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Make Your Own Jalapeño Poppers

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poppersJalapeño poppers provide a great way to enjoy both the heat from a chile pepper and the cooling sensation from the cheese inside. They’re also easy to make.

Stuffed Jalapeños

This recipe from Matt Martinez is a bit different from the processed, freezer-burned poppers you find at too many restaurants. It calls for pickled jalapeños as a base. It also calls for a stuffing of Monterey Jack or American cheese. You could also use cream cheese, if you prefer. Or if you like thinks really spicy, try jalapeño (pepper) Jack. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them warm in the oven before serving.

12 whole pickled jalapeños
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or American cheese
1 cup flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups cracker meal or seasoned breadcrumbs
Oil of your choice for deep frying

[amazon-product]1931721696[/amazon-product]Slip open one side of each jalapeño and discard all of the seeds and membranes. Rinse jalapeños in cold water and pat dry. Stuff with cheese. Roll the peppers in flour, dunk them in the buttermilk, then roll in the cracker meal. Place in the freezer for about 2 to 3 hours, until they are completely frozen.

Pour enough oil in your fryer to give you about an inch in depth, then heat to 350 degrees. Fry the poppers to a golden brown. Drain on a rack or on paper towels for a minute. Then hold in a warm oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorite topping, such as crumbled bacon, or with salsa or sour cream on the side.

Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings.

Adapted from “MexTex” by Matt Martinez

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