I probably haven't had a jalapeno popper in years. You may not have noticed but we (mostly Alex) have a vendetta against prepared foods here in the 4 Pears household. So when my husband suggested we have jalapeno poppers with our pizza the other night, I was pretty sure he didn't mean the kind that came out of the box in the freezer section.
Who makes homemade jalapeno poppers? This girl. They were awesome and actually quite easy. The peppers had a bit of a crunch and the creamy filling was delicious. I may have thought he was crazy, but they came out great and we'll definitely be making them again soon.
Jalapeno Poppers, adapted from Emeril Lagasse
8 large fresh jalapeno peppers
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pepper jack (or another spicy) cheese
1/4 teaspoon of Essence (Emeril's spice blend, you can buy it in the grocery store or make it yourself)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus 3 tablespoons, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (the panko makes these crispy so I wouldn't recommend substituting the regular stuff)
First prepare the filling by mixing the cheeses together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Next work on cleaning the peppers. You might want to wear some rubber gloves for this! If not your hands will be covered in the spicy oils from the peppers and it is hard to get off!! With a paring knife make a T in each pepper cutting under the stem (but not cutting it off) and then down the length of the pepper. This creates a nice pocket.
Remove as much of the seeds and ribs as you would like. I removed most of the seeds and ribs and my pepper were still pretty spicy. Now stuff the filling into the pocket and squeeze to close them back up.
Heat a deep fryer or pot of vegetable oil to 370 F. If you are using a pot you'll need to fill it about 1/3 of the way.
While it is heating make up your batter and breading. First mix 1/2 cup of flour with the milk and the egg. Then on a plate combine the 3 tablespoons of flour, the panko and the Essence.
Dip each of the peppers into the batter then carefully coat them with the breading. Once the oil is ready slide them in (in two batches so you don't crowd them) and fry for 2 minutes. Remove them from the oil to a plate lined with paper towels and salt them. Dig in!