Tag Archives: jalapeno

Spicy Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

I write to you with a belly full of food, pajamas that look like candy canes, and three movies lined up for watching: Frosty The Snowman (currently watching), A Charlie Brown Christmas (up next), and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (the natural one to end the evening). I’m at Braeden’s parents’, and tomorrow we will have German food for Christmas. It’ll be sehr, sehr gut.

But for now, some hot sauce!


I got the basic recipe for this sauce from my friend Caleb, who said that I should keep it secret, and keep it safe, but things this tasty shouldn’t really be kept secret, so Caleb said I could share it with you. I made two variations: one with just jalapeños and apples, and another with jalapeños and chipotles in adobo sauce. Both are tasty, but I liked the chipotle one the best – it’s just so smoky and delicious! I like my sauces a little thicker, so that they really stick to the foods they adorn, but if you like yours a bit thinner feel free to add more vinegar or water.

tah dah

Hot Sauce: Two Variations
adapted from Caleb’s Super Spicy Super Sauce

Base for both sauces:

  • 5 ounces (145 grams) hot peppers – I used just jalapeños, but feel free to use a variety
  • 1 smallish bell pepper (about 3 1/2 – 4 ounces, or 120 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water

For Apple Hot Sauce:

  • 2 small or 1 medium sweetish apples (about 4 ounces or 115 grams), peeled and cored – I used Macoun
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, if you like, minced
  • A few dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)

For Chipotle Hot Sauce:

  • 2 chiles in adobo, plus a spoonful or two of the sauce
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, if you like, minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Trim and chop your hot peppers, removing the seeds if you’d like it less spicy. Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper, and roughly chop. Put the peppers and salt in a medium saucepan, cover with vinegar and water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer about 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients for either the Apple or Chipotle sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes. Blend sauce to desired smoothness (easiest with an immersion blender, but doable with a food processor or blender as well).

Store in sterilized jars for optimum shelf life; keep refrigerated.

Yield: about 3 cups each sauce (that is, if you don’t accidentally break one of the jars with the all powerful hotness of the sauce…)


P.S. This is SUPER adaptable. I made another batch the other day and added roasted poblanos, agave syrup, and smoked paprika. Homemade condiments > store-bought.

P.P.S. Watch this.



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Jalapeños, long over due

If you pay attention to our little blog, you might have noticed that we’re a teensy bit obsessed with these candied jalapeños. So obsessed, that between the three of us, I’d say we’ve made more than 50 pounds of candied jalapeños. 

That’s a lot of jalapeños. 

They’re so good, that I decided they could probably even win a prize.



Or hey, why not two prizes?

The D.C. State Fair (yes, I know D.C. is not a state, thank you) took place last month, and at the gentle prodding of friends and family, I entered the obsessive-worthy candied jalapeños. Apparently other people thought they’re pretty great, too, because they won second and third place. (They lost to some pickled martini tomatoes, which I guess I understand. Martini tomatoes are probably pretty great.) 

I changed the recipe up a bit to make it my own, experimenting with ginger and garam masala in one batch and coriander and cumin seeds in another. I really, really like the ginger jalapeños, because I really, really like ginger, but the judges liked the coriander and cumin jalapeños better. 

If you have to choose between just making one type, though, I’d go with ginger. Just trust me. 

Sweet, spicy, and addictive, the jalapeños are excellent on crackers with cream cheese, nachos, tacos, burritos, breakfast sandwiches, all sandwiches, hummus, baba ganoush, or, straight from the jar. They make the perfect gift for just about anyone or may also be hoarded in your cupboards.

(Prize winning!) Candied Jalapeños with Ginger or Coriander and Cumin
Adapted from a Candied Jalapeño recipe found here

Recipe easily doubles (or quadruples). 

For both types:

  • 3 pounds jalapeños
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar

For ginger jalapeños:

  • 3-inch piece fresh ginger (about 50 grams or 2 ounces), peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (yellow or black, or a mix of both)

For Coriander and Cumin jalapeños:

  • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch (or two) of cayenne


  • large pot with rack on bottom for canning
  • canning tongs or normal tongs with rubber bands wrapped around the ends (use these to transfer your jars into and out of the canner)
  • about 9 half-pint jars, or about 5 pint jars

1. Prepare your canning materials: fill your canning pot with water and bring to a boil (this will take a while), wash your jars, and place jars in the pot of water while it heats. Once the water comes to a boil, allow the jars to boil in the water 10 minutes to sterilize the jars. Remove the jars, emptying the water back into the pot, and place on a towel.

2. Meanwhile (while water is coming to a boil and jars are sterilizing), slice the jalapeños into 1/8-inch rings, leaving core and seeds as intact as possible. Slice the jalapeños as uniformly as you can. And, be sure to wear gloves or your hands may burn later. Set aside.

3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the vinegar, sugar, and either ginger spices or coriander/cumin spices to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often. Lower the heat and simmer liquid for five minutes, whisking occasionally.

