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Chopped green chilis

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When a recipe calls for green chilis, does it mean jalepenos or the chopped green chilis that are in cans in the Mexican food section?
What is the difference?
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post #2 of 16
I'd assume that means chopped fresh green jalapenos.

As with anything fresh is usually better than the canned, especially with jalapenos.
post #3 of 16
It usually means the canned green chiles which are only a little bit warm. If you like more fire, use the jalapenos. If you want fresh, green chiles are not commonly available most places but anaheims are good and only a bit warmer than green chiles. Again, if you want more heat, use a fresh jalapeno

The exception to that is with Asian recipes. In those cases, they mean something with heat unless they call for a bell pepper. Jalapeno and Serrano are good choices there though there are plenty of other good choices too.

What's the difference? Firstly, heat. They're quite moderate in general though some varieties are certainly hotter.. Second flavor. New Mexico green chiles are a fairly specialty product. Purists order frozen chiles from New Mexico. They DO taste better than the canned in my experience. But these are thick walled chiles with a lot of meat to them to carry lots of flavor. They are also fairly thick skinned which makes them easy to peel when roasted.

This page will show you some of the differences. Look for NuMex in the type.Pepper Profile: New Mexican Varieties

The Big Jim is a LARGE pepper, but it's less controlled for heat as location, water and other variances play into how hot a chile is.
post #4 of 16

not the same

Jalapenos and the canned green chiles are not the same thing.. The chiles in the can are usually hatch chiles. You can however purchase canned jalapenos if you prefer more heat.. or fresh certainly is always a good choice. Sometimes fresh jalapenos dont pack the flavor that canned or even pickled can offer. I dont claim to be an expert.. I just cook ALOT of mexican food ( being from Texas) and I know there is a difference.

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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! That certainly clears up my mystery. I usually use bottled chopped jalepenos since the fresh ones aren't readily available here.
It is interesting that I can also use them in Asian recipes. I had wondered if I needed to order Thai peppers. Good to know I can use the jalepenos.
I am new to the whole chili pepper thing, so everything is a learning experience.
Thanks for your help!
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post #6 of 16

recipe

Just curious, what are you making with the chiles?

Cat
 

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post #7 of 16
no it deffianately means fresh from the supermarket and NOT tinned
post #8 of 16
i some how can't aggree wen a recipe here in england says chopped up chiles it almost always means fresh !!!
post #9 of 16
That's why you have to interpret it for the regional cuisine the recipe represents.

In most US cooking, chopped green chiles refers to the canned product which is labeled "chopped green chiles".

I agree, Asian recipes usually mean a fresh hot chile. If they mean a dried one, they'll say so.

Most of the cookbooks I have that aren't clear on the subject are those of UK origin. I assumed those meant a fresh one as they most often appear in Thai, Chinese and Indian type recipes.
post #10 of 16
Be careful when substituting canned jalapenos for canned green chiles. Green chiles are most often processed and canned whereas jalapenos are more often pickled and canned, though you can find plain old canned jalapenos also. Make sure if you are subbing you used canned and not pickled jalapenos unless that is the flavor profile you are going with.
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post #11 of 16
We don't have canned chilies in ireland, least i haven't seen any. i allways use fresh from the supermarket and they don't usually specify the type. I know in thai cooking they often use tiny bird chilis green or red but they are toooo hot for me!

we have pickled jalapenos but i have never used them outside of mexican cooking.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I use the bottled jalepenos in chili, salsa, most any Mexican dish. We like most things pretty hot, so that works out. My question is related to the fact that some recipes say "chopped green chilis" and I really don't like those canned ones with that description. I have no idea why-I just don't like the flavor and they are not hot enough.
I am planning to try some Thai recipes soon, and I really don't have access to much variety in peppers. Mostly what is in the grocery store is chipotle-dried, and tobasco-dried. They don't handle much in the way of fresh peppers. But they do usually have bottled chopped jalepenos.
I ordered some garlic chili paste on line and I plan to try that in some of the Thai recipes. It's worth a try. Our local Thai restaurant often lists it as an ingredient in menu items so I thought it was a safe bet.
Thanks for all your responses. I feel like a blind person on a cactus ranch sometimes!
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post #13 of 16
>I dont claim to be an expert.. I just cook ALOT of mexican food ( being from Texas) and I know there is a difference.<

Cathey, jalapenos have one of the broadest heat level ranges of any chili grown. They officially range from 2,500 to 10,000 SHUs. Meaning that any particular jal can be four times as hot as the one you had yesterday.

Although I've never seen an actually study, anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that heat and corking are directly related. That is, the more corking on the pod, the hotter it's likely to be.
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post #14 of 16
thats true..Sometimes in one bunch I will have some that are hotter than others.. but I have never had any canned green chilies that provided as much heat as the weakest jalapeno. I have purchased some fresh ones that knocked our socks off and basically ruined the dish because the heat overpowered the flavor.

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post #15 of 16
Marzoli in my opinion the definition is absolutely contextual. You have to know the cuisine of origin as phatch mentioned in his excellent post. But you also have to consider the writer and what they talk or write about hystorically, as well. It can mean soooo many things!

There is a definite time and place to use each type of chile mentioned today, both freshed and canned. Each will taste enormously different!!! Can jalapenos bear little resemblance to fresh jalapenos. Pickled more closely resemble canned but with the added element of vinegar.

For Thai cooking, it's best to substitute fresh serrano chiles as they are a closer match to thai chiles. But fresh jalapeno is an acceptable sub for that. Canned would not be a good choice for Thai.

For Carribbean it's the scotch bonnet or habanero. Again fresh is best.

Tex Mex and Mexican is very very complex. It can mean sooooo many types!!! Added to that, there are "grades" of heat within each chile family. Hatch chiles range from very very hot to mild! Each chile has an appropriate place for use. For instance if I'm making a green chile gravy, jalapenos (fresh) MAY have a place but it isn't the main chile used. Those would be Hatch chiles and I would pick the heat level according to my diners levels. If I'm making stuffed green chiles that would most likely either be a poblano pepper (fresh) or an anaheim chile (also sometimes called a Colorado chile) again (fresh). You can sometimes get away with stuffing a whole canned green chile but to me it is an inferior product. If a salsa is called a green salsa and specifies the chile that's best. It is usually made from jalapenos and sometimes serranos too. So to me it's an intuitive process.

Then you have the whole thing about dried chiles! :D

The only time I used canned or bottled jalapenos is to add to a main dish (one or two) like to to borracho beans, chili, stews, soups etc. Or else I will use them to stuff them with cream cheese for a pickled treat with barbeque or fried fish. I also slice them and use them on nachos. But that's about the only time I use them. :( I use canned green chiles for many other types of TexMex and New Mexico cuisine. The flavor is entirely different from jalapenos or serranos or poblanos peppers etc.

Oh and the NUMBER ONE RULE OF COOKING WITH CHILES OR PEPPERS!!!! Always, always, always taste them (both with and without the seeds and capsicum) prior to adding to your recipe. That way you will know the heat level and will be able to choose the heat level of your dish. Failure to do this is like cooking blind and deaf and without the help of smell or taste! It will always be a huge surprise when you go to eat it! Sometimes you'll win and sometimes you will lose!!!
post #16 of 16

I believe Anaheim peppers are the variety used in canned diced green chilis.  They are more mild than jalapenos.

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