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It’s the third week of May in Ottawa, and although it is late, I can feel that spring has finally arrived. To mark the end of a 6 month winter, I have started to crave heat. Heat in the form of sun, +20 degree weather and spicy foods.

A spice that I like to use a lot is the jalapeño.  It is not too spicy, it has great flavor and it can get used a lot more than just sprinkling it on top of your nachos.

The jalapeno chile pepper is arguably the most famous chili pepper on the face of the planet. Mexican Spanish pronunciation: [halaˈpeɲo] is a medium to large size chile which is prized for its warm, burning sensation when eaten. It is almost always sold while still green. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapeños start to turn red. Growers often either discard the red jalapeños into the ground or use them for production of chipotle peppers. (I LOVE using chipotle peppers!) Jalapeño Chile Peppers generally range from 3,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville heat scale. What does that mean? It means it is mild with a bit of heat. To give you a point of reference, a bell pepper is a 0 on the Scoville heat scale and a habanero pepper is a 350,000 ad a ghost pepper is over 1 million.


Scoville Heat Chart

Ok okay… enough background.

So as I was saying, I have been craving spice. I went to the grocery store and saw fresh jalapenos and I got an idea. Let me introduce you to my favorite condiment – Jalapeño relish!

Use this to on tacos, chili, nachos, eggs, anything! It is awesome and it lasts in your fridge for about a week.

Jalapeño relish

WARNING: Handle hot peppers with care because when you cut them up you can get hurt. Use rubber gloves and do not rub your eyes, nose, mouth or any other mucous membrane (that I do not want to hear about) after handling them.  Most of the heat is in the seeds.  Use or do not use the seeds accordingly to turn up (or down) the heat in your finished product. A jalapeño is not that hot, but trust me if I was working with habaneros I would apply all of the rules above. You have now been warned. Moving on…



  • 5 jalapeños (sliced open and seeds removed)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/8 red onion
  • ¼ cup of cilantro leaves
  • Pinch of salt, sugar
  • ½ lime squeezed

Put everything into a mix food processor, I used a mini one and blitz for 30 secs or so until you have a relish like consistency.



Once it has the right consistency, taste a little bit to see if you require more salt, acid, sweetness etc and adjust accordingly. Store in the fridge in a jar with a lid or a Tupperware container. It will last approx. 5 days. Enjoy it with grilled steak, veggies, chicken, nachos, tacos, quinoa etc. It goes with everything!

Make a batch of relish today and enjoy!

I am a girl who loves food. I grew up with a Mom who was an excellent cook. She wrote a cookbook when I was a child, and as they say, the rest is history. Started a catering business in 2005 and haven’t looked back. I am a mom to 2 beautiful girls and I want them to love food as much as I do. In the meantime, I love life and love my job @ www.monicaskitchen.com