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Friday, May 2, 2014

Japones Chili Pepper dip and Creamy Jalapeno Guacamole dip

Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays because it gives me an excuse to eat Mexican food! Not that I need an excuse, but it just it gives me one. Mexican food is one of my all-time favorites with all the spiciness, different textures, and adaptability of its dishes, not to mention the ease of throwing a Mexican feast quickly together when you don’t have much time. And being raised in California gave me a good taste of real Mexican food.

Today I’m going to share with you my Japones Chili Pepper dip and my Creamy Jalapeno Guacamole dip. The Japones chili pepper dip is a sultry, hot dip with a smoky flavor that is easily addicting. While my creamy jalapeno guacamole dip is a more mild to medium dip that embraces the flavors of the Mexican culture.

Japones, pronounced ja-pon-aaas, chilies are native to Mexico even though they are often referred to as Hontaka, Santaka, Oriental, or Chinese chilies. Japones chilies are used for their heat rather than for flavor, making them popular as a hot chili in Asian, Caribbean, and Mexican dishes. They are commonly sold as dried chilies since the drying process tends to intensify their flavor.

I discovered Japones in my local store because I could not find any fresh red peppers. I remember seeing these little peppers in the store and have always wondered how they were used in dishes. I finally found a use for them.

For my Japones chili pepper dip, I prepared the chilies by seeding them and placing in a saucepan with water and heating until boiling, then letting them sit for 15 minutes. This helps to soften the peppers. After 15 minutes, I removed the chilies and let them cool. Once cooled, I diced, measured, and added them to my dip. Simple as that.

Even without the seeds, these little chilies pack a punch as they add quite a bit of heat! However, don’t get scared because they’re hot. I usually favor medium spiciness and tend to stay away from the really hot stuff, but these little peppers are just enough to make it spicy hot, but not enough for the hotness to stay with you. And the smoked paprika adds a sultriness to this dip. The flavor combination from the cheese, peppers, and smoked paprika are addicting! I couldn’t get enough of this dip!

Now if the Japones chili pepper dip is too hot for your taste, then my Creamy jalapeno guacamole dip is the one for you! I’ve combined the flavorings of roasted and fresh jalapenos, goat cheese, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro, and avocado for this dip.

A mild to medium dip that can be adjusted to your taste by how many jalapenos you want to add to it. If you prefer your dips on the mild side, then just add the two roasted jalapenos and leave out the fresh jalapeno. I love the fresh jalapeno because it gives a little more spice and texture than just the roasted jalapenos alone.

So whether you, your family, or your friends prefer hot, medium, or mild, these two Mexican inspired dips will be popular at your next Cinco de Mayo party!

Japones Chili Pepper Dip


1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 ounces goat cheese

3 Tablespoons Japones chilies, seeded, softened, and diced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (you can always add more to taste)

Dash of black pepper, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, and sea salt

Directions for Japones Chili Pepper dip

Cut off the tops and remove the seeds to approximately 8-10 japones chili peppers. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add 2 cups water and the seeded japones chili peppers. Heat over high to medium heat and bring to a boil. After water begins to boil, turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes or until chili peppers have softened up.

After chili peppers have softened, remove from water with a slotted spoon, and let cool.

While chili peppers are cooling, add goat cheese, Greek yogurt, smoked paprika, and spices to a large mixing bowl. With a hand held mixer, whip ingredients until well blended.

Dice up cooled chili peppers and measure 3 Tablespoons to add into cheese yogurt mixture. Blend all ingredients until combined. If needed, add more spices to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Creamy Jalapeno guacamole dip


3 jalapenos, seeded and halved

2 ounces goat cheese

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

½ avocado, seeded, shelled, and sliced

Juice of 1 Lemon wedge

3 Tablespoons fresh salsa

3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Dash of black pepper, cumin, chili powder, sea salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Directions for Creamy Jalapeno Guacamole dip

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Spray a non-stick spray onto one cookie sheet. Place halves of 2 jalapenos (total of 4 halves) onto prepared cookie sheet.

Cook for 12 minutes or until sides of jalapenos are browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, yogurt, avocado slices, salsa, juice of one lemon wedge, and cilantro.

With a hand or stand mixer, whip ingredients together until thoroughly blended.

Dice up roasted jalapenos and add to bowl.

Seed and dice fresh jalapeno and add to bowl. Whip ingredients until combined.

Blend in spices to taste.

Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Shared with: Reasons to Skip the Housework Saturday , Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party Week #145 , Savoring Saturdays #13 , Think Pink Sunday #163 , Share it Sunday {26}, Weekend Potluck #116 , Munching Mondays #37, Sunday Best Link Party #13, Inspiration Monday Party , Gingham & Roses Link up & Social Media Hop {18}, Recipe Sharing Monday #93, Busy Monday #112, Marvelous Mondays #97, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #5, Wednesday Roundup #24, Tasty Tuesday #59 Link Up and Get Pinned, The Makers No.16, Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays #19, Inspire Us Thursday Link Party #49, The Southern Special 05/13/2014, Time to Sparkle #60
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