Iced spice: are jalapeños really losing their heat?

Originally published by The Guardian on March 15th, 2024

Written by

Jalapeños come in many varieties – but some are losing their heat. Photograph: Barbara Rich/Getty Images

The jalapeño pepper has long been synonymous with spiciness – but if you’ve perceived a decline in its power, it’s not your imagination. Some jalapeños truly are getting less spicy, thanks to shadowy forces.

The dining critic Brian Reinhart blew the whole thing wide open in a piece in the Dallas-area publication D Magazine last year. Last week, it caught the eye of a health writer, Timothy Faust, who posted: “Big Ag actually made jalapeños less spicy – you’re not going nuts.” He’d clearly struck a chord: “Heat lovers are fired up over ‘diabolical’ scheme,” said the New York Post. “What the jal? Jalapeños aren’t hot any more,” lamented the Food Institute. “I have tasted these blandapeños. They are an abomination,” tweeted the poet DA Powell.

The long-term ‘de-spicification’ of the jalapeño is a deliberate choice, not the product of a bad season of weather,” Reinhart wrote. In short, most jalapeños are sent to factories to be used in prepared foods such as salsas, chips and sausages. The companies making these products want control over their products’ spice levels – and control is easier to achieve if the jalapeños are mild.

That’s because flavor and spiciness are two different things, says José C Marmolejo, a food writer who is Mexico’s representative to the World Chilli Alliance. Spiciness comes from a substance in the peppers known as capsaicin, which our bodies perceive as heat. Flavor, he explains, is what would be left if you took it out.

Companies can toss mild jalapeños into their recipes for flavor without worrying about spiciness. Then they can stoke the fire to the desired level by adding the spice itself: a pepper extract called oleoresin capsicum, which Reinhart describes as “pure heat”.

“It was a really big deal when breeders [told the industry], ‘Hey, look, I have a low-heat jalapeño,’ and then a low-heat but high-flavor jalapeño,” says Reinhart’s key source in the investigation. “That kind of became the big demand for jalapeños – low heat jalapeños – because most of them are used for processing and cooking. [Producers] want to start with jalapeños and add oleoresin capsicum.”

Reinhart’s source, Stephanie Walker, clearly knows her peppers: she’s on the advisory board of New Mexico University’s Chile Pepper Institute and was chair of last year’s New Mexico Chile Conference. New Mexico might be called the chilli state: it produced more than 60% of US chillis in 2021, and last year, it became the first state with an (extremely specific) official state aroma: “green chillis roasting in the fall”.

A key culprit in the de-spicification conspiracy, however, comes from one state over. It’s known as the Tam II, and it’s a type of jalapeño developed at Texas A&M University – hence the acronym – that’s very mild. It became a hit after emerging two decades ago, and its genes entered “the general jalapeño pool”, making the whole thing milder, Reinhart writes.

For big companies, it’s all about standardization, says Marmolejo, who likens the phenomenon to “the McDonald’s concept that every burger has stayed the same everywhere”. As a former manufacturer of salsa and other chilli products, he ran into the issue himself. But he took a different approach to solving it: making his foods in big batches. “You might get some chillis that are spicy and others that are not,” he says. But mix big quantities, and things tend to even out: “It’s probability.”

“I’m into natural processes and flavors, and so I wouldn’t trust a company that would put additives in, even if it’s capsaicin,” Marmolejo says.

In fact, the extract itself is pretty unappealing, says Dave DeWitt, a food historian and chilli expert who collaborated with Marmolejo on a cookbook Reinhart cites. “I’ve seen buckets of it. It’s nasty, nasty, nasty,” he says. “It’s a chemical more than a food, I think.” But he acknowledges it makes business sense for companies to use it, given concerns over standardization and the cost of peppers.

Even if some jalapeños are getting weaker, pepper fans shouldn’t worry: they still have plenty of options. “You want a hot jalapeño, they are there,” Marmolejo says, highlighting those grown in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Veracruz.

He strongly cautions against any generalization about a decline in spiciness, given the many different varieties of jalapeños – there are dozens, according to DeWitt. Reinhart points, for instance, to the mitla variety, which can hit 8,000 on the Scoville scale of spiciness, compared with 1,080 for some Tam peppers. Customers looking for spicier options might want to check the source of their peppers: jalapeños grown in Mexico may be spicier, and broadly speaking, smaller peppers are often hotter, DeWitt says.

