By Harninder Jacquot, Reel Meals YYJ | photo by Janis Jean Photography –
Hooray for jalapeños! These flavour-packed peppers are easy to grow, are moderately spicy and are full of health benefits!
Jalapeños can be planted in spring and harvested through late fall which allows for the flavour to be enjoyed through many seasons. Jalapeños can add just a hint of spice by removing the seeds and membrane, or can really pack a punch by leaving them in to bring the heat! Jalapeños are full of vitamins, antioxidants and can boost metabolism.
I love cooking with spice and jalapeños are a great way to bring some zing to any of your culinary creations! Enjoy!
Halibut with Jalapeño Corn Sauce and Quick Jalapeño Corn Salsa (serves 2)
2 halibut fillets (3-4 ounces each)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
19 oz can creamed corn
3 medium jalapeños, diced (2 tbsp reserved)
2 tbsp garlic herb
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh corn (frozen or canned will work)
3 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced red pepper
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Salt and pepper halibut fillets and place skin side down into heated skillet. After 2 minutes, add ½ cup of water to pan and cover. After 2 minutes of cooking the covered halibut, take the pan off the heat and allow halibut to cook through with lid on. This should take another 3 minutes off the heat and covered.
In a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat over medium. Add all but 2 tablespoons of diced jalapeños and cook for 1 min. Add creamed corn, onion and garlic powder and cook together for about 5 minutes. Blend the creamed corn mixture until combined. Strain the mixture through a sieve to create a smooth sauce. Add 2 tablespoons Boursin cheese and mix until fully melted.
Combine ½ cup corn, sliced basil, red onion, red pepper and 2 remaining tablespoons of jalapeño to create quick salsa. To plate, put the smooth corn and jalapeño sauce onto the plate. Gently place fillet of halibut on top of sauce and top with corn and jalapeño salsa.
Jalapeño Popper Pasta (serves 3-4)
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
4 strips of bacon,
sliced into 1-inch strips
3 to 4 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced (depending on your spice preference)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pasta water
sliced jalapeños to garnish
crispy fried onions to garnish
parsley (optional) to garnish
Start by cooking your pasta according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta but reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
In a large pan, cook the sliced bacon over medium heat and drain on paper towel. Discard all but 2 tbsp bacon fat. Add onion and jalapeño to the same pan on medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add cream cheese and stir together until melted. Add in mozzarella cheese and stir until combined. Add cooked bacon back into the sauce, add desired salt and pepper. Use reserved pasta water to thin the sauce out if desired. Add in cooked pasta and toss to combine. Plate the pasta, garnish with fresh jalapeños, chopped parsley and fried onions.
Jalapeño, Sweet Potato and Onion Pakoras with Gurjit’s Green Chutney
1 cup Besan (chickpea flour)
1/4 cup water
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 medium yam, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
vegetable oil for pan frying
1 cup mint
½ cup cilantro
½ small yellow onion
1 inch knob of ginger
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
For the chutney, combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend ingredients until combined. Salt to taste and set aside.
Thinly slice jalapeño, onion and yam so they are similar in size. Combine all ingredients (except for water) in a bowl and mix. Gradually add water until desired texture is reached. You want the pakora batter to be sticky and the vegetables to be lightly coated. In a heavy bottom pan, heat about 2 inches of oil on high until it reaches 350°.
Divide pakora batter into 12 equal portions. Fry about 4 pakoras at a time to not crowd the pan. Fry for 1 minute and flip, then fry for 1 more minute. Place cooked pakoras on a wire rack or paper towel and continue the frying process until all pakoras are made. Serve immediately with Gurjit’s Green Chutney.