Two Takes on Jalapeno Peppers
'There are hundreds of pepper flavors in the world dont be afraid to try them all!" advises Robert Berkley, author of Peppers: A Cookbook.
That's brave advice, given that some peppers are hot enough to set the partaker's culinary tract afire. But Berkley helpfully arranges the 49 recipes in the book by the degree of heat of the finished dish. If you dont have an iron-clad throat, you can skip the back section of the book, home of such "very hot" concoctions as Cayenne Mayonnaise and Habanero Pepper, Onion and Coriander Chutney.
To further help in distinguishing mild, medium and hot peppers, the book contains full-color photographs of 19 common varieties, as part of an introductory section filled with tips on how to select and prepare them.
The following recipe comes from the "medium" section of the book.
6-8 fresh jalapeno
peppers, seeded and chopped
2. Cool slightly and puree in a blender or food processor. Pour into a jar and allow to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Reata restaurant, in Fort Worth, Texas, apparently hasnt heard Gerlachs explanation that the chief virtue of peppers is that they are low-fat fare. The restaurants recipe for creamy jalapeno and cilantro soup is regularly reprinted, in response to readers' requests, in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. It tips the scales at more than 900 calories per cup.
2. Add all remaining ingredients and reduce, over a happy simmer, by 25 percent. Youll end up with about 8 to 8-1/2 cups.
3. Adjust seasonings and stir in cilantro. Serve immediately.
4. If you prepare this soup in advance, reheat in the top of a double boiler and dont stir in the cilantro until ready to serve.
Copyright 2005 Seasonal Chef