Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Endless Jalapenos

Several weeks ago a customer at the bank dropped off an enormous bag of jalapenos. Most of my co-workers were reluctant to take any, so I brought the bulk of them home and made it my personal challenge to use all of them before they went bad. I had no idea what I was getting into! Here they are, all spread out on the kitchen table, just waiting to be seeded and minced:


How many jalapenos do you think this is? Carl and I both placed our bets, but we were really far off in our estimates. NINETY TWO. This is what 92 jalapenos looks like. The first thing I made was jalapeno poppers. To make these you just cut the peppers in half, take the seeds out, and add a little smish of cream cheese. Bake at 350 for about a half hour. So good!

Carl was in charge of cream cheesing.

Here they are, ready to eat!

Then I made jalapeno cheddar cornbread. I used this recipe, but I wasn't overly impressed by it, although everyone else who tried it seemed to enjoy it. I think I like my cornbread to be a little more sweet, and although there was sugar in this, it wasn't too sweet tasting. Next time I'll probably just save myself the hassle (and the 19 sticks of butter) and use Jiffy.

I used the jalapenos in black beans, nachos, and omelettes. Peppers, peppers, peppers, but I didn't seem to be making a dent in our supply. I knew I had to come up with something else. And so, in a moment of culinary inspiration it occurred to me: Jelly! I doubled this recipe and threw in a few extra peppers for good measure. I've never made jelly before; I've always been intimidated by the art of canning. I think of canning and immediately conjure up this image of a 19th century prairie housewife with a baby on her hip standing over a hot iron stove making preserves. And let's be honest here- while my housewifery skills are ever improving, there's still a lot left to be desired. Here's some pictures from the process. It turned out to be quite simple.

All the peppers, ready to be chopped.


The mixture of peppers and apple cider vinegar brewing. Our house smelled super spicy.

Filtering the liquid through cheesecloth- the pulp doesn't actually go in the jelly.


I didn't technically "can" the jelly (no hot water bath) because I didn't realize it would make so much. Instead, I've just been handing the jars out like crazy. There's only so much jelly two people can eat. Also, I wasn't sure how spicy it would be so I was hesitant to add too many extra jalapenos, but next time I'll use more, knowing now that it's fairly mild.

After all of this we STILL have jalapenos left, so if anybody has a fresh idea please share! Or break into our house. You'll find them on the middle shelf of the fridge, to the right.

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