Most of the time, when we prepare poppers, we cut the top of the chile off, remove the seeds and stuff away. Easy, right? But, what if you want to leave the chile whole and stuff it? Then, how do you remove the seeds and membranes? Growing conditions and varieties of chiles determine their heat level. And that heat can range wildly. The bulk of the heat in chiles, resides in the membranes and seeds, and the oils, of course. When you want to tame the beast, removing those seeds and membranes help. Here’s how.
Here, we’re using jalapeño peppers. But this method can apply to any pepper you want to remove the seeds and membranes, but leave the pepper itself, whole (with the stem on). These are perfect for stuffing.
When we talk about deseeding the chiles, the first thing we need to mention…gloves. Let me say that again, “Gloves”. Get a pair. Or at the very least, one glove. You don’t want to get the oils in your eyes, or…let’s see…how shall I put this…”delicate places”. So wear gloves. After the gloves, then chiles, a sharp paring knife and a grapefruit spoon, are pretty much all you’ll need. Of course, The Goddess packed away her grapefruits spoons, because who would possibly use a grapefruit spoon in Florida? You’re dazzled by her brilliance, aren’t you? Anyway, she went to plan B; a regular teaspoon, but with a sharp-ish tip. It worked just fine. So here’s how: Slit the pepper from the very top to the very tip. Using your gloved hand, press the top and the tip toward each other, but not to strenuously or you’ll break the pepper.You just want to make the edges gap open. Use the tip of the knife to cut the membranes loose. Then, using your grapefruit spoon (or a regular teaspoon), cut the seeds loose from the cap, using the tip of the spoon. Turn the chile over and shake out the seeds. Repeat until all the jalapeños are seedless and membrane-less. Now, you can stuff with whatever filling your little heart desires. This is how I make jalapeño poppers. It’s also a great way to stuff poblano chiles. I’m using these to make Jalapeño Popper-Stuffed Chicken Thighs. That’s tomorrow’s recipe…stay tuned!