Despite the less-than-bumper crop of tomatoes this year, and despite the fact it wasn’t blazing hot, we sure got a lot of jalapenos harvested. James made pepper jelly, and then we didn’t pick for a while – so the next harvest was filled with large, thick-walled jalapenos, and I decided to make them into jalapeno poppers, one of my favorite appetizers ever.
Man, that was an undertaking. Probably because I made over 100 of them, and I spread the steps out over a few days.
First, I thought I didn’t need gloves, because I was only coring them out. WRONG-O. I cored them and then stuffed them with cream cheese, and then put them back in the fridge. The next day, I followed a recipe that had me dunk them in milk, then in flour, then back in milk, then in bread crumbs, and I was supposed to do each type of dredging a couple of times. Perhaps if one were making, say, 12, that wouldn’t seem like a giant pain in the ass. I did get them all coated, and then I layered them on a cookie sheet, with wax paper dividers, and froze them. Eventually they got bagged in food saver bags of 12, and I must say, they’re really good. Worth all the effort. Here’s a pic of them all ready to be bagged up:
The other appetizer you can make (courtesy of my pal Bekah) is cut a slit & remove the seeds, or cut them in half (still remove the seeds), stuff with cream cheese, and wrap with bacon. I used about a third of a bacon slice per jalapeno, and the second time I made them, I didn’t even mess with toothpicks. Place them on a cookie sheet (I put down tin foil, since I prefer lazy-easy clean-up), bake in a 375′ oven until the bacon is crisp, and yuuuummmmeh time awaits. I mean, bacon and cream cheese make everything better in general, why not combine them? And you’re still getting some vegetable… lol.
Last, but not least, a really awesome addition to a crudite platter is to halve jalapenos, and stuff them with crunchy peanut butter (or you could use cream cheese) – a fantastic upgrade to celery. And there’s always the fun Russian Roulette of if you’re going to get that jalapeno that’s blazing hot! But the peanut butter helps minimize the burn fairly quickly, and most everyone I know loves ’em. So, if you’re still harvesting peppers, these are some good ways to use them now, and save some for later, when it’s actually cold outside and you want a little summer heat flavor.