One of my favorite appetizers or meal addition — jalapeno poppers. I love these little packets of heat and cheese, and decided the best way to get the taste I wanted was to get in the kitchen and make them myself. If you want that added “kick” leave a few seeds in the peppers.
For this recipe: I used 7 jalapeno peppers, 1 pearl onion, 3 cloves of garlic-minced, 1 small shallot, 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup grated queso fresco 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp butter, dash of garlic powder, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and peanut oil. 2 Tbsp flour, 1 cup panko bread crumbs
For the batter: 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, one egg–mix in a medium size mixing bowl.
Clean, dry and seed the jalapeno by making a lengthwise slit from the stem to the bottom of the pepper and make a slit across the top (forming a T)–this helps to open the pepper more. Scoop out the seeds with a very small spoon. If you use your fingers, you may want to wear rubber kitchen gloves. Alternatively, cut the tip opposite the stem off and use a small spoon or utensil to get the seeds out. If you use this method, its best to pipe the filling into the pepper.
Heat the butter in a pan ans saute the pearl onion, garlic, and shallot until tender, then remove to a mixing bowl and allow to cool a bit. Next add the cream cheese, queso fresco (or Mountain Jack Cheese if you prefer), salt, pepper, and paprika.
In a separate bowl mix the flour and panko bread crumbs.
Stuff each pepper with the cheese mixture. Heat the oil in a fryer or medium heavy bottom pot to about 370ºF. Dip the peppers in the batter, then into the flour/bread crumbs, and if you like back into the batter once more–this is what I did.
Make a slit to get those seeds out. I also made one across the top. However, you could snip the bottom end (opposite the stem) off and scoop the seeds out with a small spoon. In this case, you’ll have to pipe in the cheese mixture