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Baked Jalapeno Poppers

It’s getting to be that time of year again when we can enjoy spicy, full flavored bites like these jalapeno poppers. Since the NFL playoffs are well under way, and the Superbowl is right around the corner, I have been making treats like this every game day. I love to make spicy treats like these to eat while watching the game. Spicy dips and easy appetizers like these are our favorites. I had been deep frying my jalapeno poppers for a number of years, when a reader told me they were just as good baked. So this year, with our New Year’s resolutions to at least try and be a little healthier, I changed my original deep fried jalapeno popper recipe to an even tastier baked version. I used Panko on two of the poppers, but ran out because I had used most of my Panko last week on my easy fried cheese sticks with Panko. So I breaded the rest in bread crumbs, which was also very good.

Caution: I highly recommend wearing gloves while working with the jalapeno peppers, and even eye protection. Granted I am forgetful and clumsy, but every time I make jalapeno poppers without wearing gloves, I always end up touching my eyes, nose, or lips, and making them burn for hours. Now I always wear gloves. And even today, my jalapenos were especially juicy and the hot pepper juice shot in my eye.  I will be wearing glasses in addition to gloves in the future. My eye is still burning as a write this, but it was all worth it.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Ingredients

Filling

12 Fresh Jalapenos, cut in half, lengthwise
1 – 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
2 cups finely shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

    For Breading

    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    4 egg whites, whipped until they have very soft peaks
    1 cup milk
    1 cup panko or bread crumbs

      Method

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare jalapenos by cutting them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and veins of the pepper.

      Caution: Make sure to use gloves while handling the peppers, or be absolutely certain to wash your hands extremely well after handling them. Safety glasses are also recommended.

      2. Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Place the cheese mixture in all the jalapeno poppers. Then dip the stuffed poppers in the milk, then flour, then egg white and then the panko or bread crumbs.

      3. Place them on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray. When they are all completed, spray the tops of the jalapenos with more non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown, and melted completely through.

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