Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Jalapeños Stuffed & My Twist of Malt Vinegar

Some years ago, while in Tijuana, I was shopping at the Plaza Rio Tijuana, B.C. While waltzing down the aisle, I spotted some canned tuna stuffed chile jalapeños. I bought a can and a can of the sardine stuffed jalapeños. I can recommend the tuna stuffing. The sardines are too dense and the chiles don't break up the sardines as well. The tuna is also a better flavor with the chiles. The Koreans also make tuna with crushed chiles in the can. Also good, but it's better to open a can of tuna in oil, drain the oil and sprinkle the chile caribe on it. I save the oil from the tuna fish cans and once I have enough, I like to use it to fry fish.

The recipe for making stuffed jalapeños isn't hard to make. The trick is in aging the chiles a day or two before eating them. Allowing the flavors to meld.

Title: Stuffed Jalapeños
Servings: 16
Cooking Time: 8 to 15 minutes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Category: Appetizers
Cuisine: Mexican

16 oz. Chiles jalapeños (green, big & firm)
10-12 fl. ozs. Vinegar -- I would use malt vinegar, it goes well with fish. I'm unsure whether Mexicans use malt vinegar in their culinary cannon.
1 tbs. each of Orégano, marjoram and bay leaf
1 tsp. black pepper, crushed
2 tsp. salt
1 whole onion, half-moon sliced, (i.e, sliced Mexican style, from top to bottom)
1 head garlic, peeled (a good 10 to 12 cloves)
1/2 tsp. cloves, ground

You can stuff the chiles with tuna, cheese, sardines, shripm, salt cod, ham or what-have-you.

With the tines of a fork, prick the chiles and simmer them in a brine made of water, vinegar, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, cloves, and garlic, onion and salt to taste. Once the chiles are almost fully cooked, remove them, reserving
the liquor, cut a slice along the length and remove the seeds and veins carefully, so as to not break the chile open, a tomato shark would work well. Next add the stuffing. Return the stuffed chiles to the pot they were cooked in, add a little olive oil to cover and refirgerate until use. It is advisable to make the stuffed chiles one or two days in advance of use, to allow flavors to blend well. If you want to make the chiles a little less hot, once the chiles have slits in them simmer them a minute or two in sufficient water and baking soda. Rinse in several changes of water to remove all traces of the baking soda and stuff as directed above.

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