And there are plenty of non-jalapeño chillis to choose from if you’re looking for heat. “Habaneros have been very popular for the last 30 years in the states,” says Marmolejo. “They are probably my favorite fresh chilli pepper. The aroma is unmistakable.”

PopCorners Jalapeño Popper races to a bold snacking flavor win

Originally published by FoodSided on May 1, 2024

Written by Cristine Struble

PopCorners Jalapeno Popper flavor / PopCorners

 

When that crunchy, light food craving hits, there is only one snack that tops the must open list. PopCorners captures that airy crunch without sacrificing on taste. With the new PopCorners  Jalapeño Popper flavor, the cheesy spicy flavor is ready to earn the snacking crown.

Although some people try to follow a balance eating lifestyle, the desire to eat some snacks does not have to derail the food choices. An option, like PopCorners, offers that satisfying crunch without being heavy, greasy, or otherwise calorically dense option. For people who like popcorn but wanted more texture and snacking convenience, the snack fills a void.

While PopCorners has several flavors in its line-up, it was missing a spicy option. Sure, that classic Sea Salt is enjoyable while flying JetBlue, but some people prefer a little burn in the bag. Given that spicy flavors have taken over the snack shelf, the PepsiCo snack brand needed to branch out to capture and keep its snacking fan base.

The new PopCorners Jalapeño Popper flavor is a curious choice for the brand. While the food company could have sprinkled some crushed pepper or drizzled some sriracha on a chip, this flavor concept is more robust. In a way, it takes the classic appetizer and makes it portable. Maybe, it is the solution to multiple food trends.

As Rhasheda Boyd, vice president of marketing, PepsiCo said, “In developing the new Jalapeño Popper flavor, we saw an unmet desire for spicier options in the snack aisle. So, we decided to embrace our ‘popped, never fried’ motto with a unique take on a familiar food.”

Cindy Crawford And Casamigos Unveil Casamigas Jalapeño Tequila

Originally published by Forbes on April 8th, 2024

Written by Shivani Vora

 

Legendary supermodel and entrepreneur Cindy Crawford and the founders of Casamigos, Rande Gerber, George Clooney, and Mike Meldman, unveil.

Cindy Crawford and her new Casamigas Tequila. Crawford is pictured wearing Blundstone Chelsea Boots. STEWART SHINING

Casamigas Jalapeño Tequila. This fiery addition to the Casamigos family is inspired by Cindy’s personal favorite drink, the skinny, spicy Casamigos Margarita.

“A few years ago, Rande and I were watching the sun set on our dock and we talked about how fun it would be for me to do a spicy tequila. Voila – Casamigas was born,” says Cindy.

As a woman who loves to travel, Cindy enjoys unwinding with her favorite drink at the hotel bar. A jalapeño tequila was clearly missing from the shelf. Now, with Casamigas Jalapeño Tequila, her travel escapades to her favorite destinations such as Miami, New York, Chicago, Paris, and London are bound to be even more memorable, as she can savor her cocktail of choice wherever her adventures take her.

Crafted from 100% blue Weber agave from the rich clay soil of Jalisco, Mexico, and using the ultra-premium Casamigos Blanco Tequila, it’s naturally flavored with jalapeños to create a spicy yet balanced tequila.

“As much as I love Casamigos, my go to drink for a fun night is a skinny, spicy Casamigos margarita,” says Cindy. “Casamigas Jalapeño makes it that much easier. It’s Casamigos with a kick.”

But Casamigas Jalapeño isn’t just a product—it’s a passion project. With Crawford’s intimate involvement with Rande and his team in every step of its creation, from concept to label design, this launch is a testament to the personal investment of both the Casamigos team and the supermodel herself.

“Cindy has obviously been part of the Casamigos journey since day one, and I’m excited that she now gets to put her special touches on Casamigas,” says Rande Gerber.

Available nationwide at hotels and restaurants such as Casa Cipriani, Soho Grand, and The Mercer, Casamigas Jalapeño Tequila promises an adventure whether you drink it neat, over ice, or in a cocktail.

And let’s not forget the aesthetic appeal: the label of Casamigas Jalapeño Tequila is a playful nod to its fiery nature. Incorporating Gerber’s same classic bottle design, the label, also designed by Gerber, has Cindy playfully disrupting the traditional label with a vibrant display of flames, jalapeños, and Crawford’s trademark lips and beauty mark.

It’s a visual representation of the tequila’s bold personality—a statement piece for any hotel bar or yours at home.

