These Jalapeno Poppers are our take on the classic appetizer. We love using pickled whole peppers, but fresh are good, too! NOTE: Wearing protective gloves is a good idea when working with peppers. If you don't, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly, since the heat can easily be transferred to another part of your body (i.e., eyes, when rubbing eyes).
Deep fryer, or sturdy skillet filled with 1-inch of vegetable oil. Or, baking sheet, if baking.
12jalapenospickled or fresh
3stripsbaconthick-cut, smoked, cooked and finely chopped
1cupMonterey Jack cheesegrated
1cupbread crumbsplain, dry
vegetable oilfor frying
½cupsour creamfor dipping
Preheat oil to 345°F in deep-fryer or sturdy skillet. use a deep-fry/candy thermometer to gauge temperature)
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the crumbled cooked bacon, both kinds of cheese, and the hot sauce (if using).
Use a small sharp knife to cut a slit, lengthwise, down one side of each jalapeño. If using fresh, cut another slit perpendicular to the lengthwise slite, forming a 'T' on the side of the pepper. Use your fingers (with protective gloves) to dig out the seeds and ribs. You may need to use your knife to help you get it all with the fresh pepper. Stuff each pepper solidly with the cheese/bacon mixture. Set aside.
Set up your dredging station by placing the flour in a dish or on a plate. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and stir in the milk. Place the bread crumbs and Adobo seasoning in a dish or a separate plate, and mix together. Line the 3 up next to each other.
Fill a small bowl of water and place it next to your dredging station. Start by dipping one pepper into the water to moisten. Quickly add to the flour and roll around, shaking off excess flour. Add to the egg/milk mixture, and turn to coat, shaking off excess egg. Dredge all over through the bread crumb mixture. Repeat the process, except dipping in the water. Set aside and repeat with remaining peppers.
Fry peppers in batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. If baking, place on a baking sheet pan and place in a preheated oven at 375°F for 30 to 45 minutes, until golden.
Serve with cool sour cream for dipping.
We love using fresh jalapeños for this recipe, but we find pickled whole peppers give more of an authentic restaurant-quality taste and texture. We feel they also give the perfect match of briny tartness against the slight heat of the pepper.Pickled whole jalapeños can be found in the Mexican section of many well-stocked supermarkets, or at Mexican food markets, or online.Once the pepper has been filled with the cheese mixture, don't worry if it doesn't completely seal back up. The breading will cover the opening and seal nicely. Very little, if any, cheese should leak out.You can also substitute softened cream cheese in place of the cheddar/bacon filling. The poppers are best served right out of the fryer (or oven), but they will reheat just fine in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 30 to 40 minutes, flipping half-way through the baking.