When I was younger my mom would buy Jalapeno Poppers occasionally and I loved them. Pretty surprising since I’m not a “spicy” food person. There was something about the cream cheese and the jalapeno that I loved. I hadn’t had them in years and then randomly I thought to myself I should make them (we usually had the freezer ones)! So I went on a hunt for a baked version instead of fried and stumbled upon this :)
- 12 fresh jalapeno peppers halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
- 6 oz. cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 c. grated Monterrey Jack or mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne or less to taste
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 8 tsp. Essence recipe follows
- 1 c. panko crumbs or fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning)
- 2 1/2 tbsp. paprika
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. dried leaf oregano
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Lightly grease baking sheet and set aside. In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat together eggs, milk and 2 tsp. of the Essence.
In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and 4 tsp. of Essence.
In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 tsp. of Essence. Spread 1 tbsp. of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process.
Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
[My 2 Cents]
These are m.e.s.s.y!!! So beware. Also, like I said, I'm not really a spicy foods person and the first time I made these I added all of the suggested cayenne to the Essence. Big mistake. My mouth was on fi-yah!!! Holy cow. So the next time around I made the essence without cayenne at all and loved them! They were still spicy because of the jalapeno but not nearly as hot as they could have been.
Adapted from Food Network Star, Emeril Lagasse