It’s Not A Rumor: Why Jalapeños Are Becoming Less Spicy

Originally published by Plant Based News on April 03, 2024

Written by Adam Protz

Are jalapeño peppers really less spicy? – Media Credit: Adobe Stock

 

It has now been confirmed to not be just another conspiracy theory found in the darker corners of the internet: jalapeños are being produced to be deliberately less spicy. It may seem strange in a time where spice is all the rage, with many famous musicians selling their own hot sauces, and Hot Ones, (a YouTube show in which guests eat increasingly hot food) attracting A-list celebrities.

Nonetheless, it is now out in the open that the agriculture industry has been deliberately tampering with the jalapeño. Hailing from Mexico, the name is Spanish for “from Xalapa,” the Mexican city where the medium-sized chili pepper was traditionally grown and cultivated. Fans of the pepper are now worried it will never retain its original spice level following agricultural intervention.

A larger jalapeño, but with less heat

The concern all follows a report in a report in D Magazine that finds these lower-spiced jalapeños are the results of “a vast industrial scheme.” The new variety of the pepper is called TAM II, and, because it suits many aspects of the jalapeño production industry, is often now the jalapeño people will find themselves eating at home or in restaurants. The name refers to Texas A&M University, where TAM II was first developed.

There are several reasons why it suits industrial-level agriculture and the food industry at large so well: despite its deeply controversial reduced scoville-level, it grows to be a larger fruit with an increased amount of flesh. As with many tampered-with fruits and vegetables, there is a perception that it looks better aesthetically. It has stronger virus resistance, and also boasts a faster maturation.

Shop local for the spicier jalapeños

This all means it will be tricky for those who don’t wish to buy the TAM II variety. One of the only viable workarounds in such a situation is to shop at smaller or independent greengrocers, where shoppers can discuss with the staff which jalapeño variety they are stocking. The spicier varieties to ask for are Early and Mitla peppers.

A big driver of TAM II production is the salsa industry. With this newer variety of jalapeño, which is only around 20 years old, salsa makers can now control the spice levels of their products more precisely, often adding their own spice to tweak the salsa to their desired result.

Do you know where your Sriracha’s peppers come from? Someone is secretly buying jalapenos

Originally published by USA Today Network on January 29th, 2024

Written by Tom Kisken

Once nearly impossible to find, Huy Fong Foods Sriracha sauce again lines the shelf of grocery stores like this WinCo foods in Ventura. Tom Kisken/The Star

 

Huy Fong Food’s rooster-stamped, green-tipped Sriracha sauce once again lines shelves in grocery stores. It’s possible Alex Jack is part of the reason why.

The Imperial Valley pepper farmer was asked by a middle man if he could grow 500 acres of red jalapenos for an unknown producer. He did it, was paid handsomely via a bank wire and now plans to plant 200 acres more in February.

He has not been told who is buying the jalapenos, though he suspects it is Huy Fong Foods, the hot sauce company that once used 100 million pounds of peppers a year in producing its hugely successful sauces.

“I was told to keep blinders on my eyes and look forward and don’t ask questions,” he said.

Huy Fong Foods officials aren’t saying anything, but speculation is rampant in California’s pepper-growing community the Irwindale company is using intermediaries to reach out anonymously to farmers in search of ramping up production.

At least one grower who was approached about jalapenos, Edgar Terry of Ventura, said he was told the buyer is Huy Fong. He turned the offer down.

“I demanded to find out,” he said. “I have to know who I’m growing for.”

Huy Fong Foods’ hot pepper pipeline was fed for 28 years by one provider, Underwood Ranches in Camarillo. But the once family-like partnership ended in a bitter dispute that spawned civil lawsuits and a $23.3 million verdict for Underwood from jurors. They said Huy Fong, founded by Vietnamese refugee David Tran, broke its contract and committed fraud by withholding information.

Afterward, Huy Fong reportedly relied on other producers, including growers in Mexico, ultimately struggling with a jalapeno shortage that caused them to temporarily halt production.

Steady supply for Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce

It got so bad Sriracha lovers offered astronomic prices for the rooster bottles on Craigslist. At the Asahi Market in Oxnard, people waited in long lines for Sriracha, sometimes buying every bottle in the sparse inventory. Store owner Mark Aboueid journeyed regularly to Los Angeles on foraging missions aimed at finding a case or two to sell.

