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Jalapeno Poppers – Great Appetizers

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The level of spicy in jalapeno peppers are quite unpredictable. I sometimes find thin slices of jalapeno in my Vietnamese pho noodles and may decide to skip on the Sriracha chilli since this particular batch got firey hot after being soaked in broth for a minute or so. Then, in their blandest moments, I find these same looking peppers in banh mi sandwiches giving off not even the hint of spicy. What causes such a drastic difference in these peppers? Would excluding the seeds make it less spicy?

So I did a quick search just to feed my curiosity and found this bit of neat info:

“The ingredient in hot peppers which gives them that zing is called capsaicin and is referred to as the pepper’s natural defense. When jalapeño plants are stressed, as when they are lacking water, the capsaicin increases resulting in hotter peppers.”

Regardless, jalapenos sure do make good looking poppers and will not disappoint at your parties or in your snack trays! Make these simple Japanese influenced appetizers and thank us later 😉

jalapenopoppers

Here’s the recipe to make these scrumptious poppers:

Ingredients:
3 oz imitation crab shredded
4 oz cream cheese
4-5 jalapenos
1 stalk green onions
2 T bread crumbs
Spicy mayo

Directions:
-Wash jalapenos and slice in half then remove seeds.
-In a large bowl, mix in the cream cheese, shredded crab, and chopped green onions.
-Mix it all up.
-Stuff the jalapeno halves with the crab mixture.
-Dip into the bread crumbs
-Bake in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes.
-Squeeze on yummy spicy mayo over the poppers.

Here’s a link if you want to watch the video on how to make them:

Enjoy and would love to hear how you liked it in the comments!

Yard Long Bean Legume in Disguise

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While looking up the nutritional information for what I knew by the name of Yard Long Bean or Snake bean, I was amazed to learn of numerous other names these long snaky stems go by, namely bora, bodi, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean.  Now mind you, it is not nearly as long as a yard as the name implies.  Rather, it would stand half a yard long if it could stand.  Also surprising was that it is in fact a legume and not a vegetable as I had automatically assumed due to its physical similarity to green beans.  Though acting as a legume, it is widely cooked like some vegetables.  I enjoy cutting them up and stir frying with eggs or with fish paste/cake as seen below.  They are also great cooking up with kabocha squash stew and even in soups and salads.

But wait, it doesn’t seize to impress there.  The nutrition benefits are greater than it’s usage and even more than the number of names!  These long vegetable looking beans are packed with protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.  I’m even more excited and convinced after typing all that out.  So much that I think I’ll be attempting to grow these lovelies this soon!  And it’s said that pods will form just 60 days after sowing!  If you decide to grow these, be sure and pick them before they reach full maturity for more crispy texture.  A tip I’ll keep in mind is not to pick off the buds as more beans will sprout from that the same stem!  Once producing, we can expect to harvest daily until winter hits.  That’s a lot of yard long beans to enjoy :).

Fish Cake
Yard Long Bean with Fish Cake Stir Fry

 

Some interesting findings that may be of interest is:
– Ants and yellow jackets are attracted to this legume.
– It’s subtropical/tropical and most widely grown in the warmer parts of South and Southeast Asia as well as southern China.  (Lucky us, we have it available here in the states).