Friday, June 18, 2010

Jalapeño Poppers

Last month, as you may recall, I had a little pepper mishap when preparing for the enchiladas for the Daring Cooks Challenge. I wound up with a nice, big bag of jalapeños instead of poblano peppers, and was a little unsure as to how to use them, considering that neither I nor little miss are big fans of really spicy foods. But in an effort to not waste, I was determined to make use of at least some of them.

Always a fan of bar foods (I mean, who isn't??), daddy requested jalapeño poppers. You know - to use up the peppers. Even never having made them before, I had a pretty good idea as to how these come together. My biggest question was about bake time and temperature. Simply googling "jalapeño poppers recipe" brought up a lot of recipes for fried poppers, which look and sound delicious, but I am not a big fan of deep frying. I mean, at home. I'll leave that to those with, well, deep fryers. A few links down, though, I found this one, which I used as my guideline for time and temp, but didn't use all the spices recommended, since I knew the jalapenos would be plenty spice for this house... at least for a first go-round.

The filling for these, as confirmed by most of the recipes that I found, is amazingly simple - a simple mix of cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Little miss loves to work the rotary grater, so her job was taking care of the cheddar. I cleaned, cut, de-seeded and de-ribbed the peppers while she took care of the grating.

Cheese grated, all I had to do was mix it into the softened cream cheese. That was it. Then the mixture was spread into the pepper halves. Which was difficult to photograph.

Once all of the peppers were stuffed, it was time for the bread crumb coating. I happened to have some whole wheat panko bread crumbs in the house that I have been searching for a use for, so this was the perfect opportunity to try them out. Even doused in egg-wash, the bread crumbs stuck much better to the cream cheese side than to the pepper side, but soon enough they were all coated and ready to go into the oven.

By the time these came out, the filling was pretty ooey-gooey and the coating was nice and crispy, so I was pretty sure that I had done a decent job. The only glitch? I kinda didn't want to try them. Even without the seeds and ribs, even stuffed with two kinds of cheese, I had a feeling that these might be a little spicy. So I left them to daddy to enjoy. And enjoy he did. The entire batch was gone within two days. I'll take that as a good thing.

And I wasn't totally left out of the tasting process - there was some leftover filling that I was able to find and alternate use for. See that baked potato on daddy's plate with those poppers? The filling is absolutely delicious on those. So pretty good all around!

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