Chick-fil-A provides a seasonal twist on its signature chicken sandwich for the first time

Originally published by Nation’s Restaurant News on August 15, 2023

Written by Alicia Kelso

 

Chick-fil-A’s Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich is available nationwide beginning Aug. 28.

Photo by Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is launching a Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich nationwide beginning Aug. 28, marking the first time the chain has provided a seasonal twist on its signature offering. The sandwich is available while supplies last and includes an original filet topped with custom-made creamy pimento cheese and mild pickled jalapeños. It is served on a toasted bun drizzled with honey.

The company notes that pickled jalapeños have never been used before in a Chick-fil-A entrée, while its pimento cheese is made with green chilis and red pimentos combined with cheddar cheese. According to Chef Stuart Tracy, the drizzle of honey adds a subtly sweet flavor to tie everything together.

“We wanted to create a standout sandwich that would deliver a unique spin for our guests, without losing the classic taste of the Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. The Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich uses ingredients and flavors our guests have never experienced at Chick-fil-A before, balancing savory, sweet and spicy elements using the highest quality ingredients. With our custom-made pimento cheese and specially sourced jalapeños, we hope to deliver a new and exciting sandwich our guests will love,” Tracy said in a statement.

According to the company, the culinary team began exploring a new seasonal twist on its original chicken sandwich after the positive introduction of entrees like the Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich. The Honey Pepper Pimento offering ranked No. 1 out of more than 30 creations during the year-plus-long research and development process, and customers rated it highly for taste and value during its market test in North and South Carolina. Indeed, hot honey is on trend and flavor and beverage company Monin recently named hot honey the 2023 flavor of the year.Chick-fil-A is launching a Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich nationwide beginning Aug. 28, marking the first time the chain has provided a seasonal twist on its signature offering. The sandwich is available while supplies last and includes an original filet topped with custom-made creamy pimento cheese and mild pickled jalapeños. It is served on a toasted bun drizzled with honey.

The company notes that pickled jalapeños have never been used before in a Chick-fil-A entrée, while its pimento cheese is made with green chilis and red pimentos combined with cheddar cheese. According to Chef Stuart Tracy, the drizzle of honey adds a subtly sweet flavor to tie everything together.

“We wanted to create a standout sandwich that would deliver a unique spin for our guests, without losing the classic taste of the Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. The Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich uses ingredients and flavors our guests have never experienced at Chick-fil-A before, balancing savory, sweet and spicy elements using the highest quality ingredients. With our custom-made pimento cheese and specially sourced jalapeños, we hope to deliver a new and exciting sandwich our guests will love,” Tracy said in a statement.

According to the company, the culinary team began exploring a new seasonal twist on its original chicken sandwich after the positive introduction of entrees like the Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and the Grilled Spicy Deluxe Sandwich. The Honey Pepper Pimento offering ranked No. 1 out of more than 30 creations during the year-plus-long research and development process, and customers rated it highly for taste and value during its market test in North and South Carolina. Indeed, hot honey is on trend and flavor and beverage company Monin recently named hot honey the 2023 flavor of the year.

Notably, Chick-fil-A isn’t the only company iterating its signature offering four years after the so-called chicken sandwich wars started with a Popeyes tweet directed toward Chick-fil-A. The 2019 social media fodder led to a wave of chicken sandwich launches and promotions from dozens of companies – including Wendy’s, Church’s Chicken, KFC, Jack in the Box, Shake Shack, Burger King, Panera and McDonald’s – all jockeying for market share for a high-demand product and in an attempt to tap into Chick-fil-A’s dominance in the category.

Those iterations started coming last year, when Wendy’s launched a hot honey chicken sandwich. Late last year, Popeyes added a new Blackened Chicken Sandwich to the menu, while Burger King brought back its Italian Chicken Sandwich. Earlier this year, KFC extended its chicken sandwich platform with an Ultimate BBQ KFC Chicken Sandwich and a Spicy Slaw Chicken Sandwich.

In March, McDonald’s rebranded its crispy chicken sandwich to the McCrispy, and executives have noted a gain in share in the chicken category since. That said, it doesn’t seem to be gaining share from Chick-fil-A. According to Datassential, McDonald’s sales increased by 5.9% from 2021 to 2022, to $48.6 billion. Chick-fil-A’s sales during that same period grew by 12.8%, to $18.8 billion.

