This year’s garden harvest wasn’t our best mostly because we had a beautiful baby at the end of June and the garden didn’t quite get the attention it needed. However, the jalapeno plants seemed to do really, really well. All the sudden, I found myself with all sorts of jalapeno peppers and more waiting to be picked!
For he first batch of jalapenos from the plant, we made puff pastry wrapped jalapeno poppers. I took some to a party and the froze the rest for rainy day (or a fall Sunday for Brown’s football). The recipe I used for those can be found here. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of that recipe but I really liked it. I enjoyed how the cheese really mellowed the spiciness of the pepper.
To freeze them, I just followed the recipe and before baking, placed them in a plate and covered with plastic wrap and put in the freezer. Once they were firm, I used the foodsaver and a vacuum bag to remove the air for long term storage. When we’re ready to go, I’ll just pull them out, let them thaw a bit and bake!
The most important thing I learned from preparing the poppers is that gloves are a NECESSITY. My hands were on fire for about two hours after. And I tried everything (wash in milk, wash in oil, wash with Dawn). That was not comfortable.
Today, the second batch of peppers we’re looking extremely ready to be picked. I harvested about 2 lbs of peppers. Some of them were so ripe, they were red! So, unsure what to make, I asked my foodie message board and someone suggested candied jalapenos. I wasn’t sure what to think but since I have so many, I figured I’d give it a try.
The recipe I used can be found here. The only thing I changed is the amount of cayenne – I used 1/4 tsp rather than 1 tsp. I figured, there’s enough spice in these jars with all the peppers, don’t think I need much more.
This time I purchased vinyl gloves from the grocery store so that I wouldn’t have burning hands again. That made this recipe so much more fun to make than the last one! I did realize that you need to do this on a day where you can open the windows because your whole house is gonna smell like peppers. In fact, a guest came to the house while I was working on these was walked by he kitchen exhaust fan – she said the whole area outside smelled of jalapenos.
Since these take a few weeks to mellow, I can’t say that I’ve tasted the finished product, however I did an early taste test and I think they are gonna a be great. I can’t wait to put them on burgers, just eat them plain, and use them for garnish. I think they would also be good with cream cheese or the like on crackers for an appetizer.
I still have about 20-30 peppers out there on the plants that will be ready to be picked. What else should I make? Possibly pepper jelly? Maybe pickles? Any suggestions?