Remember the jalapeños that were growing in our tiny garden? Well, they got me fiendin' for some jalapeño poppers: peppers covered in crunchy breadcrumbs and stuffed with a creamy cheese filling. Mmmm. TOO BAD I didn't have any cream cheese! I looked in the fridge and all we had was a tiny bag of shredded "Mexican blend" cheese :(
That's where these fun little bites come in. I sliced some jalapeños and coated them in panko breadcrumbs, roasting and crisping them up in the OVEN, not in a fryer. Hooray for making this pub/party favorite a little healthier! And they're not extremely hot either, which may or may not be a good thing depending on what you like. For me, it was a good thing; the lack of spicy [mainly Korean] food in my freshman year diet really KILLED my tolerance for heat. Eating a bowl of spicy cup noodles will now induce stomachaches and you know what follows. I know, I know. I am a disgrace to my roots :(
I still wanted the creamy cheese element, so I made a simple queso dip. Yo, it tastes even better than that jarred Tostitos queso dip. And beleehhh me, my dormmates and I lived off of that stuff this past year. Best with lime chips (AHHH Y, K, S, L!!! I MISS YOU ALL!). If you have Velveeta lying around, that'd be good too. It melts a little nicer and has more density/texture.
My bro, Grams and I killed all the bites right before dinner. Makes a great appetizer, football party dish, etc. etc.
eggs, lightly beaten (2 eggs were enough for about 7-10 peppers)
salt, pepper and any other seasonings you'd like (I used garlic and onion powder)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice jalapenos into 1/4 inch rings. Pour flour, eggs and panko into 3 separate bowls. Heavily season flour and eggs. Coat rings in flour and shake off excess. Dip in eggwash and shake off excess. Coat in panko breadcrumbs and sure to gently press it on. Spread rings onto a baking pan in a single layer and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
NOTE: If you have and like Velveeta cheese, skip this recipe-- just melt the Velt and add salsa. Classic foreal
1 tbsp butter
~1/2 small onion, minced
1 spoonful of minced garlic
1 tbsp flour
1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used a 4-cheese "Mexican" style blend, but whatever floats your boat)
Melt butter on med heat and saute onion and garlic. Sprinkle and whisk in flour (kiiiinda makin a roux, namsayin?), getting rid of any flour lumps. Whisk in a couple dashes of milk (just enough to make it a thin pudding consistency) and add cheese. Add more milk at this point until you get a creamy consistency, and season with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and mix in as much salsa as you'd like. Serve warm/hot with your jalapeño bites :D
Random food fact (via Wikipedia): Velveeta cheese is made, in part, from whey, a by-product of cheese-making that contains a high amount of nutrients.