Caramel Crumble Milkshake also on deck

In addition to the new sandwich, Chick-fil-A is also launching a Caramel Crumble Milkshake, made with butterscotch caramel flavors, Chick-fil-A Icedream, blondie crumbles and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. This marks the brand’s seventh seasonal milkshake since the offering was first introduced in 2006. It was created by Chef Christy Cook and tested in Salt Lake City in 2021.

“When creating our next fall shake, I wanted to make our guests feel those cozy and nostalgic feelings of the season, but couldn’t pinpoint the exact flavors until I baked a batch of blondies for my family,” Cook said in a statement. “After tasting that little bit of caramelized ingredients at the bottom of the pan, I knew I’d found the perfect flavor combination.”

GRILLED FISH TACOS WITH JALAPEÑO CORN SLAW.

Originally published by How Sweet Eats on August 14, 2023

Written by Jessica Merchant

 

These grilled fish tacos are a summer favorite for us. Smoky, flavorful grilled fish is served on warm tortillas with a crisp and refreshing jalapeño slaw made with fresh corn. We adore this lovely light meal that is packed with flavor!

Have a Monday margarita with this taco!!

Photo from Pinterest

These grilled fish tacos are such an easy, delicious way to make your weeknight meal shine. The fish is smoky, flaky and buttery. The jalapeno corn slaw is crunchy and refreshing with a bite of heat and citrus. The whole combination is incredible.

While it’s true that I’ll put just about another in a taco, fish tacos are one of our favorites. Especially Eddie’s. He doesn’t love Mexican food as much as I do, but he will gladly take a fish taco any day.

Beer battered fish tacos are probably my number one choice. But what I love about these grilled fish tacos is that they are so smoky and light. You know how it can be SO HOT in the summer that you barely have an appetite? Like it’s almost too hot to eat?

Photo from Pinterest

These are perfect for those hot nights. First, you grill the fish so no need to heat up the house with the oven. And second, they are easy, customizable and such a lovely light meal. No feeling like you downed an entire bowl of queso after finishing these

Unless, of course, you downed an entire bowl of queso after finishing these.

When it comes to the fish, I like to use a mild white fish for this. Something like cod. I already have a recipe for summer salmon tacos, but salmon works here too. Basically, if you like the fish, you will enjoy it in these tacos.

I use lots of smoky spices. Smoked paprika, cumin, some garlic, a pinch of chipotle chili powder. Layering the flavor is the name of the game here and I want flavor in every single bite of taco!

One way that I make these fish tacos come off the grill so perfectly flaky and buttery is by using a grill panThis all clad one is my favorite – I have two and use them almost every single day. I spray them with an avocado oil spray or something similar and then place the fish on the grill pan, then the whole thing directly on the grill.

This also helps to ensure that the fish doesn’t flake off and fall in between the grates when you’re flipping it or trying to remove it from the grill. It’s the easiest way to do it, especially if you’re a beginner.

If I have big pieces of fish, then I feel confident throwing them directly on the grates. But just keep in mind that fish cooks fast on the grill – you don’t want to overcook it!

Photo from Pinterest

NOW… THE SLAW.

This slaw may be our favorite summer slaw so far. And you know that we are suckers for a good, crunchy slaw.

I love the refreshing, crisp bite that the slaw gives to the taco, especially since the fish is so soft and practically melts in your mouth.

This slaw is made with super thinly sliced green cabbage, corn cut straight from the cob, jalapeño peppers from the garden, tons of fresh cilantro, a little lime and lots of salt and pepper. Trust me when I say that you will want to eat this as a salad! In fact, it could be a side salad or side dish for these tacos. If you don’t want to put the slaw directly in the taco, just serve it on the side!

It is SO crunchy. So crispy. Perfectly sweet and savory with a hint of spice.

The other toppings I love for these tacos? My quick pickled onions. Some crumbly cotija cheese. A few spritzes of fresh lime. And maybe some extra cilantro.

Those are the basics for me, but of course you can add anything else you love.

