Did you end up with too many jalapeño peppers this season? While your bountiful harvest may be rewarding, there are a lot of fun and unique ways to use up your peppers!
1. Pickled Jalapeños
Pickling is actually much easier to achieve than I thought. The base of any brine is just water, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. I also like to add garlic cloves and pickling spice to mine. I also didn’t realize how much I would utilize pickled jalapeños. My favorite ways to use them are with eggs in the morning and on burgers. Pickled jalapeños add a nice kick and the vinegar adds a hint of acidity to any dish. To preserve these a step further, you can properly can your pickled peppers.
2. Cowboy Candy
Cowboy candy (candied jalapeños) is made through a similar process to pickled jalapeños. You start with the same ingredients for the brine but add more sugar. I like to use these as a burger topping or with cheese. They are incredible with brie or goat cheese to add a sweet and spicy flavor to any charcuterie board. Once you candy your peppers, let sit in the fridge for 2-4 weeks before trying them for optimal flavor (and sweetness). These can also be canned for a longer shelf life.
4. Hot Sauce
Hot sauce is another thing I didn’t realize was so simple to make. Similar to pickled and candied peppers, the base is vinegar, water, and garlic. Combine your ingredients in a small sauce pot on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Place simmered peppers in the blender and blend to desired consistency. Pour your sauce into jars, and top whatever you want with it! Hot sauce is also a great gift for any friends that walk on the spicy side.
5. Freeze Some
While this may be a given, keeping some on and in the freezer is a super easy way to spice up your meals any time of year. My favorite way to do this is to dice the peppers up before freezing. This allows you to add them directly to anything you are cooking.
Other Uses for Jalapeños:
6. Jalapeños in Cocktails
Jalapeños most definitely belong in cocktails. Muddle a few jalapeño slices in the bottom of your cocktail shaker, then add the remaining ingredients for a perfect margarita! You can also infuse any spirit of your choice with jalapeños. Place the jalapeños and any other ingredients you want in a mason jar. Top with your favorite spirit and seal the lid. I generally leave it for about 4-7 days before straining out the solids. I like to add pineapple and jalapeño infused tequila to margaritas. Jalapeño vodka is also a great addition to any Bloody Mary.
Salsa is so easy to make and a great way to improve your knife skills. It is also a great gift to give around the holidays (especially if you are drowning in hot peppers). Salsa recipes can be as easy or complex as you want them to be. Classic salsa includes tomatoes, cilantro, white onions, garlic, lime juice, and jalapeños. Simply control the heat by the amount of jalapeños you add to your recipe. Chop your desired ingredients and combine in a large bowl. Transfer your mixture to a blender if you want a smoother consistency. Remember, salsa is an art not a science!
8. Jalapeño Poppers
Jalapeño poppers are very easy to make and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. This game day food is sure to use up some of those peppers. While there are many renditions of this recipe, the main ingredients in the filling are cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I like to add garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper, and some Worcestershire sauce to my filling. Remove the core from your peppers then fill with your cheese mixture. If you are feeling extra fun, wrap in bacon or top with bread crumbs. Bake until golden brown.
9. Jalapeño Cornbread
Cornbread is a great side to any southern meal. You can definitely make it from scratch, but there is no shame in cooking from a box. Make your cornbread according to the box instructions, then sprinkle your jalapeños in before baking. Serve with chili or anything that warms your soul.
10. Give Them Away
There is nothing wrong with giving your extra peppers away to friends and family. It is definitely welcomed especially from friends who are not savvy gardeners.
You can also track your hot pepper progress through the Garden Manager. Create a new folder in the inventory section to list your favorite varieties and add notes about how well each one performed this season.
Having an overabundance of any produce can be overwhelming, but there are so many flavorful options to use them. Simply incorporating them into any meal is a great way to spice up your recipes.