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Fire and ice ... and other adventures with jalapenos.

Fire and ice . . . and other adventures with jalapenos

Famous for their fiery flavor, jalapeno chilies (Capsicum annuum) are named for Jalapa in Veracruz, Mexico. Their heat depends on how much of a natural substance called capsaicin they contain. Judging the heat before you bite is always a gamble. Here's a clue: really hot chilies make you cough just by smelling them.

These recipes dilute the chilies enough for you to taste their flavor. Use fewer chilies if you are leery of heat, more if you're bolder. Wear rubber gloves when preparing them; they can burn bare skin. Avoid rubbing or touching eyes, too.

Fire and Ice Sorbet

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 to 4 fresh jalapeno chilies (2 1/2 to 3 in. long), stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/2 cup lime juice

2 large egg whites

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, water, and chilies (use full amount for hottest flavor) in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue boiling, uncovered, to blend flavors, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Add lime juice. Pour through a fine strainer into a metal 9- or 10-inch-square or 9- by 13-inch oblong pan. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

At high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. While beating, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, into whites until they hold stiff peaks. Break jalapeno ice into chunks and whirl in a food processor or with mixer just until slushy. Fold whites into the ice. Return to pan, cover, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours or up to 5 days. Makes 6 to 8 servings, about 1/2 cup each.

Jalapeno Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 small onion, chopped

2 to 4 fresh jalapeno chilies (2 1/2 to 3 in. long), stemmed, seeded, and minced

1/2 teaspoon each white pepper and curry powder

1 large (about 10 oz.) russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 medium-size carrots, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup chopped parsley

4 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin

1/4 cup dry sherry

In a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add onion, chilies (use full amount for hottest flavor), pepper, and curry powder; stir until onion is limp, about 4 minutes. Add potato, carrots, parsley, and 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil on high heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender when pierced, about 20 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, smoothly puree vegetable mixture; return to pan. Stir in pumpkin, remaining broth, and sherry. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 3 days. Stir over medium heat until hot. Makes 4 servings, 1 3/4 cups each.

Photo: Shiny, smooth, bright green jalapeno chilies are the lively surprise in this ice-hot sorbet. (Note that chilies are peppers, but not all peppers are chilies)
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Kranen, Linda
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1988
Words:503
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