Jalapeño chiles

Did you know that jalapeño are named after the capital of Veracruz, Mexico? Jalapa. Though very spicy, the jalapeño is a favorite among chefs because it can be seeded very easily and the seeds and membranes, of course, are what add so much heat. The flesh of the pepper is spicy but not searing. Even with seeds and membranes intact, jalapeño chiles only have a medium heat, nestled somewhere between poblano and serrano chiles.

Jalapeños are the perfect size for bite-sized appetizers, but still roomy enough to fill with stuffing. Fresh jalapeños are great stuffed with cream cheese and shrimp, wrapped in bacon and then fried. They’re also ubiquitous in Mexican cuisine and its sauces.

Pickled jalapeños are milder in flavor, and are commonly added to sandwiches, dips, etc. In the American Southwest, pickled jalapeños are typically offered as a condiment almost everywhere, including fast food chains.

Jalapeños don’t air-dry well and must be smoked to preserve them in dry form; smoked dried jalapeños are called chipotles.

Fresh jalapeños are available in most supermarkets, as are pickled ones. Store fresh jalapeños in sealed plastic bags or containers. To freeze, first blanche for a few minutes. Refrigerate pickled jalapeños after opening.



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