Baked Jalapeno Poppers — Damn Delicious

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Baked Jalapeno Poppers

The boyfriend has had a hankering for some spicy food so I figured that jalapeno poppers would be sufficient enough to satisfy his cravings. It was fairly easy to make but very time-consuming because I was trying to perfect each and every one of the six jalapenos. I especially liked this recipe because (1) I had some leftover Essence from the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, (2) the jalapenos were baked, instead of fried, saving us from the risks of heart disease and obesity, and (3) it was super spicy but well-balanced with the flavorful cheese mixture inside the jalapeno, creating an experience of its own.

Essence: Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (adapted from Emeril Lagasse):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers (adapted from Emeril Lagasse):

Yields 2 servings

  • 6 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened (To soften cream cheese, cut into one-inch squares, leave it on a room-temperature plate or bowl, and wait one hour to soften.)
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 4 teaspoons Essence
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. (You could also line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil.)

Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chili. Make a cross wise incision at stem end, forming a T.

Pry open enough to hold back long cuts (to expose ribs and seeds), then devein and seed using tip of a paring knife and kitchen shears; set aside. (A small spoon worked fine for me.)

In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.

In a shallow dish, combine the flour and 1 teaspoon of the Essence.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 1 teaspoon of the Essence.

In a third dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 2 teaspoons of the Essence.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into each jalapeno.

One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process.

Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.

(The boyfriend devoured all six poppers within 2 minutes.)

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