4. Add jalapeños to the vinegar/sugar pot, bring the heat up to medium-high, and cook jalapeños for four minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so to ensure even cooking. It will seem like there is not enough liquid (the jalapeños will not be completely covered in liquid), but don’t fret.

5. After the four minutes is up, immediately move jalapeños to your prepared jars, using a slotted spoon. Turn up the heat and boil the syrup at a rolling boil for six minutes. Turn heat off and funnel liquid into jalapeño-filled jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 –inch in head space. Wipe rims clean with a damp paper towel and affix new two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness. ALSO: if you have leftover syrup, don’t through it away. You may can it as well, or you can just keep it in the fridge for a while. It’s great in a home-made vinaigrette, to glaze vegetables or meats, or anywhere you need a spicy-sweet-vinegary kick.

6. Process jars, covered in at least two inches of water, for 10 minutes (if using half pint jars) or 15 minutes (if using pint jars). When done processing, transfer jars to a spot where they can remain undisturbed for 24 hours. After a few minutes, you should hear the ping of the lids sealing. If any jars do not seal, store in refrigerator for up to a month or so. Sealed jars are shelf-stable for up to a year. Enjoy the jalapeños the next day, or allow to mellow for a few weeks. The longer you wait to open them, the more they will mellow.




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To new and brighter things

Exciting news in the Troika Table’s DC headquarters: we’re moving! Movin’ on up, to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyy.

(Yeah, I went there.)

Know what this means for you?

Actually, I don’t really know what it means for you. I mean, you’ll have prettier pictures from me (what with getting that wonderful thing called natural light and all), but other than that, well, the food will still be just as delicious.

If only I had a recipe that was good for a party, or a gathering, or a housewarming, or maaaaybe even for some football watching.

Something creamy and a little bit spicy, perhaps? Something similar to a dip you might have seen in a grocery store, but something you could customize to your own taste?

Yes, that looks about right.

Greek Yogurt and Roasted Pepper Dip
adapted from the ingredient label on Skotidakis Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dip

Here’s what you do:

Take some Greek yogurt, or even better strain your own full-fat plain yogurt per these instructions to make a fresh yogurt cheese.

Then, depending on how much yogurt you have and how many peppers you’d like to add, roast a combination of your favorite peppers. The batch above featured one roasted (and skinned, stemmed, and seeded) red bell pepper, a few roasted jalapenos, a tomato (which I didn’t bother peeling but could have), and a touch of finely minced onion. Another batch featured mostly roasted Anaheim peppers with a few slips of these pickled red peppers. You know the drill – adapt, adapt, adapt.

Blend your yogurt and peppers together in a blender or using an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and maybe throw in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes or a handful of cilantro. A little finely minced onion is wonderful, obviously, but you could also roast a chunk of onion whilst roasting your peppers, then blend everything together.

Serve with something crunchy.


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The Slaw

I love a good slaw. Sometimes I’m so desperate for a slaw, that I even like a bad slaw. You know the type – a little too much sauce, the cabbage chiseled a little too small, and the flavor a little too lacking. What’s a girl to do?

This slaw is none of those things: there’s zucchini, cut into cute little matchsticks. Next, a bit of carrot, shredded. A bell pepper or two, thinly sliced. A diced jalapeno, to add a little spice. Some cilantro, because I love it like no other herb. Top all of that off with a little onion and a mustard-y sauce, and you have The Slaw. (Also affectionately known as “The Slaaaaaaaw.”)

Pleasantly crunchy, spicy, and tangy. Could a slaw ask for anything more?

The Slaw (Zucchini Slaw)
adapted from this slaw and this slaw’s sauce

Note: As usual, the measurements I’m about to give you are guidelines. The amount of vegetables can vary depending on how much slaw you want, and you’ll probably have some leftover sauce. Save it for more slaws – it’s versatile. Also, I definitely tasted and adjusted ingredients in the sauce before dressing The Slaw, and I suggest you do the same. You could add more mayo or sour cream if you like a thicker sauce, or more vinegar or buttermilk if you like it more tangy or thin. One more thing: The zucchini needs an hour of prep time to be salted and drained to draw the water out, so prepare for that.


  • 1 or 2 zucchini, cut in 4-inch long matchsticks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bell pepper (any type), seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons diced onion (green onion would be nice, too)
  • cilantro, to taste (I used a big handful, about 1/3 cup)


  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • a big glop of mustard (I used whole grain dijon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • salt, pepper, to taste

Place zucchini in a colander and sprinkle the 1 teaspoon salt over, mixing gently to thoroughly cover. Let drain in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine all ingredients, taste, adjust, and repeat until the sauce is to your liking.

After zucchini is satisfactorily crunchy, blot water still on zucchini with a paper towel and place in a medium – large bowl. Add the rest of the slaw ingredients to the bowl; combine. Dress The Slaw with desired amount of sauce. The original recipe recommends chilling the dressed slaw for an hour before eating, which indeed improves the flavor, but if you simply can’t wait, then dig in.

The Slaw is best on the day it’s made, but I thought it was still quite tasty on day two.  Also, The Slaw enjoys the company of Pulled Pork – or should I say Mr. Pig?



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