Jalapeno Poppers

August 2011_0016

Jalapeno poppers are good my friends. Real good. You see handsome and I have a four year difference. Meaning. While he would go out with all of his friends to the bars I would sit at home with my books all by myself. Okay this is only partially true, because it wasn’t nearly as pathetic as it sounds. It just so happens it’s a lot easier to read when a whole house full of boys is at the bars. There’s quiet. It’s nice. Did I mention I use to live with six guys?

Yea.

Anyway.

So handsome celebrated my 21st birthday with me and contrary to popular birthday shenanigans I did not go on a bar crawl, drink till I puke, or forget the whole thing. Instead we went places, ate places, and drank pleasantly good tasting drinks. Like my favorite beer which I will be blogging about this weekend.

Anyway so as we were sitting and drinking and eating. I told him I wanted him to take me out to a bar, not for drinks, or for dancing, but for jalapeno poppers. Who the hell invented those?! A culinary mastermind my friends.

I love spice. I love cheese. I love. Jalapeno poppers.

August 2011_0015

So we whipped up a batch. And then we ate them all. And then we looked at each other. And made plans to make more.

Meanwhile I started nursing the burns on my hands. (WEAR GLOVES!)

Anywho here’s the recipe we used.

Adapted version of Emeril’s Baked Jalapeno Poppers

  • 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed – USE FRESH. USE FARMERS MARKETS. HELL USE THE TINY ONES!
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 8 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 cup crushed saltines
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

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

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and  4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half the mixture should be slightly protruding the half to allow for good flavor of stuffing. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet, spray each popper with oil (NOT PAM) to keep the breading moist and not dry and flaky. Bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.

Essence:

  • 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.

Make them. Thank Emeril.

-Spicy Tomato