Thursday, September 24, 2020

It's Jalapeño Popper Time!

One thing I can always count on to be going strong in my late summer garden is my crop of peppers – particularly my jalapeño peppers.  After making all manner of salsas and toppings for tortillas and tacos, I’m making some proper poppers today, stuffing jalapeño halves with a cream cheese mixture and topping with buttered panko bread crumbs.   

I have plenty of jalapeño plants in my garden, a lot of them volunteers from last year, so I generally know what I’m getting taste- and heat-wise.  However, if you’re buying them from the market, particularly if they’re out of season, sometimes the flavor might be there but the heat isn’t.  If I’m using jalapeños, I want the heat, so I look for white striations on the peppers, running the length of the pepper.  These “stretch” marks are indicative of the amount of stress the pepper has undergone which has a direct impact on the heat of the pepper.  Generally, the older the pepper, the more stress it’s endured, the more striations you’ll see, and the hotter the pepper will be.  A red jalapeño, being a more mature pepper, will generally be hotter than a green one, although it will be sweeter. 

Rosie’s Jalapeño Poppers
About 12 jalapeños

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 heaping TB grated mozzarella
2 heaping TB grated cheddar
4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
2 TB finely chopped red onion
2 TB chopped chives

Slice jalapeños in half lengthwise and scrape out white ribs. Capsaisin, the chemical compound in jalapeños which contains the heat, is concentrated in the ribs of the peppers, so you can control some of the heat by removing this part and the attached seeds.

Place on baking sheet.
Combine rest of ingredients until well-mixed. Spoon into halves.
Sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs, pressing into cheese mixture, and top with a thin pat of butter.
Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

Now, for some step-by-steps:

Mix the stuffing together.  If you want more of something, then add it.  (Like BACON!)

Slice jalapeños in half, scraping out ribs and seeds.


Then, stuff away.

Sprinkle panko breadcrumbs on top of stuffed peppers.

Then put a pat of butter on top of each one.

Isn't this festive?!

Bake until golden brown.


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