Jalapeno Poppers right from the garden

And into the freezer!

So our jalapeno plant was very busy and gave us more fruits than we could use, maybe that is because I never got to can salsa.  I was on a quest all last season to create things I could freeze and cook later.  I decided that Kerry and Sam love the idea of melting their faces off with really HOT foods.  Why not make poppers?  They are totally easy and you more than likely own most of the ingredients required.  Good news – outside of the pepper hotness you can adjust how hot these babies are by adding more or less cayenne and by picking different cheeses to use in the stuffing. 
Our Jalapeno plant  early in the year.


~12 fresh jalapeno peppers (blanched), halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed.  Depending on size and how much stuffing you want.

Filling Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (let set to come to room temp) and divided
1/2-3/4 cups grated Monterrey Jack (one batch I use the Boars Head crazy pepper jack, those I could not eat)
1/2-3/4 cups grated sharp Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin – for each cheese mix 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste – for each cheese mix

Coating Ingredients

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons Essence
5 teaspoons house seasoning
1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

To make the filling Mix 4 ounces of cream cheese, shredded cheese, cumin, cayenne. You can just double the recipe and make one batch all the same.  The consensus here was that both were nice and neither stood out as a winner.
Here are my little darlings all stuffed and waiting on their turn to roll in all the goodness.

For coating the poppers you will need 3 shallow dishes, one with flour, one with an egg wash and the last with the bread coating. Assemble the items needed for coating the poppers.  Mix 1/2 cup of flour with 2 teaspoons of house seasoning in a shallow dish and sit aside.  Now beat 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of essence and 1 teaspoon of house seasoning with 2 tbl of Milk, place in a shallow dish and sit aside.  Stir 1/2 cup corn meal, 1 cup bread crumbs 2 teaspoons of essence 2 teaspoons of house seasoning place in a shallow dish and sit a side.

If you are going to freeze these for later be sure to get a tray that fits in your freezer.  You will want to freeze these until solid (or overnight) and repackage. Prepare a tray by lining with parchment paper.  Fill the halved peppers with the cream cheese mixture, no need to be neat or try to shape them this will come when you roll in the bread crumbs.  Once you have them all filled it is time to start your assembly line for coating.  If you can get help it is best for one person to roll in flour and coat in the egg mixture.  This keeps the crumb rollers hands cleaner to shape and press the crumbs in, otherwise you get club fingers.  Repeat (flour, egg, crumbs) in till all are coated.  While you are coating in the crumbs you can shape them nicely. Place your tray in the freezer until solid, then re-package in your preferred method and place in freezer for long term storage.  We put them in packages of ~6 and used the vacuum seal bags.  They store nicely.
To cook: bake at 350 ~30 min until golden brown or deep fry.  We tossed a couple on the grill for about 5-10 minutes.  When the cheese starts to bubble they are done.  So far we have deep fried, baked and grilled.  All of them turn out nicely and all are acceptable cooking methods.
These were baked.  ENJOY!!!

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