What would you do with six jalapeños?
October 20, 2010 7:03 PM   Subscribe

We received six jalapeño peppers in the CSA share this week. What should we do with them? Caveats: vegetarian and gluten-free. Dairy's fine.

Additionally, do they freeze well? Any easy canning/preserving ideas in case we don't use them all?
posted by anthropoid to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Is this odd in your area of the world or something? This sounds to me like "I have 6 pickles, what do I do with them?" You eat them. Raw, grilled, minced up into anything you like. Stuff them with cheese and bake them. Throw away the stem, slice them any way you like, get rid of the seeds if they're too hot for you. Eat them. I go through a jar or two a month on pizza, in burgers, on sandwiches, just about anything can do with a pepper.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:12 PM on October 20, 2010

You can chop them up, sautee them with some onion or alone, and put them in anything you want to be hot -- tacos, burritos, stir-fry, boca burgers, and eggs (if you eat them) are all great with a little jalapeno, assuming you like heat.

Or you can just make jalapeno poppers, because jalapeno poppers are amazing. The eggs and breadcrumbs in that recipe are optional -- you can easily use milk and gluten-free crumbs instead. I guarantee you you'll eat all six in one sitting!
posted by vorfeed at 7:12 PM on October 20, 2010

They freeze. Also, guacamole.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:14 PM on October 20, 2010

Best answer: I buy a whole bunch of jalapeno peppers at the farmer's market every summer, wash 'em, pack 'em in a jar, and fill the jar with sherry. Put it in the fridge, though that's not essential. Use the peppers whenever for chili, eggs, a batch of kale, etc. Throw a spoonful of the sherry into soups. (Add more sherry as needed. Add more peppers as needed. In theory, the same jar could last forever.)

(Side story: the first time I did this, I bought 25 peppers for 25 cents, around 1974. They had been grown by the farmer's kids. The following week, the peppers were priced at 5 cents apiece. Law of supply and demand in action.)
posted by beagle at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

We chopped some up and put them in the freezer in a ziploc bag. Now when we're making omelets or something we can just grab the freezer bag and shake a small handful into the pan. Keep in mind the seeds are the really hot part, so save the seeds if you want them to be hot, discard the seeds if you want them to be milder.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:23 PM on October 20, 2010

Use them to enhotten anything that needs to be hotted up. I'm assuming you're unfamiliar with them, so I suggest that either you remove the seeds (which contribute a lot of the heat) before mincing, or slice them into 2-3 mm thick wheels that you can easily pick out of your food if you find them too hot. You can leave the seeds in, in this case. Faster and easier all around.

As a guideline, I like my food moderately hot (= hotter than many Americans do), and I find that one or two jalapeños, sliced into wheels, is about right for a recipe that makes 4 servings. This is true even if there's something like Tex-Mex chili or curry powder also present, but I would not add any more pure chili like cayenne powder.

They'll keep for a few weeks in the vegetable crisper. They'll keep their heat even if they go a little soft and wrinkly.
posted by Quietgal at 7:28 PM on October 20, 2010

First blush answer: jalapeno mac and cheese. I had this at a soul food place and was blown away. Make it count: use good cheese and gluten free pasta or pasta-like substance.
posted by swedish_fishy at 7:29 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Much as I like nachos drowned in all sorts of junk, per Wikipedia, "the original nachos consisted of fried corn tortillas covered with melted cheddar cheese and pickled jalapeño peppers." Slice thinly or cook briefly, put on chips, melt on cheese; simple and good. Also excellent in grilled cheese and other similar sandwiches.

You may want to use gloves, or just bags over your hands if you don't have rubber gloves handy, while prepping the peppers -- 'may' as some are less fiery than others, and some people have tougher hides. But best to err on the side of caution if you are a jalapeno novice.

If I had six jalapenos I didn't want to use immediately, I'd process them briefly in a food processor, and freeze the resulting chunky slurry in little pellets I could fire into sauces, stews, chilies, &c.
posted by kmennie at 7:36 PM on October 20, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses, everyone. I just want to clarify that the fact that we have a lot of fresh jalapeños all at once is the crux of the question.

Helpful: recipes that require many peppers at once or ways of preserving them.

Not as helpful: how to use a jalapeño (I'm familiar with the treatment of a single pepper and I know how to put them onto nachos.)
posted by anthropoid at 7:47 PM on October 20, 2010

If you do want to use them up all at once, in a pot of chili or tortilla soup for example, try cutting them in half lengthwise and roasting them skin side up under the broiler until the skins char and peel away easily. It's a great way to mellow the heat out and bring out the sweetness.
posted by contraption at 8:03 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Disclaimer: I'm a meat eater, but this may work for you.

I make grilled stuffed jalapenos that fly off the table. What i do is half them and clean them out then I stuff them with a cream cheese mixture ( usually a little sausage too) that changes at my whim. Then wrap them in bacon and grill them until the bacon is done. I would think that you could swap for fake bacon, I've never cooked it and I'm not sure if you eat it, but it could work.
posted by Buckshot at 8:13 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In this thread, desuetude shared her pickling recipe. I have watched her pickle peppers and can vouch for how easy it is, and how tasty the results are. I wouldn't have thought of six as a large amount, but you could certainly make a small jar of pickles with them.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:21 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Which reminds me that I have another batch that needs pickling! Oh, and I add a pinch of salt to that recipe, too.

