They’re hot, they’re cool, and they’re sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
Everyone’s had jalapeño poppers, those greasy — but delicious — spicy bites stuffed with yellow cheese, then breaded and deep-fried.
Let me suggest a no-cook version that my family makes at least once a year. These canned peppers are sliced lengthwise, seeded and filled with cream cheese.
If you take them to a party, people will at first look askance at them. But once they’ve had one, they’ll be back for more. Don’t pig out on them, though — the results can be painful (they are, after all, jalapeños).
Although the recipe sounds simple enough, some hard-and-fast rules accompany it.
1. Use gloves when handling the peppers or be careful about washing your hands, although washing might not even work, since the oil from the pepper absorbs into your skin. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE OR ANY SENSITIVE BODY PARTS while or after making these. My sister Trudie once rubbed her eye after preparing them. She was wearing contact lenses. It took hours for her eye to stop tearing.
2. Use a trusted brand of jalapeños: I prefer Embasa pickled jalapeños.
3. This is not a recipe for kids to help with, nor something you’d necessarily want them to eat, as they can be pretty hot.
4. Serve the jalapeños on a nonreactive dish. Glass works best. I used a silver-plated platter once and ruined it; the acid from the peppers etched the silver plate. Go for practical, not fancy.
5. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but one thing that makes these really stand out is the onion, so do not omit it, or use cream cheese spread that contains chives.
6. Alternative: Stuff the peppers with homemade or store-bought chicken salad. My husband hates cream cheese, so I tried this for the first time recently and it was a hit at home and at work.
Herewith, then, is the recipe for stuffed jalapeño peppers.