Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fried Jalapeno Poppers

Fresh jalapeno peppers are blanched then stuffed with a bacon and cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack blend, dipped in buttermilk, rolled in flour & deep fried. Yum!

Fried Jalapeno Poppers

Fried Jalapeno Poppers are not something that have really been on my southern radar since they are really not a very common recipe item where I live in The Deep South, and you aren't likely to find many {if any} southern cookbooks from my area of The South containing a recipe for them.

They are, of course, more common in the Southwestern parts of the South or the southern regions of Florida I'd suppose. We just don't do a lot of Tex-Mex recipes here along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I'd venture to guess that most folks who live in my area probably buy their poppers from the freezer section at the grocery store! They are not the same as homemade folks, so I decided to make my own homemade version that I have come to love.

They are a bit time-consuming to prep but heads above better than those ones you find in the freezer section of your store. There just is no comparison, so next time you want to make a platter of appetizers I hope you give these a try. And, you can prepare them and then flash freeze them, so that the next time you need some, they'll be right in your freezer, ready to fry. That, is exactly what I did! Just prepare them all the way up to get them ready to fry, spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, set them on it, stick the whole thing in the freezer and then once they are frozen solid, pop 'em in a zipper freezer bag.

These would be fantastic to prepare in advance and freeze, to have on hand to fry as an appetizer for any party, gathering, or cookout, so that you'll have a great appetizer to tame the wild beasts while the rest of the food cooks on the grill. I highly recommend that you break out the deep fryer for these too because they fry up real quick, stay nice and crunchy and are not at all greasy. Here's how to make them - enjoy!
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Recipe: Fried Jalapeno Poppers

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound of fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
  • 5 slices of bacon, fried crisp and chopped fine
  • Buttermilk, enough to fully dredge a pepper
  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 2 cups of plain dry or panko bread crumbs
  • Canola oil for deep frying
Instructions

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Put on a medium sized pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise, removing all of the seeds and cutting out the ribs. Rinse. When water begins to boil, add the jalapenos, return to a boil, stir and boil for just a minute or two. Drain, fill pot with fresh cold water and ice cubes and immediately plunge the peppers into the ice bath to cease the cooking process. Remove the peppers and place onto the prepared baking sheet to dry.

Using a fork, whip together the cream cheese, cheeses and cooked, chopped bacon until well blended. Using a small spoon, fill the large end of the pepper with a rounded spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, and spread out to the narrow end, pressing into the pepper. Set aside on the prepared pan and continue until all of the peppers have been stuffed.

Pour enough buttermilk into a small bowl to cover the pepper when you dip it in, and dump the flour into another bowl. Using one hand for the wet and one hand for the dry, dip the stuffed peppers into the buttermilk and then using the other hand, dredge the pepper in the flour mixture and roll so that the entire pepper is well coated. Set on the baking sheet until you have dredged all of the peppers.

Preheat the deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Place the plain bread crumbs into a small bowl and using the same wet hand, dry hand method, dip the floured peppers back into the buttermilk and then into the bread crumbs, rolling to coat well. Set on the baking sheet until you have dredged all of the peppers.

Place the peppers into the fry basket with the stuffed side up and fry for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes: Jalapenos are pretty much mild in comparison to most peppers, but they can also have varying levels of heat - I've had batches where even completely cleaned, some burned my mouth, but others were very mild, so I always remove the seeds and ribs. You can make these poppers much hotter by leaving the ribs attached when you clean them since that is where much of the heat is, and also by mixing some of the seeds, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper into the cream cheese mixture. Since jalapenos can be unpredictable in their heat levels, I prefer to add to the filling, rather than leave the ribs and seeds in. Poppers can also be baked. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, stuff and bake on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and nicely browned. Make these kid-friendly by using the mini sweet peppers instead of jalapeno peppers.

Tip: Use kitchen gloves before you start to clean the peppers. You will not regret this decision, because no matter how much you scrub your hands afterward, I guarantee they will retain the sting from these peppers & I'm 99% sure you will touch your nose or rub your eye at some point.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com/

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on July 1, 2009
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23 comments:

  1. I just love your blog!! Except it always makes me hungry....:-(

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  2. We love poppers. As a matter of fact they're going to be part of our celebration on the 4th. Yours look wonderful. Have a great day.

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  3. Great minds...my husband just called to ask what we were having for dinner tonight and I told him bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, among other things. I've got some peppers that I need to use up.

    Yours look really good and I bet they are so much better than the restaurant version.

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  4. LOL Sandy!

    Mary, they're a great addition aren't they?

    Krista, bacon wrapped are next on my poppers list! I hope you post your method.

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  5. I love poppers! I've never made them myself. You make it sound so easy! I never thought about the boiling water! I do know about the gloves though! and remember to never itch your face either! LOL!

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  6. These look like the perfect party appetizer. Love them. They all look so perfectly colored. Nice!

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  7. I love these, but have never tried making my own! They look fantastic! Great job!

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  8. And my husband doesn't understand why I need a fryer. . . .

    THese look great Mary, I'll be making them for my dad as soon as the jalapenos are ready to be picked from the garden!

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  9. I have been meaning to try these, but haven't gotten around to it yet, this recipe looks very good!

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  10. These are great and if you fry up some dill pickle slices with these, they make for great eating!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Tried these tonight and they turned out great. Not as hot as I expected them to be, maybe next time I'll stir a little of the seed into the filling.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Jalapenos are pretty much mild in comparison to most peppers, but they can also have varying levels of heat - I've had batches where even completely cleaned, some burned my mouth, but others were very mild, so I always remove the seeds and ribs because you never know how the batch is! You can make them much hotter by leaving the ribs attached when you clean them - that is where much of the heat is - and also by mixing some of the seeds, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper into the cream cheese mixture. I prefer to do that so that I can actually control the heat, rather than leave the ribs and seeds in since a pepper can be unpredictable in heat & it can sometimes be too much. I should add this as a cook's note - thanks for letting me know!

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  13. Miss Mary, I have a question about your poppers. Do you split only one of the sides in half lengthwise so you can stuff the poppers and then "close" them back up to coat them, or do you actually cut the pepper completely in half? Just wondering since most of the poppers I've had have been the entire pepper stuffed. Thank you! Can't wait to try them!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Lynn! I actually split them in half completely and I don't put the halves back together. You can do it both ways, but I prefer the halves. Not too hot that way plus it stretches them!

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  14. Why do you blanch the jalapenos first? Does this help with the frying process?

    Shawna

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    Replies
    1. I prefer to blanch the peppers because they are too harsh when raw and the frying process is so quick they don't cook enough for me if I don't blanch them first. I like them to be more on the tender side.

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  15. I love poppers, but I do not like cream cheese. Have you ever tried making these with pimento cheese? It’s outstanding. They also bake well. I know, there’s nothing like poppin’ a dozen of these into the ol’ Fry-O-Lator. I’m trying to get away from that. When I bake them, I add some Slap ‘Ya Mama to the flour, before the egg wash and the breading. It kicks it up a notch.

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    Replies
    1. Yep - I love cream cheese but I love me some pimento cheese too! Funny, I actually just added some I made the other day to my eggs this morning! :)

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  16. Found these on a search for Jalapeno Poppers on Pinterest. We tried to find a recipe that we liked with no luck, until today!!They were a lot of steps but we finally found a recipe that taste as good as "carnival food" They were delicious!! Shared with the neighbors and they enjoyed them too! (Even though I had to do a search for "homemade panko") These will be made again and again!! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Deborah! They are a little time intensive for prepping, but it's worth it. Glad to hear they were a hit!

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