Jalapeno poppers, my style

Well. I see it’s been way too long – like over a year and a half – since I offered a recipe story. It’s probably time, at least if some of you might be curious, and how would I know that, to offer another.

I was interested in making jalapeno poppers in a practical way without deep frying, and I didn’t know how, so hello Google. I found something I liked and added my own twist to it. Made a few of them, and they went quickly, and it was popular.

Tried them again, but you know what? Jalapenos in one crop might have different heat capacity than in another crop. This second crop was apparently a “hot” batch. People liked them, but it brought some of them to tears. Um, literally.

So let’s reduce the potential heat. Hello, Google, again. I followed some suggestions, and one of the people who was brought to tears that second time gulped down six of these V3.0 beauties in about nothing flat.

So here we go.

You need:

As many fresh jalapenos as you want. Keep in mind that however many you buy, the ultimate production will be double that. If my verbiage is confusing, and it often is, that means that 10 jalapenos will result in 20 poppers with this recipe.

Cream cheese.

Shredded cheddar.

Spices of your choice. I like garlic for a start. Cumin, black pepper, and chili powder could go along nicely. My favored spices come from King Cajun out of Portland, but you do what you’d like.

Flavored bread crumbs.

Now, slice…

Wait a minute. First, set the oven to 420 so it can warm up while you do this other stuff.

Where were we? Oh, yeah. Slice the jalapenos into halves. What I do is slice next to the curved stem so that half of your poppers look natural, with that stem still on.

Slice out the ribs. Make sure the seeds are out. No, seriously. Do.

Did I say that you should be wearing gloves or protecting your hands somehow? Just do. You can even use the plastic wrap of a newspaper to protect your digits. Speaking for a friend. If you don’t use protection, your hands might end up burning for a good eight hours afterwards. Speaking for a friend.

Stick the sliced and hollowed-out jalapeno halves into an ice water bath for 15 minutes. This is to make it more likely that your guests won’t cry over your offerings.

While the jalapenos are in their anti-sauna, mix together that cream cheese and shredded cheddar and spices. You might stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften all that up and let it mix better together.

If those jalapenos halves aren’t done with their 15 minutes, read a newspaper article. When 15 minutes have gone by, take them out, shake them off (you still have protection, right), and place them on a…

Oh, yeah. Sometime before this, get a baking sheet and grease it up with spray no-stick or something.

Place them on that baking sheet and start spooning that cream cheese/cheddar/spices mix into the jalapenos halves. When you’re all done, push them together kinda tightly.

When you’re done with all that, take the flavored bread crumbs and sprinkle them liberally, and I mean generously not politically, although there’s nothing wrong with that. Make sure they’re all covered quite nicely.

Is the oven at 420 yet? Oh, good. Slide the baking sheet in and tell your smart speaker or whatever you use to set a timer at 22 minutes.

When that’s done, take them out, and once they cool a bit, they’re ready.

If some guests have really delicate palates, keep them away. Otherwise, enjoy!

You’re welcome.

— Grandpa

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