Thursday, August 14, 2008

Texas Jalapeno Poppers

One of my favorite appetizers or football food is Texas Jalapeno Poppers. If you don't know what they are you sure are missing out. Jalapeno Poppers are peppers stuffed with mixture of cheddar, monterey jack and/or cream cheese and sometimes bacon. Then breaded and deep fried. 

They're usually served with ranch dressing, but I like them all by themselves. The origin of the Jalapeno Popper is unclear, but they are most likely an Americanized version of the classic Mexican dish, Chili Rellenos. Jalapeno poppers are sometimes also known as "Alligator Eggs".

Years ago I would make a special trip at lunch or after work to this little hole in the wall Barbecue place called "The Wood Pit BBQ". They had the best Jalapeno Poppers you could ever find. Crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside with the perfect amount of heat. 

Besides great peppers they also the best barbecue.  This place was so small they could only seat a handful of people inside. There was just a couple tables that fit inside. I always seemed to end up on the table that was always hit by the front door as people entered the restaurant. 

It didn't matter though because they had the best food. If I went through the drive though I usually had those babies polished off before I got to home or back to work. I'm not sure if the BBQ place is still around it's been like 18 years since I've been there. I love that I can recreate these great little poppers at home. They do take a bit of time to get together but worth it in the end.

The hardest part of the whole process was finding the perfect Jalapeno Peppers. It's kind of hit and miss you usually find them with great flavor, but now heat or you get some that will set your mouth on fire. It can still be hit and miss on pepper shopping. Most times I purchase mine peppers at Fiesta Mart they seem to have the best ones. 

Just look for a jalapeno that has some veins to them (little brown lines on the skin). These particular peppers didn't pack the heat like I thought they would, but that just means I still have to find the right peppers. Other than that the flavor was wonderful.


These are the ingredients you will need: Fresh whole jalapenos, cream cheese, bacon bits (optional), sharp cheddar cheese, plain bread crumbs, flour, milk or buttermilk and oil for frying.


In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese you can use 3/4 - 1 whole package of cream cheese its your preference.

add the shredded cheese (my favorite combination is monterey jack and cheddar cheese)



and 1-2 tablespoons Bacon Bits (this is optional). Mix together really well.

This is what the mixture will look like.



Wash and clean the peppers, cut in half and remove seeds. You might want to use gloves when handling jalapeno peppers (especially if you wear contact lenses) Make sure to wash you hands again after handling the peppers and before stuffing. 

Soaking your hands in milk after handling peppers helps remove the heat.The recipe I have does not state to blanch the peppers first, but I highly recommend doing that before stuffing the pepper. The first time we made these the peppers were way to hard. Blanch the peppers and set aside.

How to Blanch Peppers: 
Blanching means to add foods into boiling water for few minutes (about 2-3 minutes), then remove and place in ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip  skis off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved, but it helps to soften the peppers a bit.

Put the milk, flour & bread crumbs into three separate small bowls.

Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.


Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each.

Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.


Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs.


Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.


In a medium skillet or deep fryer, heat the oil to 375° F.. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown.


Remove and let drain on a paper towels.


Dip in Ranch Dressing or by themselves




Texas Jalapeno Poppers

1 - 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 - 8 oz package shredded sharp cheddar cheese or
1/2 - cheddar & half monterey jack cheese (omit the cream cheese)
1 -2  tablespoons bacon bits, optional
12 oz - fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved (about 15 jalapenos yields 30 poppers)
1 - cup milk or buttermilk (buttermilk is best)
1 - cup all-purpose flour
1 - cup dry bread crumbs
2 - quarts oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon bits if using. Wash and clean peppers cut in half and remove seeds. Make sure to wash you hands again after handling the peppers and before stuffing. 

Blanch the peppers in boiling water for a few minutes (2-3) then remove and place in ice water. This recipe does not state to blanch the peppers first, but I highly recommend doing that before stuffing the peppers. After blanching set the peppers aside.

Spoon the cheese mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves. Put the milk, flour and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. 

Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated. 

In a heavy duty medium skillet or deep fryer, heat the oil to 375° F.. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Serve with ranch dressing or eat them all by themselves.

How to Blanch Peppers: 
Blanching means to add foods into boiling water for a few minutes, then remove and place into ice water. This process sets the color of vegetables, lets you easily peel fruits, and slip the skins off nuts. The food does not cook all the way through, so crisp texture is preserved, but it helps to soften the peppers a bit.

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13 comments:

Terri Fisher said... #

Thanks, Tina, for your willingness to contribute some recipes to our adoption cookbook...by the looks of your blog, they will be absolutely delicious! This poppers recipe looks fabulous, and much more healthier when made at home than in a restaurant. I'll have to try them!

Live.Love.Eat said... #

Oh wow, I sooo love jalapeno poppers & order them only when out at a casual place & drink 'em down with some beer, never daring to make them at home. So, you take just a halved stuffed pepper and dredge that in flour and fry them. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by that. I don't what I was originally thinking how the mixture got in there...

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Your welcome Terri thats so cool that you are doing that cook book. Lmk when you have them for sale. What a great idea.

Stephanie I love them to. They are really easy to make you will be so surprised. Dont forget after you roll them in the flour they need to rest and the roll them again in milk and plain bread crumbs. The stuffing is really easy. LMK if you make them.

Donna, aka. Yellow Jeep Blonde said... #

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jalapeno Poppers! I've never made them myself, but you make it look so easy.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Hey girlfriend. Now you're talking my language. These are great. My husband and daughter will devour these in minutes. I have to go a little slower. Great post Tina.

VG said... #

Hey Tina, they look awesome. I had them when I was in Texas a few years ago. Now I can try to make them here. Thanks for sharing.

PS: The cake in your previous post looks great too!

Vin

Angie said... #

hey Tina!
I made these last night, but didn't blanch the peppers first. I love crunchy peppers. I loved them so much, and hubby says thanks for the great recipe!

Vanessa said... #

I made these Saturday night and completely forgot to blanch the peppers, but they still came out great and everyone loved them!!! Thanks so much for this great recipe!

Anonymous said... #

ty so for the recipe they where sooo good yummm! from the linderberry family

Heather said... #

Ive never had success frying anything....until now! Tried this recipe and turned out perfect! The detailed, picture instructions definitely helped:) thanks so much!

Chrissie said... #

Poppers are my all time favorite snack food!

In my house I serve them with a fruit dipping sauce. (equal parts of plum and raspberry jelly cooked down to liquid form) It's adds the perfect amount of sweet to the heat!

Kara P said... #

My husband and I made these tonight because we had an over-abundance of jalepenos to use up. We didn't add the bacon to the cheese mixture (next time we will!) and we used panko that I put through the food processor to make finer. These turned out great! This recipe is a keeper- and a great place to start when we want to adjust the taste (maybe cilantro in the cheese mixture next time?) Thanks!

Steve said... #

Nice recipe. I put the seeds and the pith (finely chopped) into the cheese mix for extra heat. A double coating of breadcrumbs is good too.