Also do not underestimate how long you can leave chiles on the counter. Weeks. At least. I frequently have some ripening all the way to red. They get a little milder and fruitier.
posted by desuetude at 8:29 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Shred in a food processor with tomato, onion, and cilantro to make juicy and delicious salsa. Proportions to taste.

beagle, supply and demand would predict that after you bought loads of peppers they'd raise the price to match the high demand. That's in the short term, and then in the long term the number of peppers grown would increase and the price would fall back down to what it had originally been.
posted by foursentences at 9:34 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

They did raise the price- 1c each to 5c each. I like pork chilli with Greek yoghurt and jalepenos. Make a huge batch With onion, tinned tomatoes and sweet paprika, and freeze it all.
posted by jojobobo at 10:18 PM on October 20, 2010

I used to grow peppers and often had 30 or 40 at a time so ran into this a lot. For only 6? I'd probably eat a couple then make a batch of guacamole with the rest and freeze it in little tubs. fill it all the way to the top so no air gets frozen in there and defrost in the fridge. It keeps great for several months.
posted by fshgrl at 10:39 PM on October 20, 2010

Pickled Jalapenos are great - especially diced up and put into bread or chili.

If you have a smoker or a smoking box for your grill, you could also try this:

1/4 of a sweet onion (diced)
2 oz cream cheese
1/2 tblsp. turbinado sugar
2 tsp. bbq rub (or you could just throw in some cumin, paprika, and chili powder to taste)

Remove the tops from the jalapenos and core out the seeds and membranes. (If you need to, split the jalapenos in half to make this easier.)

Mix the diced onion, cream cheese, sugar, and spices. Fill the peppers (or each pepper half) with the cream cheese mixture. If you split the peppers, use toothpicks to match them back together.

Place in a smoker that has been preheated to 250 degrees for ~1 hour.

Normally I do a non-vegetarian version of these that also wraps the peppers with bacon (and is cooked a bit longer as a result) - I make them in batches of 20 and they disappear almost as quickly as I take them off the smoker!
posted by BZArcher at 4:33 AM on October 21, 2010

When my CSA yielded a big sack of mixed hot peppers a few weeks ago I used this recipe to make homemade Rooster (Sriracha) sauce. Worked out really well, but make sure you wash your hands (or wear gloves) and all cooking surfaces really well afterwards.
posted by iona at 5:10 AM on October 21, 2010

beagle, supply and demand would predict that after you bought loads of peppers they'd raise the price to match the high demand. That's in the short term, and then in the long term the number of peppers grown would increase and the price would fall back down to what it had originally been.

foursentences They did raise the price. I bought 25 for 25 cents, that's a penny apiece. It was about half their total supply. Next week they had raised the price to a nickel apiece. Regarding the long term, I noticed this summer that hot peppers in abundant supply were selling for a quarter apiece, so that's 400% inflation from the nickel level, or 2400% from the penny price, in about 35 years, which must be more than overall inflation, either way.

posted by beagle at 6:04 AM on October 21, 2010

I like jalapeno jelly a lot. It's not hard to make.
posted by box at 6:06 AM on October 21, 2010

Marinate in vodka, fill with a soft mix of chocolate & the vodka, dip in melted chocolate. Refrigerate.
posted by monkey closet at 6:10 AM on October 21, 2010

Yeah, six of them isn't really that many, and probably isn't worth all the work of pickling them. Judging by your marked best answers, you don't want to make poppers (why not? they're delicious!), but I'd just mince then and freeze them in an airtight container. That way, you can add the spicy tang of fresh peppers to everything you cook throughout the winter. This late in the season, you're probably not going to continue to get them in the CSA.
posted by booknerd at 7:06 AM on October 21, 2010

Yeah six jalapenos really isn't so very many. Just add them to omelettes or soups or anything savory really. You'll use them up in no time. Six is not really worth the trouble of doing anything special to them.
posted by peacheater at 8:05 AM on October 21, 2010

seconding buckshot's ABTs above, can make 12 of em and are pretty damn good

if your not a huge fan of heat, MAKE SURE YOU DE-RIB THEM (take out the white things the seeds cling to inside the pepper) if you like the heat, then leave them in there and pack the cram cheese in there

ABTs are pretty awesome...

and Nthing that you can freeze them easily
posted by knockoutking at 8:39 AM on October 21, 2010

Marinate in vodka, use the vodka for Bloody Marys.

Alternatively, cut them in half, scoop out their guts, and stuff them with polenta and cheddar cheese.

What you can do with them highly varies based on how hot they are. Some jalapenos are relatively mild. Some are quite hot. If they're terrifically hot, and you don't go for Bloody Marys, I'd probably just throw them whole into a ziploc freezer bag and use them as needed, one at a time. Their texture will be unappetizing, but you'll be throwing them into an omelet.

If you're imagining preserving them by drying or whatever, I'm not sure you can do that with jalapenos. I've only done this with relatively thin-skinned peppers which dry out relatively quickly without getting moldy.

One thing that might be appealing is to roast them outside on a charcoal grill, skin them, and freeze them. They would be delicious. Don't do this inside and wear gloves when removing the skin if you do that.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:36 AM on October 21, 2010

Home made Rooster will use all those peppers. I didn't have good luck with the recipe though. All the brining and simmering reduced the fire to unnoticeable and let me with sugary vinegar. A skilled chef could probably use the recipe as the basis for something great but I'm not that chef.
posted by chairface at 12:17 PM on October 21, 2010

Jalapeno cornbread is great, though I don't have a specific recipe -- just search and you should get lots of hits for it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:59 PM on October 21, 2010

Response by poster: Living in Brooklyn and eating 50% - 75% of my meals out, six of anything is a lot! (Thus we share the share.) I think we'll sherry pickle most, and simply mince up the rest and freeze for future use. Though stuffing with polenta and cheddar cheese sounds amazing.
posted by anthropoid at 6:56 PM on October 21, 2010

beagle -- sorry about that! You had it completely right from the start. As you've probably inferred I misunderstood and thought you'd initially spent $0.25 per pepper.
posted by foursentences at 6:03 PM on October 25, 2010

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