It's been hit or miss with our pepper plants. The bell peppers were producing fruit and looking great, but it seems they've caught something that's causing them to rot instead of ripen :( We are still investigating what's going on with them. The jalapeños on the other hand, are a whole other story. Each of the four plants is steadily churning out peppers for us! What to do with all those peppers? How about some jalapeño poppers!
First, you will need to gather some special equipment:
Baked Jalapeño Poppers (adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
Yield: 48 pieces
24 fresh jalapeño peppers
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
10 tsp. Essence, divided use (recipe follows)
2 large eggs
2 Tbl. milk
4 cups panko bread crumbs
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne, or less, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil; grease foil.
Set up 3-stage breading station:
Dry - In a small bowl or dish, combine flour and 2 teaspoons Essence.
Wet - In another small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of Essence.
Crunchy - In a pie pan or shallow dish combine panko and 6 teaspoons Essence.
Wearing gloves, remove stems from peppers and cut in half lengthwise. Remove pepper seeds and membranes.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, grated cheese, cumin, and cayenne until evenly mixed. To keep things nice and even when stuffing the peppers, it helps to divide the cheese mixture up beforehand. Scrape mixture onto a piece of waxed paper and form into a flat square or rectangle. Use a butter knife or bench scraper to cut the cheese slab into 48 pieces. Stuff jalapeño halves with cheese.
One at a time, dredge in flour, dip into egg mixture, then dredge in panko crumbs, pressing to coat. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden. Let cool slightly before serving.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning)
Yield: about 2/3 cup
2 1/2 Tbl. paprika
2 Tbl. salt
2 Tbl. garlic powder
1 Tbl. black pepper
1 Tbl. onion powder
1 Tbl. cayenne pepper
1 Tbl. dried oregano
1 Tbl. dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
- I've adjusted this recipe from Emeril's to more accurately reflect the amount of coating ingredients you'll need. When made according to the original, I found that I needed less than half the amount of flour and egg wash but at least double the amount of panko.
- The coating wouldn't stick very well to the jalapeño skin, no matter how hard we tried. If these were store-bought peppers I would've blamed the wax coating that some suppliers like to put on them, but these were home grown. Don't know what the problem was.
- The jalapeño portion stayed somewhat crisp, even after 30 minutes of baking. They could have stayed in the oven for a bit longer, but cheese leakage was becoming an issue.