What to Do with Jalapenos


Jalapeno Jelly [top]
(makes 1-1/2 cups)

6-8 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups white vinegar
½ cup sugar

1. Place all ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer for about an hour, until mixture is thick.

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.

Source: Peppers: A Cookbook, by Robert Berkley

Reata restaurant, in Fort Worth, Texas, apparently hasn’t heard Gerlach’s explanation that the chief virtue of peppers is that they are low-fat fare. The restaurant’s 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.

Jalapeno and Cilantro Soup [top]

2 tablespoons corn oil
3 jalapenos, diced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
16-ounce can tomatoes in juice, diced
8 cups heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
White pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon finely diced garlic
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil and saute jalapenos and onion. Add avocado and tomatoes and their juice and bring to a boil.

2. Add all remaining ingredients and reduce, over a happy simmer, by 25 percent. You’ll 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 don’t stir in the cilantro until ready to serve.