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Posts Tagged ‘jalapeno’

Unlike other recipes that call for coating in flour or breadcrumbs and deep fat frying, this recipe is a great lower fat alternative and can be made on the grill as well.

The prep is a lot simpler as well, so you don’t have to make poppers for hours on end. And you can make as many or as few as you want, leaving no extra ingredients (such as prepared filling or batter, etc). Just freeze left over bacon for later use, and refrigerate any unused cream cheese.

Ingredients:
jalapeno peppers
bacon (I prefer turkey bacon): one slice for every 2 whole peppers
cream cheese (can use low fat neufachel), chilled
salt

Directions:
Cut bacon slices into quarters so as to wrap 4 pepper halves with one total slice of bacon. First cut in half, then slit lengthwise. Set aside.

Prepare your peppers by slitting them from stem to tip (lengthwise). My purple jalapenos will turn green after cooking. Leave the stems on, if possible. De-seed and de-rib using a grapefruit spoon, or a small tongs.

Salt the open pepper halves sparingly. Fill the pepper halves with straight cream cheese using a spoon.

Then wrap with a quarter-piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Fry in a frying pan or grill on low heat. Start with the cream cheese side, then flip to the jalapeno side. The cheese will not come out as it is chilled when you start and you flip them before they can start melting. Flip them when the bacon is starting to crisp on that side. Alternatively, you can broil these. Put in a broiling pan and cook on high heat until the bacon is crisp, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat when bacon is crisp on both sides. Let cool slightly and remove the toothpicks. Remind your guests to avoid eating the stem.

For a hotter popper, leave some ribbing and/or seeds behind. Otherwise, these should taste deliciously mild. You can also use extra thick onion dip or flavored cream cheese spreads instead of plain cream cheese for a different flavor profile. Have fun experimenting but keep it simple or you’ll never make them again 😉

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When you sow your own seeds, you always sow at least twice what you end up wanting to plant. I like to plant 2 plants of each variety to get a more accurate evaluation of plant habit, growth, disease resistance, production, etc. So I usually sow 4 seeds per variety. In case one of the plants turns out to be a runt, you’ve got the second one as a back up. But a lot can happen from planting out the seedlings to harvesting fruit. The first week in the ground seems to be the hardest. Pests, sunscald, too much root trauma, transplant shock, or a latent freeze can wreak havoc on your newborn garden. And if you buy flats of vegetable seedlings, don’t just toss the leftover plants in the compost.

In my garden, slugs rule. They think I planted those seedlings just for them and they chow down contentedly until the plant is chewed down to the nub. Luckily, they leave the tomato plants alone and prefer to eat my pepper plants. But outside of outright warfare or planting trap crops, I usually just plant the seedlings I kept in reserve for these “just in case” situations.

This year, I had the hardest time getting my seeds to germinate in the first place. Twice as many seeds to desired plants seemed an insufficient ratio as I combated too cool temps for an extended period of time, and then extremely rainy weather when I should have been hardening off. So when I went to plant out my plants, I found I only had just enough pepper plants and only a handful of “extra” tomato plants. So when my Japanese Oxhearts decided to up and die overnight for no apparent reason, I was able to replant with my reserved seedlings. And if those should die as well, I’ve still got two more Purple Calabash waiting in the wings. Not the same variety, but at least they’re tomatoes.

But when two of my Purple Jalapenos succumbed to the slugs after two nights, I could only replant with Huckleberry—no reserved pepper plants this year. Why do my slugs like pepper plants so much! And why are they chowing down on the Jalapenos instead of the sweet peppers, like they did 2 years ago? With my impending childbirth experience, and my predicted busyness until that time, I’m not sure I’ll even have the energy or inclination to combat those darn slugs this year. I may just have to sigh disappointedly and cut my losses.

