What’s Cookin’ – Jalapeños Three Different Ways

I love jalapeños, and I love growing them along with other stuff in my garden.

My jalapeño plants this past May.

The gardening season this year started out wet and cool.  We then went to wet and hot.  Now we are at very hot and dry.  The Springtime thunderstorms wrecked havoc on the tomatoes and zucchini.  My beans and bell peppers have been so-so.  I can’t keep my flowers watered enough.  But my herbs and jalapeños have been lovin’ the heat.

Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers.

I’ve made several batches of Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers.  Creamy, smoky, hot yumminess.

Jalapeño Jelly and Candied Jalapeños (aka Cowboy Candy).

I’ve made Jalapeño Jelly and Candied Jalapeños.  I use the Jalapeño Jelly recipe out of the Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving.  My old Ball Blue Book does not include any recipes for preserving things like peppers, but as our tastes have expanded so have the recipes in the newer versions of the Ball Blue Book guides.  The first Ball Blue Book was published in 1909 so they’ve been at it over 100 years!

There are also many recipes out there for Candied Jalapeños and some do not include the canning processing step so you can make small batches of these little lovelies and store them in your refrigerator and use them immediately and avoid investing in all of the canning supplies and equipment if that’s not your thing.

Whew.  That was a mouthful.

Hubby’s grandma’s canning pot.  It’s almost as old as Ball Blue Books!

But, I am lucky to have the use of my hubby’s grandmother’s canning pot and accessories.  I have been making Candied Jalapeños aka Cowboy Candy ever since I ran across the recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen website (here).

Other than the jalapeños, the most important ingredient in making Jalapeño Jelly and Candied Jalapeños are the gloves.

The Jalapeño Jelly is good layered over a brick of cream cheese and served alongside some crackers.

A Candied Jalapeño atop some cream cheese smeared on a butter cracker.  There is something wonderful about the mix of hot and creamy on a buttery cracker.

I also use my Candied Jalapeños all Winter long when making salsas.  They are a good substitute for fresh when fresh isn’t available.  But they are also good on tacos, burgers, and other sandwiches.  I’ve used them when making Cheddar Cheese Bread.  And the juice makes a a great addition to marinades.  Do not throw out the juice!

Or you can be like my brother and nephew and eat them right out of the jars.

My first pepper of the season.

There are also health benefits to including jalapeño peppers in your diet.  Not only are they filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical which can provide relief from headaches, fight cancer, lower blood pressure, help you lose weight, and help protect your heart.

Real Women Eat Chiles cookbook by Jane Butel.

So, jalapeños are not only good, they are good for you, too.  My sister even bought me a cookbook, Real Women Eat Chiles, to support my chile pepper habit.  I like to think that it says something about me, that I love hot and spicy foods.  But, when I tell my hubby that I’m hot and spicy, he just laughs and rolls his eyes.

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