bits and pieces

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers - Buffalo Style.

Don't worry fair buffalo! This time it's not Buffalo Wings (although mine are epic) - it's Buffalo Poppers! 
Now I have never actually had jalapeno poppers before - so I again, took my inspiration from other recipes. The recipes I had looked at had jalapeno poppers filled with things, which is exactly what I assumed jalapeno poppers were. WRONG. Apparently they are breaded little deep fried things that are not in fact whole jalapenos. Ergo, these were too spicy for the weaker half of the Superbowl Party (the Steelers fans).
If YOU make these fair reader, I recommend using Anaheim peppers - they're the long yellow-ish green ones you see near the jalapenos in the grocery store. They have a leeeetle bit of spice, but they're sweeter and less KAPOW! than jalapenos. They were still super excellent though - especially the BACON wrapped poppers. That's right. BACON. Below is the 'standard' recipe, but please see the note at the bottom for the bacon + shrimp surprise.
jalapenos! except not - do this with anaheim peppers. This recipe should make roughly 12 bigger jalapenos OR 6 anaheim poppers
about 6oz of cream cheese (roughly 2/3's of a container/bar-stick thing)
3-4 tbsp hot sauce (depends on your brand DO NOT use that much tabasco - I used about 4 tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce and it was yum)
2-3 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
a squirt of lemon juice (makes the blue cheese + hot sauce POP!)
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
you need about 12 cooked shrimp (I fried mine in a little lime juice + garlic) and as many pieces of bacon as you have peppers.

you will need:
a bunch of toothpicks
I highly reccommend rubber gloves - I consistently cut up jalapenos without gloves and then touch my eyes. Tears ensue.
a baking tray, lined with tinfoil
a paring knife or small and nimble dagger
a ziplock bag
a glorious food processor, should the gods have gifted you with one

  1. if you do not have a food processor - take your cream cheese + blue cheese out so they're soft and room temperature-y once it's time to mix 'em all together.
  2. Line your baking tray with tinfoil (if you have it) and set your oven to BROIL.
  3. Put on your rubber gloves. Please wear rubber gloves ESPECIALLY if you are a real manly man/womanly woman/shemaley shemale and using jalapenos.
  4. Prep your peppers. This process will be less complicated if you're using Anaheim peppers as they generally lack the intense seed-i-ness of jalapenos. TO PREP YOUR PEPPERS - get a cutting board and your knife ready. Lay your pepper so it rests flat on the cutting board. Make TWO cuts forming a T. The first cut should go length-wise down your pepper, from stem to tip. The second cut should go perpendicular about a centimetre down from the stem. Make sure you DO NOT cut all the way through the pepper. You don't want to cut the stem off completely. Then simply open the two flaps and scrape out the seeds with your knife or a small spoon. The first one is tricky but it's pretty easy after that. Don't worry if there are a couple seeds left behind.
  5. Now it's time to make your filling! In a non-reactive bowl (no metal) combine your cream cheese, blue cheese, hot sauce, salt, and lemon juice. mix them up until they're nice and blended. Mine was a delightful orange colour because of my hot sauce.
  6. Put your filling into a ziplock bag. This involved a lot of sloppy spatula-ing for me.
  7. Cut the tip off one of the corners of your bag and pipe the filling into the peppers. Fill them moderately - there's no point in over filling because this will just melt all over and make a mess. Take a toothpick and use it to 'close' your pepper. Stick the toothpick through so your two flaps are closed-ish.
  8. IF YOU ARE USING BACON AND SHRIMP - PAY ATTENTION NOW. Just kidding. Just stick a shrimp or two into your pepper before/after you pipe in your Buffalo filling, and then wrap your pepper in bacon using the toothpick to close the pepper AND secure your delicious bacon-ness.
  9. Broil these babies for roughly 4-6 minutes, but pay close attention. Cooking times depend on how hot-to-trot your oven is. You should look for the skin to be bubbling and blackening OR for your bacon to look cooked.
For your viewing pleasure - THIS is an anaheim pepper (they are normally about 4-5 inches long and can be yellowish):

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