I will never purchase another shriveled up grocery store jalapeno again. Not when I can pull out one of my own, organically grown jalapeno out of my freezer anytime I need to add some heat to my dishes.
It’s so simple. When the peppers are ready to pick, I put them straight from the plant into a freezer bag, zip and pop them in the deep freeze. Days, months, over a year later they are still holding the heat. I just give them a rinse and chop them up for the recipe. Brilliant! (Wish I could take credit for this idea, but my father-in-law is the one who told me about it.)
Here I’m using several frozen jalapeno to liven up a very large batch of chili. Once this chili is done it will be frozen in serving sizes to be used for lunches and the occasional quick dinner.
I love the idea of preserving the summer harvest for later use. Of course, this idea is as old as time. But for me, it’s fun to find new ways to save things and new uses for the things I’ve saved. Throughout the winter, I thoroughly enjoy using items from the garden to freshen up dishes. It also adds a personal touch. After all, I could have easily purchased those jalapeno at the grocery store like I did the red bell peppers. But it’s more satisfying to know–and especially to tell others–that those chili peppers were grown in my garden. I also know that I spent a lot less to grow those peppers than I would have to purchase them.
Frozen jalapeno can be used in any recipe that calls for a chopped fresh one. I have never used a frozen pepper in a recipe in which a whole pepper would be stuffed or deep-fried. Perhaps this works, I honestly don’t know. I make those recipes during the season when the peppers actually are fresh.
Here is a recipe to try, where a frozen jalapeno can bring real personality to the finished product: Spicy Cabbage Soup