These salted maple roast jalapeños have got me all hot under the collar. What started as a healthier twist on the jalapeño popper turned out to be a spicy revelation. Jalapeños roasted in olive oil, maple syrup and a good smattering of sea salt are the perfect hot and sweet bite.
The husband likes chilli. For the first few years of our relationship he put chilli sauce on everything I cooked. Insert angry face here. To my utter frustration even the most well thought out meals were doused in rivers of Sambal Asli. The man lived in Indonesia for many years so I cut him some slack…for a while. After many moons the last straw broke and I did what any respectable woman would do. I threw a hissy fit.
Not my finest moment but why cook anything different if everything tastes the same? Let me rephrase, why am I cooking anything if it is always going to taste the same? Dang it, why not just throw a puddle of Sambal in a bowl and serve it with a straw? Hello repressed emotion, haven’t seen you for a while. Chillis do that. They heat the blood and seep in to your veins. Chillis make you fearless. The capsaicin compound in the chilli messes with your pain nerves making you a little crazy. So, the next time you get all hot under the everything and make foolish choices, you can say the capsaicin made me do it.
After my diva wife moment, the husband dialled down the chilli consumption. It still appears on noodles, pizza and the odd bowl of ice-cream but if I cook Italian, it tastes Italian. French casseroles taste like French casseroles.
I too am a chilli fan. My chickpea couscous bowl and vegetable etouffée are loaded with heat and I love them. This salted maple roast jalapeños recipe is right up there too. Inspired by jalapeño popper recipes I’ve seen, this roasted version is a cleaner, healthier dish. But seriously, who cares about that? Salted maple roast jalapeños are the cat’s pyjamas when the cat’s feeling frisky. They are a bit sexy to say the least.
I roast mine whole in a heated game of Russian roulette but if you prefer a milder version of the dish, slice open the jalapeños and remove the seeds and vein before roasting. I like the buzz of not knowing if the next one I eat is going to be the HOT one. It’s dinner and a show.
Salted maple roast jalapeños deliver a wonderful layered bite. As you bite in to each delicious chilli your teeth and lips encounter the salty sweetness of the maple and sea salt first. As you break through the chilli’s roasted flesh the capsicum flavour emerges for a moment and then, the heat. The heat is wonderful. I serve mine with a cashew cream to create a creamy balance but dairy eaters could easily add a dollop of soft ricotta.
A perfect tapas dish or entree, salted maple roast jalapeños are absurdly easy to make and are a sweet homage to the chilli. Enjoy. Oh, I was kidding about the ice-cream.
Salted Maple Roast Jalapeños
- 8-10 jalapeños whole or halved and de-seeded
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- a good pinch of sea salt
- chia seeds optional
- cashew cream or ricotta
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.
- Lay the jalapeños in an oven proof pan
- Combine olive oil and maple syrup in a small bowl and drizzle over the chills, leaving a little for later.
- Sprinkle the jalapeños with sea salt.
- Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until the jalapeños are blistered.
- Serve with a good dollop of cashew cream, a sprinkling of chia seeds, sea salt and a drizzle of maple/oil.