The Basics: Jalapeños

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The Technique


Jalapeños add good heat to a variety of recipes from appetizers & main dishes to soups & sandwiches. Although the peak harvest season for chili peppers in our region is during the summer months, a cook can rely on them throughout the year to deliver big impact in flavor & color to recipes anytime. One of the biggest factors to consider is how to choose the peppers & knowing what to look for will aide in delivering the right amount of heat desired for a variety of different recipes. Peppers are graded for their heat level using units from the Scoville Scale & jalapeños fall into a range of approximately 1,000 to 10,000– bell peppers fall into a 0 to 100 range while habaneros are 100,000 to 350,000– so knowing a few visual indictors will help determine just how hot a pepper truly may be when choosing them from the market. Smaller, smoother jalapeños are often times much milder. These are excellent to use for stuffed pepper appetizers. The larger peppers have been on the plant longer & generally have a greater heat level. If left to mature further, they will naturally turn red so expect an even greater heat level. Learn how to choose jalapeños from the market & prepare them for a variety of cooking applications.

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How To Mince Jalapeños For Recipe Applications

Jalapeños should be minced small as the heat can be powerful bite for bite but offer wonderful flavor & color as in the case of Championship Caviar. They range in size from 2 to 4-inches long. Choose firm, blemish free peppers from market produce bins. The oils can irritate skin so avoid contact with your eyes once they have been handled. It’s best practices to use a produce bag as a barrier. Place your hand in the bag, choose the peppers, then turn the bag inside out to contain those you plan the purchase. 


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 Mincing jalapeños allow for better heat distribution throughout recipe applications. Wearing a pair of disposable gloves is recommended when prepping peppers as the flesh & oils will irritate the skin. Slice the peppers in half. The membrane & the seeds carry a good deal of the heat. Remove them if a milder flavor is desired or add just a smidgen to heighten. Cut ultra thin strips of the pepper lengthwise, then use a chef knife to begin cutting the pieces crosswise. Continue cutting until the pieces are finely minced. Use as directed in recipe applications. 

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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