(J) All about the 'peños
Updated: Oct 5, 2018
See what I did there? This post is all about jalapeños! After compiling my list of recipes to first display on Viva la Piva, I quickly realized I may have a mild obsession for these approachable, hot peppers. Perfect time to get creative with them, given I had a jalapeño plant filled with peppers ready to harvest and enjoy!
This was my first year having the pleasure of a yard large enough to grow my own herbs, fruits and vegetables. Mind you, the majority of my garden ended up potted, not overly accessible to a water source, and stationed in a corner of our driveway to capture the only consistently sunlit area amongst the shifting shade of the cedar trees. (With this glamorous set up, I am kicking myself for not attempting it in previous homes!) Whether I have an ideal yard or not, I was determined for Lucca to experience the joys and wonder of gardening, and just as my mother taught me: if there is a will - there is a way! I haphazardly collected herbs, fruit and veggies at Valley Nursery, verified with their garden attendant they would (at least) do well in containers, and went on my merry way!
Admittedly, the herbs I planted got a bit more attention given how integral they are to my cooking, and were lucky enough to have their own devoted garden bed! I found success with each herb, with the exception being dill, which I found plucked... roots and all... the morning after I planted it. (What animal is only attracted to dill?) The herbs completely supported my culinary needs over the summer months; however, I seem to be catching up to their slowed growth, so I will be returning to store-bought herbs very soon.
Attempted and successful herbs: Cilantro, Italian Parsley, English Thyme, Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, Peppermint, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary and Tarragon.
Attempted but not-so-successful herbs (but probably would have been): Dill.
The fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, were a bit more hit-and-miss. Granted, I merely plopped them into containers and watered them regularly, paying no attention to their individual pruning or fertilization needs; so clearly, I reaped what I sowed. With that said, the TLC I provided was enough for some, and they, in turn, gifted us homegrown delicacies!
Attempted and successful fruits and veggies: Cherry Tomatoes, Eggplant, Jalapeños, Cucumber, Strawberries, Watermelon, Fennel, Lettuces and Swiss Chard
Attempted but not-so-successful fruits and veggies: Cantaloupe (happy plant, lots of blooms, but no melons...), Romanesco Broccoli and Cauliflower (both were growing beautifully, but I believe I waited too long to harvest...oops!).
The jalapeños, of everything I grew, seemed to produce the most. Happy accident, I suppose, but I'll take it (and cook with it, and share the recipes with you). With 25+ jalapeños ripening, I have my work cut out for me. In the meantime, allow me to highlight a few of my favorite recipes featuring these homegrown spicy peppers!
Blender Jalapeño Hollandaise Sauce
Looking for a little sizzle first thing in the morning? Make my Blender Jalapeño Hollandaise Sauce, which makes ease of a traditionally finicky sauce. Serve over a poached egg, ham and English muffin to have delectably spicy Eggs Benedict.
Combine spicy with sweet in one of my favorite recipes! This Mango Guacamole disappears quickly at parties, and pairs beautifully with Mexican food. I kid you not, I could eat the entire bowl myself!
Jalapeño Cucumber Herb Gimlet
Ready to cool down? I got you covered! But don't put the fire out entirely with my Jalapeño Cucumber Herb Gimlet, which pairs cool cucumber, fresh mint and cilantro, and spicy jalapeño to make a seriously refreshing drink.
This post barely scratches the surface of the many delicious ways I use jalapeños, but with lots of peppers yet to harvest, stay tuned for more tried-and-true recipes featuring the heat of these versatile peppers!
Thanks for reading, and perhaps cooking!