RECIPE

GRILLED FISH TACOS WITH JALAPEÑO CORN SLAW

These grilled fish tacos are a summer favorite for us. Smoky, flavorful grilled fish is served on warm tortillas with a crisp and refreshing jalapeño slaw made with fresh corn. We adore this lovely light meal that is packed with flavor!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound cod, or similar fish
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • flour or corn tortillas, your choice
  • pickled onions, for topping
  • crumbled cotija cheese, for topping
  • fresh cilantro, for topping
  • fresh lime wedges, for spritzing

 

  • JALAPEÑO CORN SLAW
    • 1 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
    • 2 to 3 ears of grilled corn, corn cut from the cob
    • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced and seeds removed
    •  cup chopped cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • kosher salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your grill to the highest setting. As a note, I like to grill the corn for the slaw. Sometimes I will do that first and then make the slaw, because the fish cooks so quickly!
  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Season it all over with salt and pepper, then sprinkle all over with the spices. Place the fish on a grill pan (or directly on the grates if you’re not using one).
  • Place the grill pan directly on the grill. You can also place a few ears of corn on the cob directly on the grill grates to use for the slaw if you didn’t do that yet.
  • Grill the fish for 2 to 3 minutes with the lid closed, then gently flip the fish and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes more. It should be flaky and opaque when finished.

  • Warm the tortillas if you wish. To assemble the tacos, add the fish on first then top with the slaw, some pickled onions, cotija cheese and cilantro. Spritz with lime

JALAPEÑO CORN SLAW

  • Place the cabbage, corn peppers and cilantro in a large bowl. Add a big pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the lime juice and the olive oil. Toss a bunch of times with kitchen tongs until combined. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

Jalapeño Popper Dip

Originally Published by Southern Living on July 20, 2023

Written by Julia Levy

 

PHOTO: JENNIFER CAUSEY; FOOD STYLIST: MELISSA GRAY; PROP STYLIST: KAY CLARKE

 

Active Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8

If stuffed jalapeños are always a hit at your gatherings, then you and your friends will get a kick out of this baked Jalapeño Popper Dip. Cheesy, spicy, and creamy, this dip is perfect for any gathering. Tailgating events, family reunions, holiday parties, and the like all call for a spread of savory appetizers. Oftentimes, a crowd-pleasing dip earns even more praise than the main course!

This recipe yields eight delicious servings, but, if your guest list is longer, it can easily be doubled. With only 20 minutes of active time in the kitchen, this quick, simple appetizer levels up any party spread.

What Is Jalapeño Popper Dip?

Reminiscent of a favorite appetizer, jalapeño popper dip is all the good of stuffed jalapeños packed into a shareable party dip. It’s delicious as is, but, for even more color and texture, fold in chopped red and yellow bell peppers.

Ingredients for Jalapeño Popper Dip

Cheesy, spicy, and creamy—this baked dip is perfect for any gathering. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Bacon: Bacon adds a smoky flavor and savory bite to the spice.
  • Cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise: Softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream create a smooth, creamy base for this dip recipe.
  • Jalapeños: Both fresh and pickled, jalapeños lend a spicy kick to an ultra-rich dip. Pickled jalapeños also go great in nachospimento cheese and sandwiches.
  • Cilantro: This herb brightens up this spicy dip, lending a light, fresh flair.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder heat up dip.
  • Cheese: Cheddar and pepper Jack cheese add a the ooey-gooey factor.

What To Serve With Jalapeño Popper Dip

With a creamy, cheesy base, this spicy dip is smooth and spreadable—making it the perfect topper for heavy chips, crackers, or mini toasts. For another simple way to impress your guest, try dressing up the table with a crudités platter—veggie slices pair great with Jalapeño Popper Dip, too!

Can You Make Jalapeño Popper Dip Ahead?

If you’re planning ahead, you’re in luck! This Jalapeño Popper Dip can be made up to three days in advance before baking. And if you want to serve it fresh, just cover tightly and stow in the fridge until it’s time to bake. Bake as directed or until heated through.

Can You Reheat Jalapeño Popper Dip? 

Leftovers are a rarity with a dip that tastes this good. But, if you do wind up with a little extra on hand, a quick reheat delivers the same fresh taste.

Simply pop it in the microwave on 50 percent power for one minute. Leftovers can last up to four days.

Cooking Tips

Jalapeños lend this recipe a significant bite as is, but to amp up the spice even more, one Southern Living Member recommends doubling the jalapeños. Spice tolerance differers person to person, so add slowly, and adjust as needed.

Ingredients

  • 6 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 2 large fresh jalapeños, finely chopped (about ½  cup), divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 ½ cups), divided
  • 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 ½ cups), divided
  • Corn tortilla chips, for serving

Directions

  1. Cook bacon:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium. Add bacon; cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

  2. Make dip mixture:

    Stir together cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, 1/3 cup of the fresh jalapeños, 3 tablespoons of the cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder in a large bowl. Fold in 1 cup of each of the cheeses and 1/3 cup of the bacon. Transfer to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish greased with cooking spray or a medium cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle evenly with remaining cheeses, bacon, and fresh jalapeños.

