Fresh Spicy Jalapeno Peppers

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This week I picked up beautiful nice sized jalapeno peppers from the Farmers Market, and I cannot wait to use them in some of my favorite recipes. It might surprise you, but jalapeno peppers are not only known for their spicy hot taste, but are also high in nutrients.

One fresh jalapeno pepper is only 4 calories, and like many fruits and vegetables is high in fiber. They also contain lots of vitamin C and B6, however one of the most unique compounds is capsaicin, which is what gives them their spice. Research shows that jalapenos and other spicy peppers may promote weight loss by boosting metabolism, increasing fat burn and reducing appetite.

If you dare, go pick up some fresh jalapeno peppers and give these recipes a try;

Easy Watermelon Jalapeno Popsicle

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed, frozen
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 seeded minced jalapeno

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine the watermelon, water, zest, and juice. Blend until smooth. Stir in the minced jalapeno pieces.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for four hours or until firm.

Serves 4, each serving contains;  Calories 50, Fat 0g., Carbohydrates 13 g., Fiber 3 g.

Jalapeno Guacamole Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 chicken tenders
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese, I used white cheddar from a block
  • 1 ripen avocado
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • ½  tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the chili powder, and cumin, and use to season the chicken tenders.
  2. To prepare the guacamole;  Peel and chop the avocado. Mash it with a fork.
  3. Chop 1 jalapeno pepper and tomato and add to the avocado mash. Add cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
  4. Heat a frying pan to high heat. Add seasoned chicken breasts and sear each side, about 1-2 minutes each. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Slice the second jalapeno into rings, and place on top of chicken tenders. Top with the sliced cheese and heat until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Jalapeno Pineapple Marinated Pork Loin

Ingredients

  • 2-pound pork loin
  • ½ fresh pineapple, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat a small pan to medium heat and add peppercorns, and cumin seeds. Heat a few minutes until they begin to burst. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. In a food processor, add all ingredients except the pork loin. Process until a chunky marinade forms.
  3. Set pork loin into a wide flat dish. Pour marinade over the top and rub it into the meat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, longer for more flavor.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pork in the marinade for 40-45 minutes, to preferred doneness and no longer pink in the middle. Allow pork to rest a few minutes and serve.

Serves 4-6.

 

Classic Pico De Gallo

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (heirloom if possible)
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt

Directions

Gently toss tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl, season with salt to taste. Let sit, uncovered, to let flavors meld together, about 10-15 minutes. Can be used as a dip or as a topping.

Grilled Cabbage with Jalapeno Buttermilk Dressing

(Adapted from a favorite Bon Appetit recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of Napa or Sharp head Cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 jalapenos
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plain whole-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives, more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions

  1. Place cabbage wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil, getting between layers as much as possible. Season generously with salt. Let sit for 1 hour up to 12 hours.
  2. Prepare a grill for medium-high, indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side of the grill, for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off). Grill jalapenos over direct heat, turning occasionally, until blistered and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly then chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and add buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, and 1 tablespoon chives. Mix well, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill cabbage, starting over direct heat, then moving to indirect and covering grill if needed to prevent scorching, until crisp-tender, 15-20  minutes.
  4. Serve grilled cabbage with tomato halves, dressing, blue cheese, and more chopped chives.
  5. Dressing can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and chilled.

Serves 4.

Spicy Roasted New Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds new potatoes, washed, and cut into small wedges
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced into rounds, remove seeds if desired
  • ¼ cup lightly packed parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss potatoes with ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper. Roast tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool. At this point you can leave them in the wedges, or lightly smash them.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Gradually whisk remain ¼ cup oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add potatoes, jalapeno, and parsley and toss, season with salt and pepper.

Easy Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 package of your favorite string cheese
  • 12 slices of bacon, cut in half

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut string cheese pieces into lengths that will fit into the peppers. Stuff each jalapeno half with the string cheese. Wrap a half slice of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno half.
  3. Arrange wrapped jalapeno halves in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes, or until bacon is evenly brown and crisp.