Out of all of the things in my freezer right now, these are definitely my favorite. Let's be honest for a minute, shall we?? I mean, we try and eat healthy and watch our fat grams and carbs and eat the good kinds of fat. But sometimes, all you want is something tasty, something cheesy, something fried.
These poppers fit the bill. Not only will they make good use of the bounty of peppers that should be springing out of the gardens, but they also freeze extremely well, which means you can always have these on hand to throw in the oven for guests or when you're just craving something tasty.
These are relatively easy to make, although slightly time consuming. (My batch took about 2 hours all together from start to finish). However, they last quite a while in the freezer if properly bagged. The recipe can also be easily halved.
Feel free to incorporate other ingredients into this recipe, such as crab meat or bacon. Switch the cheeses up and throw in some monterey jack, blue cheese, or queso fresco. You won't be disappointed if you give these a try!
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8oz) bag shredded sharp cheddar
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
24 jalapeno peppers
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
In medium sized bowl, combine cheeses and seasonings until well mixed. Set aside. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. In the meantime, remove stem from jalapeno peppers and cut into half. Take out seeds and set aside. Repeat with remaining peppers. Blanch peppers for 2 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to dry for a few minutes.
Fill all pepper halves with cheese mixture. Then dip each half into milk, then coat with flour, setting aside on baking tray. Repeat with remaining halves. Allow to dry about 10 minutes. Then dip each half into milk, and then coat completely with breadcrumbs, setting aside on baking tray. Repeat with remaining halves. Allow to dry about 10 minutes. Then repeat breadcrumb coating step.
Meanwhile, bring oil to frying temperature in large pot. Fry peppers in batches, about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel lined tray. Cool and serve.
To freeze, allow to cool, then place in freezer on baking tray. Once frozen, pack in portions in freezer bags, then place into a larger freezer bag. To reheat, place frozen poppers on baking tray in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through.