  3. Bake dip:

    Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro; serve hot with tortilla chips

Jalapeno-Cheddar Beer Bread

Originally published by Food Network

Written by Justine Lee

 

Photo by Matt Armendariz

 

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 1 loaf
This no-fail, no-fuss recipe, uses just a few ingredients, requires no rising time and has tons of savory flavor.

Ingredients

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush an 8-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan with some of the melted butter.
Whisk together the flour, sugar and 1/2 cup Cheddar in a large bowl.
Pour the beer into a medium bowl. Add half of the remaining butter and whisk together (it will get foamy!).
Pour the beer-butter mixture into the flour mixture and fold until just combined (it’s ok if there are lumps). The batter will be relatively thick and shaggy. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan and pat out into an even layer. Pour the remaining butter over the batter and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar and the jalapeno slices. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190 degrees F, 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes.
Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes. Invert the bread out of the pan and eat warm or at room temperature.
Cook’s Note
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)

Corn and jalapeños add a delicious kick to this sheet-pan chicken dish

Originally published by The Seattle Times on August 6, 2023

Written by Melissa Clark

 

Sheet-pan chicken thighs with spicy corn. Marinate your chicken thighs in pickled jalapeño brine, then toss the peppers with fresh summer corn and lime for a dinner that’s spicy, sweet, salty and sour. Food styled by Simon… (David Malosh / The New York Times)

 

The beginning of corn season requires speed and simplicity. You want the fastest, easiest way to get that pile of evanescently sweet, nubby cobs on the table, ready for butter-slathering and gleeful chomping. A dip in boiling water, a quick sear on the grill or even a zap in the microwave all make the most of those fleeting first ears without much fuss.

But, as the season advances, the desire to mix it up inevitably sets in. Now is the time for recipes that require a bit more time and work, yet are absolutely worth the delayed gratification.

My basil chicken with corn and jalapeños, a sheet-pan meal that brings out the more complex side of summer corn, is made for this moment. Preparing it isn’t hard, but you will need a half-hour at the very least to marinate the chicken in mayonnaise, basil, garlic and a few tablespoons of brine from a jar of pickled jalapeños.

While you’re off doing something (or nothing) else, the brine and mayonnaise work their magic together, adding both salt and spice, and locking in the juiciness of boneless chicken thighs. The egg in the mayonnaise helps the skinless meat turn golden as it roasts, which it does more effectively than oil alone.

I toss the pickled jalapeños with the corn kernels, then scatter the mixture around the thighs so that the corn caramelizes as it roasts, the jalapeños mellow and the fat from the chicken brings it all together.

The simplest way I’ve found for cutting the corn kernels from their cobs is to lay the shucked ear down on the cutting board, then slice off the kernels, rotating the ear as I go. Standing the ears up — whether in a bowl or balanced in the center tube of a Bundt pan — always sends the kernels flying all over the place, at least in my kitchen. Use whatever method works best for you, of course, but save those cobs. They lend loads of flavor and body to stocks and soups.

When you first add the corn mixture to the pan, it may seem like a lot, nearly burying the chicken, but rest assured the corn shrinks a lot as it cooks. In the end, it’s exactly right: a generous helping to celebrate the moment when corn season reaches its glorious peak.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Thighs With Spicy Corn

Total time: 55 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes’ marinating

Servings: 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1¾ teaspoons fine sea or table salt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapeños, plus brine from the jar
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (from about 4 ears)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings
  • 1 lime, halved
STEPS
  1. Season the chicken all over with ¾ teaspoon of salt. In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, basil, garlic and 2 tablespoons jalapeño brine. Add the chicken to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss together corn, pickled jalapeños, olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and half of the scallions (save remaining scallions for serving).
  3. Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet, spacing it out. Roast for 12 minutes. Spoon the corn mixture onto the empty parts of the baking sheet. Drizzle chicken and corn with oil. Continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer, stirring the corn once while roasting.
  4. Turn the broiler on high and broil the chicken and corn until golden brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn, though a little blistering is nice).
  5. Garnish chicken and corn with basil, remaining scallions and fresh jalapeño slices. Sprinkle with more pickled jalapeño brine and lime juice. Serve hot or at room temperature.