If you love major spice in your food, bell peppers just won't do. Kick your meals up a notch with jalapeno peppers, which add both heat and flavor to your favorite dishes. Jalapenos are definitely quite hot, but when used sparingly, they don't typically overwhelm a dish. They go well with a wide variety of ingredients and are a great addition to many recipes, from jalapeno poppers to jalapeno cornbread.
Cheese and jalapenos go together like bread and butter. Add sliced jalapenos on top of nachos and cheese. There's also the popular appetizer of jalapeno poppers, which are stuffed with cheese. Recipes vary, but poppers always feature cream as a base and often include additional shredded cheeses, spices and bacon. Jalapeno poppers can be breaded and fried, baked or grilled.
If you like your salsa spicy, jalapenos will do the trick. They work well in both tomato-based and corn salsas. Simply slice up a jalapeno or two and mix it into the salsa. Add a dollop of corn salsa on top of greens and veggies of your choice to make a refreshing salad with a kick.
Jalapenos add a dynamic twist to this southern favorite. Finely dice and seed them, add them to the cornmeal batter, and bake. (Refer to a recipe to determine the right amount of peppers.) Serve cornbread with chili or a hearty, thick stew.
Jalapenos can add heat to just about any type of meat. You can either cook them with the meat or add them after it's cooked. For a spicy citrus chicken, purée jalapenos with lime juice, and glaze the mixture onto the chicken before or after baking. Or, simply add sliced jalapenos on top of cooked steak. You can also combine diced jalapenos with cabbage to create a spicy slaw to serve as a topping for burgers or hot dogs.
Whip up a spicy guacamole with jalapenos. Remove the seeds from the pepper, or keep them in to make the dip spicier. If the guac turns out a little too hot, just add some lime juice to mellow it out.
Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.