Jalapeño peppers are known for their fresh, bright flavor and medium-heat kick. Fresh jalapeños, of course, are the cooking go-to, though jalapeño powder is coming on strong as a spice rack alternative to other ground chilies. This green powder has the same noticeable spiciness and a surprising amount of flavor (bright and somewhat sweet), making it an excellent substitute for fresh jalapeños in a pinch. But there are times when jalapeño powder comes into its own in the kitchen – offering an optimal experience to the fresh chili. Check out these terrific use cases to spice up your everyday cooking with jalapeño powder.
Try it as a replacement for black pepper
Because it’s relatively mild compared to the spice rack likes of cayenne pepper, jalapeño powder makes a unique substitute for black pepper. Black pepper is typically used as an all-purpose seasoning. It is a way to add very mild spiciness that works well with a wide range of dishes. Jalapeño powder offers a little more heat, and a distinct bright flavor, so the flavors aren’t similar, but if you’re looking for something different, give the substitution a whirl.
Jalapeño powder can act as a finishing spice as well. You can sprinkle it over cooked foods at the table in the same way that you would sprinkle black pepper. Add it to scrambled eggs or use it as an alternative to hot sauce on your tacos. When used as a condiment at the table in place of hot sauce, it can add mild heat without the additional moisture.
Use it in jalapeño bread recipes for more consistent heat
The jalapeño flavor is a perfect complement to a range of foods, including different types of bread – like jalapeño cheese bread and jalapeño cornbread. Most of these recipes require you to stick sliced fresh jalapeños on top of the dough before baking or mix it into a batter. While this can make for an attractive presentation, the jalapeño flavor is not always evenly distributed. When you add the jalapeño in the form of a powder, the flavor is consistent throughout, and you can increase or decrease it without affecting the amount moisture in the bread.
Create spicy, yet smooth barbecue sauces
Barbecue sauce is supposed to have a smooth, consistent texture. You want it to coat the meat evenly and cling to its surface. To preserve the consistency, powdered spices are typically used. When making your own barbecue sauce, consider jalapeño powder as a way to gently increase spiciness and add a stronger pepper flavor than you get from cayenne powder. It will pair well with the sweetness of barbecue sauce without affecting the texture.
Go green with a homemade chili powder seasoning
Chili powder typically consists of a ground red chili peppers, along with cumin, garlic, and other spices. Jalapeño powder can be used as the chili pepper component to give a unique color spin to the normal seasoning mix. It also makes for a milder overall flavor that’s a perfect complement to fresh garden salsas.
Try jalapeño salt as a rim seasoning for margaritas
Mix together salt and jalapeño powder together to give your margarita glass some extra oomph! Match it with muddled fresh jalapeños in the margarita itself for some seriously extra spicy cocktails.