Tuesday Tip: How to Pick a Spicy Jalapeno

Have you ever had a recipe call for a jalapeno or spicy pepper, only to find that the pepper you picked out at the market isn’t spicy at all?  If you like spice, like I do, this is so disappointing!

Here’s a tip I learned a few years ago from a local produce guru. Look at the jalapeno selection at your store or market. If you see a jalapeno with light brown ridges on it, chances are, it has a knock-your-socks-off kind of a heat (Oh the innuendo…this blog might be the end of me!) If it’s completely smooth, it’s most likely on the milder side of your picante meter. Now, is this an exact science? Not really. I’ve definitely had a spicy yet smooth pepper before, but I will say, I’ve never had a ridged jalapeno that was not hot.

Note the ridges… don’t laugh!

So what do you do with your extra spicy mouth-watering peppers? Here are a few recipes that are perfect with a little extra pepper pizazz:

Guacamole, tortilla chips, and a Margarita on the rocks? Feels like summer to me!

Fresh Pea Soup with Savory Jalapeno Oil: Technically, this is a spring recipe, but you can use flash-frozen organic peas in place of fresh to make it a year-round dish. I love how the earthy savory and fiery jalapeno pop against the sweet peas.

Rajas: Roasted Poblanos with onion and feta cheese

Rica’s Tortilla Soup: This soup is so clean, fresh, and tasty. It’s one of our family’s favorite dishes.

Sangrita: A tasty way to chase down a shot of delicious tequila