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Those new to organic gardening may have never heard of such a thing. So what are trap crops? These are plant varieties planted specifically for bugs to eat. These varieties are so delicious to bugs that they’ll leave your other, more boring varieties alone to flower and make fruits that you and your family can enjoy. For example, in my garden the pesky slugs love pepper plants. This year their top pick is Purple Jalapeno. If I were to plant trap crops for slugs, I’d plant Purple Jalapenos for the slugs and some other variety for myself. Except that I really wanted the Purple Jalapenos for myself. So in that case, I’d have to research and find a different pepper plant that is even tastier to slugs than Purple Jalapeno—irresistible in other words. I’d plant tons of that variety and cross my fingers that the slugs eat to bursting and leave my Purple Jalapenos alone!

I’ve heard of trap crops being used for Tomato Hornworms (though I usually only get one hornworm per year and I just let it live), Squash Vine Borers, and Cucumber Beetles. These varieties are discovered through pure observation: one variety over another seems to be an attractant to certain bugs. The downside is that trap crops don’t always work. They may even backfire, attracting more quantities of bugs than usual and spreading the misery to all your delicious varieties. They also take up space in the garden, something that is quite lacking in my suburban plot.

But if pesticides aren’t your thing, you’ve got the space to plant varieties just for insects, and you can do enough research or talk to enough gardeners to find the trapping varieties, trap crops could be an organic solution to a universal problem.

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I knew I wanted a jalapeno for growing to use in homemade salsas. And then I saw the purple variety and I was hooked. Purple is my favorite color and I couldn’t wait to see this one in my garden.

The purple jalapenos are the rich color of an eggplant.

The Description from where I got my seed:

The fruit of this jalapeno turns dark purple and stays that way for a long time before finally ripening to red. Peppers are somewhat larger than regular jalapeno, but with the same thick walls and fiery heat. Great for use in salsas and would be very attractive pickled with a mixture of other jalapeno colors. 75 days

First Impressions:I love these plants. They are healthy and tall with purple tinged leaves and stems. They make purple flowers (which are larger than standard white pepper flowers) which are quite beautiful. And then the fruits are gorgeous purple, almost black and are made in abundance.

My taste review:
After having been halved, and de-seeded, then filled with cream cheese, wrapped in turkey bacon and finally fried, they were absolutely fabulous. They cooked up green, surprisingly. A later time I didn’t de-rib the peppers and they were extremely hot. If you want mild peppers, make sure to scrape out all the ribs and seeds.

Stuffed jalapeno poppers are paired with blt sandwiches.

Will I grow again?
Yes. Most assuredly. I wish I had flower beds so I could plant these among some ornamentals.

End-of-Year Stats:
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield_______Yield per Plant
__3____________73____________-2________57_________19

 

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August 10

Today was the day for my monster carbon! I thought I’d wrestle the fruit from the plant, that just broke the attachment of a neighbor tomato. Then I got scissors and tried to cut it off, but the attachment was very short and the tomato was curled around itself so that proved very difficult also. It was then I realized the monster had two points of attachment. So I cut off the second vine and lost another neighbor tomato. So now I have my monster tomato in hand as well as 2 green tomatoes. I’ll put those in a bag to see if they’ll turn. If not, we’ll have fried green tomatoes.

It's a doughnut! See the hole?

About the monster: it bottomed out my scale, so it’s more than a pound; it wasn’t just fused blossoms it was also a siamese twin—hence the two attachments. I’d guess it was supposed to be 3 tomatoes and instead I got “one”. It really does curl around itself, so it’s got a hole in the middle. It’s a doughnut! It’s a burgundy color, with some green on the shoulders. Taste test to come!

I’ve reviewed my black cherry and the siletz, and have had BCT sandwiches (no lettuce, sub cheese) with each kind. Yummy!

1. Black Cherry Review

2. Siletz Review

My zucchini plants all have powdery mildew and need to be pulled. One more fruit growing, but I’ll cut it early and remove plants soon.

Lots of purple jalapeno peppers! They are beautiful plants. I wish it was a better year for pepper plants, though. I love these plants so much they’d make great landscaping plants with their beautiful flowers, dark fruit, and purple tinged leaves.

Here is the purple jalapeno flower. So pretty!

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