Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Like it Hot!

We've had some tasty little jalapenos in the fridge waiting to be used. Today, we finally decided to use up most of them. I've been wanting to make jalapeno poppers, but upon checking the jalapenos, we realized that they were much too small to make decent poppers. So Jeff took several peppers and turned them into some really insane hot sauce. This stuff seriously needs to come with a warning label, but we figured a biohazard sign would be sufficient.

Jeff's Insane Jalapeno Hot Sauce
1/3 cup onion
1/3 cup jalapenos
2 tsp. minced bottled garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. bacon bits (optional)

Combine in food processor and process until finely minced. Pour into one half-pint jar. Microwave uncovered about 2 minutes. Put lid on and let cool at room temperature. When Jeff made this, the lid actually popped down, like lids do when you process food in jars. But since we didn't process it, and I'm not sure about the food safety stuff involved, it's best to store this in the refrigerator.

This is very spicy, especially when you use (as we did) tiny jalapenos that have been sitting in the fridge for a while, because they heat up the longer they sit. Yum!

Jeff says that this can be added to stuff like ketchup or salsa to spice them up, or just use it like you would any hot sauce. If you're brave enough...

This sauce is really good, but I wasn't satisfied. We still had lots of jalapenos left, and I was still craving poppers. After thinking about it, I realized I could have the jalapeno popper flavor, without actually making poppers. I made it into a hot spread by taking the ingredients normally found in poppers, mixing them together, and baking them.

Jalapeno Popper Spread
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 tbsp. bacon bits
Several jalapenos, seeded and chopped
Bread crumbs

In a 9-inch pie plate, combine first four ingredients. If your jalapenos are particularly small and spicy, you might want to microwave them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of water first (cooking dulls the bite). But if you're like my husband, and start washing some dishes right in the spot where the steamy air shoots out the side of the microwave, be prepared for the jalapeno steam to hit you full in the face and make you choke a bit. As you're coughing, be sure to rub your eye with the fingers you got jalapeno juice on while you were chopping them. Yell a lot, and go running to the bathroom to rinse your eye thoroughly as your wife giggles at you.

Here's a pretty picture of the spread just after I added the jalapenos. I hadn't mixed them in yet, and it looked so pretty and colorful!

After you've combined the cream cheese, Colby Jack, bacon bits, and chopped jalapenos, spread it out evenly in the pan, and top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

This turned out so fabulous! It had all those great jalapeno popper flavors - cream cheese, bacon, melted cheese, and spicy jalapeno. Jeff and I absolutely loved it. I didn't particularly care for the fact that as I ate it my nose started sweating and running - but that's just what happens to me when I eat spicy food. TMI? Sorry...

Anyway, this wonderful spread can be used for crackers, chips, pita bread, or ... Focaccia Sticks!

Focaccia Sticks
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup water
Seasonings - garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and water. Plop dough out onto a greased baking sheet. Pour oil in your hands and spread the dough out flat. Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into 16 bread sticks.

I handled the different baking times and temps thus: As the bread was baking at 425, I was busy preparing the jalapeno spread. As soon as the bread finished baking, I removed it from the oven, turned the temp down to 375, and popped in the spread. The bread was cooled and sliced by the time the spread was done in the oven. It worked perfectly!

Since the jalapeno popper spread was too spicy for the kids to eat, I made a simple Italian-style tomato sauce for them to eat with their focaccia sticks: I combined 1 can diced tomatoes with 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 2 tsp. minced garlic, and about 1/2 tsp. salt. They loved both the focaccia sticks and the sauce.

Here's the whole spread, on the table and on my plate!

And we still have four jalapenos (see picture at top of post) to use somehow!


Hayley said...

My boyfriend loves jalapenos! I don't know if I'd be able to find them at my supermarket but I suppose any other green chillies would work??? I'll have to make this for him, the spread looks so good :-D

By the way I made your microwave mug cake on sunday night, it was sooooooooo good! My boyfriend said that he wanted some cake at like 9pm so I thought aha I'll try your recipe, such a good idea!!! I'm going to post your recipe on my blog later if that's okay with you? I'll link back to you as well xx

Veronica said...

LOL! I know that "biohazard" feeling! I made some chilli jelly recently with some unusual looking chillis I found in the supermarket. Owww, were they hot! When I looked in Wikipedia I discovered I had unwittingly put a whole Scotch Bonnet pepper in my jelly. That went in the larder with a health warning :-)

Maybe you could make that with your remaining jalapenos?

Stephanie said...

Hayley - sure, you can go ahead and post it! I've had so many people tell me that they've made it, and shared it with others, and gotten hooked on it! :-)

Veronica - we made some jalapeno jelly last year with the garden jalapenos, and it's really good. I haven't tried adding it to apple jelly, looks good! And scotch bonnet pepper? Wow - that was on my Omnivore's 100 as something I'd never try because of how hot it is - how funny that you accidentally used one in your jelly!

Jeni said...

That looks like a GREAT meal! I think my son could eat the hottest pepper around and not phase him, so I will have to try this. The rest of your meal looks really good. I like the spread idea!

Rebekah said...

My hubbie loves his food hot and spicey so I may have to try this one! I can't eat spicey foods so I don't make it a lot. This would really make him happy! And I'm all over the foccacia bread sticks!! Yummy!!!!

You have the greatest ideas!

CookingCourtney said...

Reading this i said this would go perfectt with Focaccia bread! I love hot things, i'll def be trying this.

Tiffaney said...

Holy cats! This is one that I probably won't be making since JT thinks Taco Bell is too spicy, but it was fun to read about! I've never tried making that bread though, that could be really, really yummy......

Michelle said...

Can I come stay with you? You cook, and I'll let you??? Oh, come on. That's a great deal! ;-)

I love the mental picture of Jeff with a facefull of jalapeno steam! This all looks seriously good, and I am kicking myself for not knowing that if you plant jalapenos by bell peppers, you get bellapenos, which are NOT hot! Darn it!

I doubt Mark would find it hot enough though. Bring some over Saturday when we come up, and we'll see what he does. Plus, I want to try this biohazard that Jeff cooked up! :P

Meg said...

I have several friends who would love this dip! Great for a party. Love the foccacia sticks!!!

Jenny said...

Awesome recipes! I love them all. I Love everything spicy! Great post!

Maria said...

I love a nice kick to things! What a great spread!

Camille said...

This looks really good. I have wayyyy too many peppers in my garden still. This, this, this! I might actually make. Mmmm.

~Priscilla~ said...

my brother wouuld love this!! he loves all things spicy. jalepeno poppers are so good!

Barbara Bakes said...

I love poppers. The dip sounds great!

Holler said...

What a great post! I would like to have been there for that meal, although I don't know if I am brave enough to try that sauce :)