I am here to personally defend the jalapeno pepper. Dubbed super spicy and often removed from recipes this flavorful pepper needs some assistance. Most people do not realize that jalapenos, especially those that are larger than 2 inches long and on the plump side are not spicy at all and more like a strong green pepper (btw, the smaller the pepper, any color, the spicier it is, so watch out for those cute adorable and little habaneros or scotch bonnets, they have a super spicy punch).
The heat in a jalapeno lives in the white center membrane and on the seeds inside. So if you like spice, buy smaller jalapenos and chop them with the seeds and membranes and add it to your recipe. If you prefer mild flavors, don’t omit the pepper! Just cut it properly so that you can remove the spiciness and then get all the great jalapeno flavor and no spiciness. To cut them, slice them in half, and then scrape out the white membrane and seeds with a pairing knife. Do not use your fingers or you will end up with strong spice on your hands which will transfer to your eyes or nose if you touch them. After the seeds are removed, just chop them like any other pepper. Make sure you wash your hands with warm soapy water after working with jalapenos. Of all the peppers, jalapenos are so easy to work with because you have so much control. They add such depth of flavor and a hint of Mexican seasoning to any recipe. I vote to give the jalapeno another chance! I’d love to hear from you and let me know if you gave them a try. Two of my favorite recipes to use them in are Creamy Asian Coleslaw and Tortilla Soup.