Monday, August 13, 2012

Toasting Jalapeno Peppers--The way I was taught

First, it really bothers me that I don't know how to put an ~ over the "n" in jalapeno.  I just wanted to let you know that I really do know how to spell it. 

Second, I want to admit that bugs me to no end when people pronounce it wrong. It's not "j"alapeno with a "j" sound, and it's not jalap-ee-no with a long "e" sound. The "ja" says an "h" sound and the "e" says a strong short "e" almost a long "a" sound.  The "n" with the squiggly line says "nyo". 

Now that I've either enlightened or alienated everyone, I'll get on with the toasting of the peppers!

My grandfather was from Mexico. His mother (my great-grandmother) taught my "gringa" grandma how to cook "Mexican", so she knew her son would be fed correctly. (These are the same grandparents I wrote about for Valentine's Day this year.)

Well, my grandma is the one who taught me!

When she taught me, we had a gas stove, and she used her "placa" or plate to lay the peppers on. I still have the placa but it's packed and wouldn't have worked on the electric stove.  I do have to tell you about the placa I have! 

You see that round burner cover on this antique stove? That is what my placa is like! My grandmother saved the burner cover from one of her old stoves because it worked so well to toast peppers and cook tortillas!!

Well, I wanted to toast these peppers to keep in the freezer, so I put them on the electric burner. My cousin (who is more Mexican than I am) let me know I could have put them in a pan since it's an electric stove. I probably will next time, but old habits die hard.

WARNING: Do not touch any orifice on your body while doing this!!! Wash hands very thoroughly after. You may also want to us the exhaust fan.

So, I washed and dried the pepper and then put them on the burner like this.

If you notice, the peppers start to sweat when on the burner...wouldn't you?
In fact, don't be surprised if they do a little dance!!

As areas get toasted, turn them over. I just use the stems to turn them around, but you can use tongs or a spatula.
I wouldn't recommend using a fork to turn them because it let's out all the juices!
You can move them around anyway you need to make sure it get's well toasted. Trust me. These are not burned.

This is what they looked like when they were all done.

Then I let them set awhile to cool down.  Now, I could have frozen them just as they were. I would have then defrosted and peeled them as needed. However, I chose to peal them before freezing. I also removed the seeds. In case you didn't know, the seeds are what makes a pepper really hot, so if you don't want things too hot, leave out the seeds.  Here is what they looked like when peeled.
You can see that regardless of how "burned" they may have looked when I finished toasting them, the pepper were just fine!
WARNING: Most people today suggest wearing gloves or plastic bags over your hands when you are peeling.  
I didn't because, well, I was just taught to do it with my bare hands. My finger tips were a little tingly afterwards for awhile, but not a big deal.

So there you have it! That's how to toast peppers! It works the same for all kinds of peppers regardless of how you pronounce them! ;-)

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1 comment:

Leslie Frances said...

Thanks for linking up with Simply Better! What a great tip. A friend of mine used to eat at a place and she called it "ja-lop-pun-nose" sure it would drive you nuts!

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