chorizo or some other type of meat. I would also think something that had to do with chocolate. I love sweet and spicy together. I would also think they would be good just with a bunch of roasted veggies with some pasta and butter maybe some parmesan.

                  1. I like making a fiery version of stuffed peppers with jalapenos. Take some italian sausage, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and an egg and mix in a bowl. Then slice the jalapeno along one side and carefully deseed it. Then fill with the sausage mixture and bake till the mixture is cooked through and the pepper is soft. You can also pan fry it, but because you have to make the slit to stuff the jalapeno, it gets very messy in the pan. Serve ontop of marinara sauce.

                    You can also roast big pieces of the jalapenos with some olive oils and breadcrumbs and eat as an appetizer.

                    Mario Batali's books Molto Italiano also has some good recipes that use jalapenos in pasta and shrimp dishes.

                    1. When life gives you a boat load of Jalapenos... You invite friends over for a game night and serve Jalapeno Poppers...

                      Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers if you are an extra nice host! ;)

                      --Dommy!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Dommy

                        See http://avenuefood.com/2007/08/07/spic... for what looks like a good recipe. Also, tip for keeping some on hand.

                        1. re: Dommy

                          My dad makes those. Cooks them on the grill. They're absolutely amazing. No comparison whatsoever to those breaded-and-fried things you get at the gas station.

                        2. I cut off the stem end, take out most seeds, stuff with blue cheese, and wrap in frozen puff pastry...bake at 350 until golden...yummy!!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: crosby_p

                            My singular but enduring pregnancy craving has been blue cheese, so I stuffed my jalapenos with blue and cream cheese this week. i removed stem and seeds, but damn those things were spicy!

                          2. Here are a few things I like to do with Jalapenos...

                            Stuff with cheese, wrap with bacon and grill them.

                            cut into quarters, skewer on a hatpin or knitting needle and stuff into a bottle of Vodka (I prefer Tito's) Let sit for a few weeks, and you have the makings for some killer bloody marys

                            using a cheese grater (use the smaller holes), grate three roma tomatoes, a half onion, a clove of garlic, and a jalapeno pepper (seeds and all). Makes a quick salsa, and the texture from the grater is unique, and it isn't the same if you use a blender or knife or food processor. I think its worth the extra effort.

                            For asian food, cut into slivers, and boil in some soy sauce with some lime juice. until the soy sauce reduces a bit. I like putting a few of these into some sushi rolls with some cream cheese and salmon, or with tuna.

                            Mince up some jalapeno (in food processor, cheese grater or knife is fine) add to some ranch dressing to spice it up a bit. Add a little minced cilantro and some lime juice as well. If too much was added, put a little sour cream in to tone it back down.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Homero

                              Bless you, 6 years later! Your suggestions are exactly what I was looking for, as I have the same "problem" as the OP. Thank you so much!

                            2. make chili pakora!

                              And, yeah the freezer works great. I freeze bags of them whole and toss them in soups, beans, etc in the winter. After they thaw I pull them out and chop them.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: odkaty

                                I freeze mine like that, but I usually remove stem and seeds first. This year I'm not going to have enough to freeze, I'm afraid--I don't know if it's too much shade where they're growing or if we've got Tex-Mex deers this year, but something's interfering with my abundance of jalapenos.

                                1. re: odkaty

                                  In desperation I took the bowl full of jalepenos that would have rotted while I was on vacation and threw them in a ziplock and into the freezer. I'm happy to report that they survived, are still tasty, and I think they're easier to chop/slice finely when still frozen. Handling them while still frozen also minimized the amount of oil transfered to my hands. (It always occurs time right after I've chopped half a pepper that perhaps I should be wearing gloves...this time it wasn't an issue. Only had to wash my hands once before I was de-peppered. My skin is pretty sensitive to both hot pepper oil and being dried out by excessive hand washing so it's a big plus for me.)

                                  And they freeze without sticking to each other too badly, so no need to freeze individually and then bag.

                                2. I had the same problem, so I did a lot of internet research and came up with two fabulous recipes. The first is Jalapeno Grilled Pork. The recipe is from Southern Living magazine and it came out really good and nice and spicy. The link is:

                                  http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                                  The second recipe I found is for Jalapeno stuffed and grilled shrimp. This one I got off the Food Network website and it is also really good. I don't grill with the skin on and it comes out great. You may need to use toothpicks to keep the filling in the shrimp, but the flavors are terrific. I made a lot more than the recipe called for and it still worked great. The recipe link is:

                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: blondie76

                                    Mmmm chili pakora sounds grrreeeat, hah?i sound like tony the tiger

                                    anyway i was gonna suggest another S. Asian recipe: jalapeno stuffed with spices and stir fried. You first make a spice mix of about 1 heaping tbs each of dried mango powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, and a good pinch of salt. You then slit the whole jalapenos open (if you want you can devein them, but i'd keep the insides for the heat) and stuff the spice mixture inside. Add about 1tbs oil to a wok and stir fry on high heat for a few moments, then turn heat down and cover, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, don't worry if some of the spice falls out, but try to stir gently to prevent that. do not add water. when they jalapenos are well cooked, squeeze 1 tsp lemon juice, and stir in some chopped cilantro. serve with basmati rice or some type of flat bread, plus yoghurt to cool the heat.

                                  2. Best way to store them is to "parch" them, then freeze -- parch them by putting them on an unoiled pan under the broiler, turning each as the skin on the side facing up browns and blisters so that they are (relatively) evenly cooked. Once they cool, you can peel and freeze them for months.

                                    1. I wash and slice them and then just cover them with white vinegar. They pickle beautifully and I find I can use them for at least a year without any loss of quality.

                                      1. I recently was at a little taqueria and they had the jalapenos all grilled and almost tasted like pickle, with black pepper all over them,but they had roasted them or grilled them first. So they were not raw. Customers were welcomed to taste, they were just such a great little appetizer. Oh and they were left intact, seeds and all biting around the stem. HOT and yummy

                                          1. My 3 favorites
                                            1. Jalapeño jelly, very easy to make even for a non canner
                                            2. Cowboy candy, I seriously could put this in and on anything....
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/552154

                                            3. Freeze, either whole when I'm feeling lazy, or half and seed and freeze.

                                            1. I recently stuffed them with goat cheese and figs, wrapped in thick cut deep smoked bacon and grilled until the bacon was done. Freaking fabulous.

                                              1. candied / pickled jalapeno pepper slices -- makes a great holiday gift. Wonderful with sandwiches all year long!