Jalapeno poppers are a popular deep fried appetizer often found on chain restaurant menus. With a 1/2 inch thick greasy crust and loads of oozing hot cheese, the actual pepper taste and texture is lost. Anything filled with cheese, breaded and fried would probably taste the same. I set about trying to make my own poppers with the lovely peppers I collected last week. Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax were the varieties I worked with and they made great 2-3 bite snacks. You can actually taste the flavor and firmness of the pepper! These mini chile rellenos are a bit time consuming to make, so give yourself an afternoon to try them out. They're definitely worth the effort!
First order of business is preparing the peppers. If you skin is super sensitive, wear gloves. My mom likes the kind that come in the hair color box, but if your locks are "au naturel" any clean set of dish washing gloves will do. I sliced mine lengthwise on one side only to leave them whole. The recipe calls for halving them entirely which yields twice as many poppers; your choice! Using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds and ribs being careful not to press too hard and squirt pepper juice. It would be difficult to continue the recipe with only one eye open. If you prefer peppier poppers, leave some of the seeds and ribs or finely dice a whole pepper and add to the cheese mixture. I skipped the bacon bits and used pepper jack cheese instead, although next time I'll include some extra sharp cheddar to boost the flavor. This recipe from allrecipes.com is easy to follow, my notes are in blue:
In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Be careful when taking a bite, the not cheese might bite back!