And just in time for the Super Bowl, that perennial favorite I post every year about this time — my world-famous Jalapeño Pesto Dip as well as Lipton’s even more famous California Onion Dip.
The great things about this recipe are:
- It’s healthy as all get out.
- It’s so tasty you’ll completely forget how healthy it is.
- It’s not as spicy hot as it sounds (although it’s definitely not for the timid of tongue, either).
- It goes great with anything from tortilla chips to corn chips to potato chips to even pretzels.
- It’s so simple to make even a husband can do it.
- The leftover jalapeño pesto is great on a whole variety of dishes ranging from omelets to burgers (use as a topping) and even mixed with ground beef for tacos or chili. By all means use your imagination with the leftover pesto, because you’ll probably think up dozens of uses for it.
- 2 pounds fresh whole jalapeño peppers
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. granulated or 2 tsp. fresh crushed garlic
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ⅓ cup good extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or other healthy monounsaturated oil
Step 1. Bring to boil just enough water to immerse the jalapeños. Once the water is boiling, add the jalapeños and bring the water back to boiling. Gently boil the jalapeños, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes. Drain the jalapeños and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.
Step 2. Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove the stems. Now, this next procedure is where you control the heat to some extent. On most of the jalapeños, remove the seeds and the ribs to which those seeds are attached. Keep the seeds and ribs on approximately one-third of the jalapeños, choosing in particular those jalapeños with very white, healthy-looking seeds and discarding those seeds that are dingy or brown in color. Increasing the number of seeds and ribs retained will increase the heat; decreasing that number will help to tame it.
Step 3. Place the jalapeños, cumin, garlic, and salt into a food processor. While pulsing, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Do no overdo the processing or you’ll destroy those beautiful white seeds and lose texture, but you do want a fairly smooth consistency.
Serve with either warm or cold with your favorite chips. Warm is particularly interesting, especially if you contrast that with a well-refrigerated California onion dip (one envelope of Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix combined with one pint of reduced-fat sour cream). Serve these two dips side-by-side and watch eager fans alternate between the two of them.
Alternately, stir into the California Onion Dip some of my Jalapeño Pesto Dip to add zip to the former while taming the latter. It’s quite a delicious combination.
And since this is listed under Wine & Food the next question would have to be, what kind of wine would you serve with this? Well, first of all, this is definitely an accompaniment to beer, especially a good, fairly strong ale. But if you would like wine with this, it’ll have to be one that helps tame the fire. That suggests a semisweet white. Think: Johannisberg or German Rieslings, Chenin Blanc, or Gewürztraminer. The cooler white wine serving temperatures supply immediate relief and the sweetness helps neutralize the capsaicin (the compound that gives peppers their “heat”) in the long term.