Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Jalapeno Poppers and a Margarita

Jalapeno plant
One of my jalapeno plants in the garden last year.

With a review yesterday of The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown, I thought I'd stay with a jalapeno theme this weekend with a recipe for Jalapeno Poppers from Rachael Ray's my year in meals. I bet these would be delicious using sweet banana peppers if you wanted a mild appetizer.
Jalapeno Poppers

16 fat jalapeno chiles
1 red fresno chili, seeded and chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons grated onion
2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
kosher salt and pepper
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Slice off one-third of the chiles lengthwise. Seed the chiles to make "boats" for the filling. Finely chop enough of the trimmings to measure 3 to 4 tablespoons, reserving leftovers to use in another recipe.

In a bowl, combine the chopped jalapeno and Fresno chiles, the cream cheese, onion, garlic, cumin, and shredded cheeses. Stir until blended and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out chiles.

Stir the panko and Parm together on a plate and roll the stuffed tops of the poppers in the panko-Parm mixture. Arrange the poppers on a baking sheet and coat with a little cooking spray. Roast until the peppers are tender-crisp and the filling is browned and bubbling, 15-18 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Makes 16 poppers.
I think a margarita would be in order with these little delights. Rachael's husband, John Cusimano, collaborated with this cookbook and has shared his recipes for over 100 cocktails.

Here's one of his margarita recipes and his special Ancho rim salt:

Smokehouse Margarita 

2 ounces mezcal
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce orange cuacao

Rim a glass with the ancho rim salt. Shake all the ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strain into the rimmed glass. Fill with ice.

JC's Ancho Rim Salt Supremo

2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Stir all the ingredients together well and spread out on a saucer big enough to rim your glass. 
I hope you have a terrific week,

Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, beer, wine, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.


  1. My brother's girlfriend made those jalapeno poppers for a recent family party - they was amazing!!

  2. I've made poppers before and the home variety are so much tastier than the restaurant version. Your margarita recipe sounds like a perfect beverage for poppers!

  3. Both the poppers and the margaritas sound good to me!

  4. I'm on my way over! Both recipes looks fantastic. I like the idea of that spicy rim salt.


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