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Baked Jalapeno Poppers

February 3, 2010

I don’t know how restaurants and bars do it.  I really don’t.

I don’t know how they make not-super-spicy jalapeno poppers.  Nate and I both have higher-than-average spicy tolerance levels, and these left me panting and running for a glass of milk. 

This is actually the second time I’ve made baked jalapeno poppers and the first time I used canned whole jalapenos, this time I used fresh.  Fresh are less spicy than canned, and it’s important to get out all the seeds.  Regardless, if you plan on making (not to mention serving) these, keep in mind that they are not for the faint-of-heart.  And if you can get past the spicyness, these are extra yummy.

So, getting back to this business of removing all the seeds.  I started out with a knife, and then I decided I ran a high risk of cutting myself, since I was cradling the pepper in my palm as I cut out the seeds.  Then I tried using a spoon, which was a bit clumsy.  I ultimatley decided to use my finger to just scrape the seeds and other membranes out.  Big mistake.  HUGE.  My finger felt like it was on fire until late in the night.  I’ve never had that kind of pepper-induced constant pain before and it was NOT pleasant.

Spicyness aside, these jalapeno poppers were perfectly crisp and full of gooey cheese.  They went perfectly

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

(Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)

  • 12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 8 teaspoons cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 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 remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. 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 and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer (another quintessential aspect of any Super Bowl party.  Or football in general, for that matter.)

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