Vegetables / Side Dishes

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

One thing I’ve noticed recently (aside from the fact that I’m getting older – duh!), is that my undying love and adoration of spicy food has increased exponentially.

What’s that? You say you want proof? Well then….. it just so happens that our current inventory of hot sauce varieties is holding steady at nine.

Nine bottles, that is.

Now, some might say that qualifies as a slight obsession bordering on insanity — but I say, bring it on! Because hotter = better, at least in my book anyway 🙂

Oh – one more thing – wear disposable gloves while handling the jalapenos … the oil from the peppers adheres to your skin and can/will cause extreme pain if you happen to rub your eye after preparing these.

Not that I would have any first hand knowledge of that.

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Baked Jalapeno Poppers – adapted from 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
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and milk.  Place the panko crumbs in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl. 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.

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