Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jalapeno Pepper Pico Recipe

Jalapenos and many other spicy foods have been acclaimed for their capsaicin properties that get the body moving and the metabolism spiked to work more efficiently.  I believe there is some truth to this, although I do not know the exact science behind it.



Of more interest to me, after visiting my friends not too far down the road on their pepper farm (Cox Farms) is the importance of each and every single pepper that grows on their plants.  Not one goes to waste due to imperfection.  In a society where so much is tossed away because "it isn't good enough", it was refreshing to see, that for my friends, every pepper counts!

Jena showed me lots and lots of plants.  Plants that were raised specifically for mild salsas (even though they were Jalapenos, they were bred without the heat component so they could be used to be labeled as "mild"), plants that were raised as the full on heat of a Jalapeno, and then the Habaneros (wow...I was a bit afraid to even TOUCH these, but they sure were pretty).



Jena tells me the peppers had a particularly good growing season this year; not too hot or cold and just the right amount of rain to help the plants to be especially productive.  With that being said, I noticed several peppers that were streaked.  I asked her about this and whether the streaked nature of the pepper would cause them to be discarded.  She said that the streaking on the pepper was an indication that the pepper grew super fast due to the prime weather conditions...kinda like people when we grow fast, we sometimes experience growth spurts, stretch marks, and things of the like.

The peppers won't be thrown away, they will be put to good use.  Jena embraces the production as she knows these solid, dense peppers will be great in the salsa they are being picked for.  There is no discrimination, virtually nothing will go to waste.  

Much like ourselves, we always need to embrace our imperfections and push past the false expectations of society.  Nothing is ever actually perfect anyway.  We all have special flavor to bring to the table, whether it's a bit of spicy or something a bit more on the mild side!

THE SOYBEAN FARMER'S JALAPENO PEPPER PICO RECIPE:

8-10 Roma Tomatoes (seeded and diced)

1/2 - 1 medium sized onion (I like to use either a red or white onion, finely diced)

1-2 diced jalapenos (I mixed a regular jalapeno, removed the seeds and a mild jalapeno - it was still hot*****)

1/2 bunch Cilantro (washed and finely chopped)

Juice from 2 limes

1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt



***** The seeds of the Jalapenos do contribute to some of the heat content, so if you don't like the heat, then discard the seeds.  Also be sure to WASH your hands before touching your skin after you have seeded and diced your jalapeno (SECRET HAND WASHING RECIPE THAT WORKS FOR ME:  1 - 2  TEASPOONS VEGETABLE OIL SPREAD AND "WASHED" OVER MY HANDS AND FINGERS, THEN ADD HAND SOAP AND WASH THOROUGHLY)

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Chop all ingredients into small, bite sized pieces (the onion and cilantro can be finely chopped).
2.  Add each ingredient into a mixing bowl, adding the salt last.
3.  Stir together, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt at a time and then add additional to taste preference.
4.  Best enjoyed right away, but can be chilled and consumed within 2 days for best flavor and texture.
5.  Savor with tortilla chips, over tacos, or over chicken


Pickled jalapenos are fun and easy too, great addition to any sandwich that needs a little extra kick!


Grilled Cheese sandwich on sprouted grain bread with pickled jalapeno slices


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