Saturday, December 29, 2012

Better Jalapeño Poppers

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Vegetarians don't need another reason to eat another absolutely scrumptious bread/cheese combo, but here goes: like pizza, grilled cheese, cheese toast, cheese and crackers, and even fondue, this spicy combo is a total winner. 

The Chubby Vegetarian version of this omnipresent bar snack, the jalapeño popper, is "better" because it's crunchier, more delicious, and un-fried, unlike its greasy predecessors. Why, they're so simple to put together that you could make 'em with one hand tied behind your back. 

So what are you waiting for? Turn on your little sports game and eat these jalapeño poppers like a sophisticated man...with a fork.

Better Jalapeño Poppers

4 large or 6 medium jalapeño peppers (halved lengthwise, seeds removed)
2 ounces neufchâtel cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 large egg (beaten)
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
Sour cream and fresh chives (to garnish)

Place the seeded, cut peppers cut-side-up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix the 
neufchâtel, cheddar, garlic, cumin, chipotle, and lime zest together until well incorporated. Divide the mixture among the peppers by stuffing them until the mixture is even with the cut. 

In a medium bowl mix the egg with the panko until well incorporated. Place the mixture atop the cheese stuffed peppers until all of the panko is used. Drizzle peppers with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until  golden brown. Garnish with sour cream and chives and serve immediately. (Makes 8 to 12 poppers.)


Rude Little Pig said...

These look so yum! I followed the recipe and they'll be going in the oven at 11:00 as part of our New Years party.

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Thanks for making these a part of NYE, AL! Hope they turn out great.


Unknown said...

I'm a self proclaimed dairy hound. That being said, I would love to see more recipes that don't have dairy in them.

Clayton said...

Made these today, turned out amazing! I made the mistake, though, of cutting the tops off the peppers before halving them, so this meant some of the cheese mixture melted out during baking (but not too much).

Wendy said...

Made these last night! Yum!! Next time I think I will use hotter peppers as the baking made the jalapeños sweeter than I like. Awesome overall, though. Thanks!

Rachel said...

My husband and I made these last night and they were absolutely delicious!! They will definitely be a new go-to appetizer for us. We had a few left over and I heated them up this morning and topped them with an over-easy egg for breakfast. Yum!

Anonymous said...

I was very skeptical that these would actually turn out crunchy after baking like those in the picture look. Especially after I felt like I had too much egg in my panko mixture but didn't want to "waste" any more panko in the mixture. So I went for it. They were absolutely awesome. I had some cheese mixture leftover but did not throw it away. Two days later, I felt hungry and had no food. I found I had 3 ripe jalapeños in the garden. I used the extra cheese to make a few more and they were awesome again!!! The only problem was that I used more cream cheese and less cheddar than this recipe called for. Other recipes seemed to require more cream cheese as compared to the cheddar, so I decreased the ratio in this recipe. Both times I made this recipe with the mixture that was heavier on the cream cheese than the cheddar, I felt like they needed a little more oomph even though they were awesome and crispy. The ones I made with bacon were okay with more cream cheese. Different recipe. I also did not add the chipotle seasoning and hardly any lime or cumin because I don't like chipotle and didn't want the lime to take over. It was great as it was and I did not miss those ingredients at all. AT ALL!!! And I am a gal who loves to spice sh*t up!!! I used real garlic but didn't appreciate or miss the garlic flavor in these poppers. I made them again a few days later with no spices, no garlic, just cream cheese (low fat, actually!), cheddar, and the egg/panko mixture and they were great!!! The Japs are the star. I am so loving this recipe. Cheesy and crunchy but at least not fried and you don't miss it. Go for it!!! Curious how the other spices make it taste but not gonna risk it now with the good thing I got going! I will say that the people at my party didn't seem overly wowed...many people tried them and said they were good but I didn't feel like they were raving over them. So I took the tray home with some poppers remaining and ate them all in the car. Probably 12. And I was only slightly tipsy. Awesome food, possibly even more awesome bar food. Could just be my weird family that doesn't like spicy stuff that didn't crave them.