Jalapeno recipe for people who don't like jalapenos?
February 5, 2021 10:03 AM   Subscribe

We needed 1 jalapeno pepper for a recipe, but the store only had them in bags. So I now have 4-5 jalapenos that I'd like to use. But none of us likes food that is too spicy. We all have a mild tolerance, but we'd never choose to put sriracha on something on purpose (though we own it and cook with it and happily eat those dishes). I'd love links to recipes, ideally vegan.

We currently have tomatoes, red peppers and about half a mango in the house, so maybe a salsa option? Or would that still be way too firey (AND still leave us with unused peppers)? Is candied jalapeño (cowboy candy) less intense?
posted by Mchelly to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you want to stall for time, jalapeños can be frozen, as long as you're going to cook them in the when you do use them.
posted by BrashTech at 10:09 AM on February 5, 2021 [11 favorites]

For a pretty mild salsa, I take a can of tomatoes, ~1/3rd of an onion (diced), a handful of cilantro, a tablespoon of lime juice, and half a jalapeno (diced) and put it all in the blender (then add salt, more lime juice etc as needed). It's tasty and pretty mild, although jalapenos vary a lot in terms of how spicy they are so maybe start with just half of the half and add more to taste.

I make a similar guacamole -- an avocado, some lime juice/diced onion/cilantro, and diced jalapeno to taste. No blender, though. Nice and chunky.

A lot of curry recipes call for a serrano (or other spicy) chile; when I chop those my hands burn forever so I just use jalapenos instead.

Otherwise (as I see on preview!), I dice jalapenos and then put them in a freezer bag to use later.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 10:12 AM on February 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

The important part is to remove all the seeds AND the pale/white membrane that holds the seeds. That's where all the heat lives. If you really want to neutralize it, put on gloves, remove the top and tip (concentrated membrane there is not worth trying to cut away), and halve each pepper and then just slice through on each side of the membranes (there's usually 3, I think) and entirely discard those pieces, if you don't want to try shaving them out. That'll leave you with slivers of what mostly tastes like a nice fruity green chile that are very freezeable (and can be chopped frozen super easy) for later use.

But for additional neutralization, capsaicin is fat-soluble, so the more fat you can surround them with the better. I like Jalapeno Popper Chicken or Dip, or if you'll be making velveeta-rotel dip this weekend you can make a big batch of that and then set some aside to dice your de-spined jalapeno bits into and see if the flavor is acceptable.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2021 [10 favorites]

They're more mild when roasted (remove the seeds, pith). Roasted tomatoes, peppers, and roasted jalapenos pulsed together in a food processor sounds like a good salsa. Do you have some whole garlic cloves or sliced onion you could add to the roasting pan? Add salt and pepper, lime juice, maybe add in some mango for sweetness after.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 10:17 AM on February 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Can you smoke them (outside, on the grill)? Then they are mellow and rich and nice.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oooh, roasting! Does that stink up the house, or can you do it just with the exhaust fan on?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2021

Where I grew up in the south, instead of making salsa as a condiment my parents and grandparents made pepper sauce--essentially just peppers, garlic, and salt in vinegar. It's a very tasty and versatile condiment and nowhere near as hot as eating an entire pepper. I can't eat greens or beans without a few dashes of pepper sauce... I mean I can but I don't want to. It's an endlessly customizable approach, too--add in whatever herbs or spices you like, use different vinegars, add in pieces of celery or carrot or onion or other aromatic veg, you name it. The jar in my fridge right now is a bunch of mild nardellos and a few jalapenos, a few cloves of garlic, and some sage leaves from my yard. Marvelous.

Here's one of thousands of example recipes online.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:25 AM on February 5, 2021 [5 favorites]

I've been making this for a savory breakfast using cream of wheat instead of rava; I use about half of a small jalapeno for a serving and refrigerate the rest.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:26 AM on February 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

I have a recipe for Jamaican rice and beans that uses jalapenos, and it's gentle and mild, with the peppers as just a little spark in the creamy coconut milk. This is similar to my recipe, only I use a jalapeno (or two, if they're small), cut into a very small dice, rather than the whole Scotch Bonnet (which is MUCH hotter). Obviously, that stays in the recipe to eat rather than being removed at the end.

We like a little heat so I don't always remove the seeds, but if you don't want much, you can absolutely do that, as Lyn Never stressed above.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:39 AM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

You can use up one in this vegan nacho 'cheese' sauce
posted by AFII at 10:45 AM on February 5, 2021

Gah, sorry, I missed the vegan request, so ignore my recipes. But do cut the membrane out, and then you should have a very workable fruity pepper. Spanish rice, vegetarian refried beans, diced very fine into a creamy pasta sauce or coconutty curry, it should provide simply a flavor note but no heat or prominent flavor.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:47 AM on February 5, 2021

A mild jalapeño peach jam is nice. I’ll bet jalapeño mango would be lovely also.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:50 AM on February 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

My vote is for roasting or quick pickling. Mmmm, pickled jalapeños.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:04 AM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

This recipe for quinoa chowder includes one jalapeno, and it is SO DELICIOUS. My entire family is addicted to it. (We do not include the hard boiled egg topping.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2021

warning: if you roast with seeds and ribs, you're basically making chiles torreados - which will burn more than raw, ime. not mild.
posted by j_curiouser at 11:33 AM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yep, pickle them so they can sit in the fridge door until you need another one for another recipe.
posted by aniola at 11:38 AM on February 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Cornbread with jalapenos is very tasty (if you eat dairy, add sour cream and cheese; use the larggest grater option so the cheese is in chunks).
Corn chowder benefits from chopped jalapeno.
Halve them, seed them, freeze them, and you'll have them for salsa for a while.
posted by theora55 at 12:43 PM on February 5, 2021

not vegan but jalapenos go great in shakshuka (treat as described above, removing seeds and membrane.) The more fat, the more you tame the chili heat. You can achieve this in a tomato based shakshuka by adding plenty of olive oil (so delicious.) With some kind of bread on the side, it is a complete and very satisfying cold weather meal.

You can also make a green shakshuka where the sauce is basically loose creamed spinach, in whatever your favorite preparation of that is; the de-seeded and membraned chilis will go very nicely in there. You could veganize the sauce by using coconut milk for the spinach sauce part, and add a little bit of either Thai or Indian curry flavors; but then of course it's not a shakshuka if it doesn't have eggs poached in it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:14 PM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I think you can also chop them up and freeze them and add a little to recipes here and there.

And no, roasting them does not stink up the house, in my experience (I make a roasted tomatillo salsa with roasted jalapenos all the time!).
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 3:26 PM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you have a food dehydrator, you can dry them (sliced) and then grind up to make your own chili powder.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:26 PM on February 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Jelly. I have pectin if you need some and can walk it to anywhere within 3 miles of my location, if you are still in the city in your profile. I can give you that plus a sample jar of the jelly tomorrow if you want to decide if this is a thing you want to make.

It's really good on meatballs.
posted by bilabial at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

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