To Our Enota Readers

August 1, 2012


One of the many vegetables growing in our organic garden this year is the jalapeño pepper. The jalapeno is a vegetable—or, more properly, a fruit—that can be grown either in a simple garden or in the home. Besides this, jalapenos can be used for a variety of recipes and mixtures.

HISTORY

Like all capsicum peppers, the jalepeno comes naturally from the Americas. The jalapeno in particular originates from Mexico, and is named after Xalapa, Veracruz. A mature fruit normally ranges in size from 2-3 ½ inches and is normally picked while still green. The juice of the jalapeno has long been used as a remedy for cardiovascular problems or even allergies. Incidentally, the chipotle is a just ripe jalapeno that has been smoked.

NUTRITION

Jalapenos have a good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Magnesium. Also, if you’re looking for a good source of Vitamin C, jalapenos can help. 1 cup of sliced jalapenos contain as much as 66% the Daily Value of Vitamin C, along with 14% the Daily Value of Vitamin A.

Jalapenos are also thought to have a beneficial effect in Alzheimer’s disease—mainly by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Most people automatically assume that jalapenos are very hot. In all actuality, the seeds are the hottest part of the pepper. And if you’re eating the pepper raw rather than pickled, you’ll find a little less heat. If you’re looking for a challenge, the jalapeno is definitely not one of the top peppers. The habenero is better for intense heat or—if looking for a touch of true fire—the ghost pepper can feed the flames.

CAPSAICIN

So what gives jalapenos their heat? Well, the capsaicin flavonoid gives many peppers their characteristic heat, and this is especially true if peppers have been pickled or cooked. Also, if you’re looking to add a little bit of fresh jalapeno to your stir-fry or other dishes, be careful in cooking these peppers on the skillet or grill: the compounds released can be a big irritant to the eyes and lungs if not careful. Food chemists believe this is because the capsaicin evaporates and expands.

SAFETY

If you’re eating jalapenos and feel the heat is a little too much, eating cold yogurt can help cool you down. Don’t try to drink a lot of water; this only causes the capsaicin to spread around. The yogurt (ice cream can also help) dilutes the capsaicin and helps to keep it from touching the lining of your stomach, which helps in soothing any burning pain.

DON’T get any portion of the pepper near your eye. If dealing with the peppers, wash your hands before getting your hands near your eyes or nose. If this does happen, rinse your eyes out thoroughly with cold water to reduce irritation.

Of course, eating a large amount of spicy foods over a long period of time can cause ulcers. If you are experiencing any pain after eating spicy foods, give your doctor a call and put the spicy adventures on hold until you know the cause.

RECIPES

Jalapeno Relish

1 lb. Onions

½ lb. bell peppers

1 tsp salt, optional

½ cup of white vinegar

½ lb. jalapeno peppers

1 large can tomatoes, 16 oz.

1 tsp. garlic powder

Cut stems and remove seeds from jalapeno peppers. Chop fine, wear gloves when handling jalapenos. Chop all vegetables, including tomatoes, and place in pot with other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and sauce is slightly thickened.

To get sauce a little hotter, leave in all jalapeno pepper seeds

Bottle and refrigerate, or may be put in jars and canned. Makes about 3 pints.

JALAPENO POPPERS

Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon bacon bits

12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 quarts of oil for frying

In medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.

Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towel.

Recipe obtained at allrecipes.com

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email: enota@enota.com

official web site:  www.enota.com

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One Response to “To Our Enota Readers”

  1. marczee Says:

    Wow, this is a lot of great jalepeno information. I never knew that a chipotle pepper was just a smoked and ripe jalepeno; there’s my new knowledge for the day.
    Also thank you very much for the jalepeno peppers recipe, I found that in my home state of Texas, this popular appetizer was easy to come by in many tex-mex restaurants; however, I just moved to California, and I sadly never see this option on menu’s. Thanks to this recipe, and my burgeoning jalepeno plants in my garden, I will soon relish the almighty popper once again…and just in time for football season. Kudos.


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