Hot jalapeno peppers add a kick to almost any recipe, but first you must clean and slice the pepper properly. You can cut the peppers in half and stuff them with cream cheese and cheddar, or cut them into a fine dice for use in salsa. Sliced jalapeno pepper rings also work well for topping enchiladas or nachos.
The oils and seeds in a jalapeno can irritate your skin, so wear thin latex or rubber gloves when handling the pepper. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to avoid further irritation, and wash your hands with soap and water when you are done working with the pepper. Jalapenos require washing in cool water. Scrub the skin with a vegetable brush to remove any wax on the surface.
Make the Cut
You can leave the seeds in the jalapeno if you like it hot, or remove them if you prefer a seedless pepper. To remove the seeds, slice the pepper in half lengthwise with a chef’s knife. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon or melon baller and dispose of them. Cut the remaining pepper into 1/4-inch wide strips lengthwise for a julienne cut. For a dice, slice the strips horizontally into 1/4-inch cubes. If you prefer rings, skip the deseeding and slice off the stem end. Cut the whole pepper horizontally into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-wide rings.
References and ResourcesUtah State University Extension: Jalapeno Peppers
Kathy Maister's Start Cooking: Hot Peppers and How to Handle Them