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SANDRA'S BAKED JALAPENO POPPERS WITH CILANTRO-LIME DIP (Serves 6)

A spicy, but not too hot, pleasing appetizer
that will have your crowd roaring on game day...
Yields: (20 half poppers)
Prep Time: 15 min |
Cook Time: 20 to 25 min.

Posted: by Sandra

INGREDIENTS

***Poppers:
· 10 medium (3″) jalapenos
· 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
· 2 cups “sharp” cheddar cheese, grated--& chopped even finer (don’t skimp on this)
· 3 eggs (divided)
· 3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted through a sieve
· 1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
· salt and pepper


***Dip:
· 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
· ¼ cup sweet pickles, finely chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, grated
· 1 lime (1 teaspoon of zest; plus juice of half of it)
· ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
· salt to taste

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

In a medium sized bowl, beat (1) egg, adding the cream cheese and with a hand-mixer mix until smooth, and add in the cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. [Note: The egg addition prevents hot cheese from squirting out when biting into the peppers.]

Slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise, scooping the seeds out of the peppers, leaving the ribs intact (for spicier poppers), or remove if you so choose (I use a melon baller, or a spoon).

Stuff each jalapeno half with a mound of cream cheese mixture.

Lightly spray a rack (I use a cooling rack) to sit on top of your baking sheet lined with tinfoil.

For the breading station, put the flour in the first bowl, the (2) beaten remaining eggs in the second bowl seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, and the third bowl the panko. Roll the each of the stuffed jalapenos in the flour; dip into beaten eggs and turn to make sure they are well coated. Shake off any excess, and gently roll in panko, pressing down gently as you turn to coat.

Place on rack, making sure they don’t touch. Bake the poppers for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the crust is crispy. Let set for 10 minutes, and then serve with dip.

For the Dip:
Super finely chop the sweet pickles, really, I mean “finely chopped,” as nobody likes big chunks of sweet pickle in their dip. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the sweet pickles. Grate (I use a rasp) one packed teaspoon of fresh lime zest, and squeeze in the juice of half the lime into bowl. Grate the garlic with the rasp as well, and add the chopped cilantro; plus season with salt and pepper. - Enjoy!

1 comment:

sandra said...

This is a favorite "game day" appetizer, and the dip is outstanding as well!!!

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