Jalapeños and Facts

This post is part recipe, part observation, and the result of intense thought, none of which was used in the making of said post.

I opened the oven, temporarily forgetting that the wall of hot, moist poisonous gas was about to hit me.

For a second, I felt myself start to faint. I wondered what it would sound like if I fell headfirst into a hot oven.

{Did you know that a lot of adults don’t know that chipotles are just smoke-dried jalapeño peppers?}

You’d think I was making a batch of meth, which is ridiculous. It’s cheaper to buy. Also, if you don’t know whether I’m being serious or not, assume I’m not. The police are tired of hearing my name and definitely tired of my picture.

It’s been YEARS since I made oven-roasted/dried jalapeño slices. Part of the reason is that I’m not a big fan of ‘hot.’ Given the amount of Sriracha and various crazy hot things I’ve eaten in the last couple of years, I might be mistaken. I don’t seek out heat. I’m too old to be playing Russian Roulette and too smart to ingest that kind of heat on purpose. Or so I thought.

{What did the jalapeño dress up as for Halloween? A Ghost Pepper.}

Using fresh jalapeño slices sounds better, but most of the time, the kind already in a jar turns out better. Feel free to cut up fresh peppers and remove the seeds. Don’t get wrong – they are delicious that way—just a bit more work. At Walmart right now, I can buy a 64 oz. jar of Mt. Olive sliced jalapeños for less than $4. That’s crazy.

I drain the juice off of the slices and put them on a piece of aluminum foil. While I can jazz it up, I rarely do. I put the foil sheet on the bottom rack and set the oven anywhere from 325 to 500. And then I wait. Depending on the temperature, it might take 15-25 minutes to dry the slices out or watch them darken.

That brings me to a warning: don’t open the oven without preparing yourself for a wall of fumes that will make you see Jesus on a skateboard. If you’ve ever got a whiff of chlorine gas or accidentally attended a political rally, it gets you close to the feeling that scorched jalapeño slices bring.

If you watch the slices as they dry and darken, you’ll figure out exactly what temperature and time work best for you. I was shocked to find out how much I loved the slices when they turn dark. It’s no surprise, though, given that I love burned food.

Why I stopped making these is a mystery. They ignite my taste buds and are very healthy. If harsh breath is a concern for you, you’ll have to take precautions. Even dogs curl away from roasted jalapeño smells, so I can imagine that your significant other won’t want to kiss you for a while, either.

Notes: {1} Zebras are black with white stripes. If you doubt me, go shave your zebra. If you don’t own a zebra, you’ve obviously made bad choices. {2.} I will never forget the first time I handled hot peppers without considering what and where I might be touching. That’s wisdom right there. {3} Most people don’t stop to think that New Year’s Day comes before New Year’s Eve each year. {4} A day on the planet Venus is longer than its year. {5} Bite your tongue and then imagine words with an “S” in them. You’ll find that the voice in your head has a lisp, too. {6} It’s almost impossible to hum while holding your nose closed. {7} Many baseball fans know that some pitchers have used jalapeños on their nostrils to produce the ‘slippery’ needed for curveballs. I thought you should know. {8} Most people breathe primarily from one nostril; more interestingly, most people don’t know that your nose has a 4-hour(ish) cycle. It’s complicated, and almost no one realizes it, much in the same way that we forget that we see our nose all the time – but that our brain processes it ‘out’ of our vision. {9} I googled “make meth in an oven” without thinking about the consequences. Tell the police I was joking. On the plus side, I think I could now make meth in a 2-liter soda bottle – which evidently is a ‘thing.’ {10} The perpetual contrast effect is a cognitive bias that distorts our perception of something when we compare it to something else by enhancing the differences between them. The easiest example for this is to mention that cold coffee and warm soda are at the same temperature. It is so obvious that you might have to read it twice. {11} The dot over a lower-case i and j is called a tittle. {12} Although it is no secret that the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal, people don’t believe me when I tell them. (13) Pringles are NOT potato chips. They are made from dehydrated potato flakes. Look on the can. They aren’t called chips, either. {14} Lemons have a staggering number of uses and health benefits. I won’t list them all because I like the element of surprise on this one! {15} The majority of laughter doesn’t happen as a result of jokes; instead, it follows social cues and bonding. {16} Newborns and kids have TWICE the number of tastebuds as adults.

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