Stuffed Jalapeno Chiles

Ingredients
  • 24 good-sized jalapeño chiles
  • 2 ounces grated Jack or Muenster cheese
  • 2 ounces grated feta or Mexican-style queso añejo de Cotija
  • 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
  • 1 beaten egg (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (optional)
Time estimates

Prep time: 25 min  

Cook time: 15 min  

Total time: 40 min  

Directions

Slice the stem ends off the chiles. Roll each chile gently against the cutting board to loosen the seeds, then insert a vegetable peeler and carefully ream out as much as possible of the ribs and any remaining seeds.
Combine the cheeses and bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Holding the chiles over the bowl, gently stuff them with the cheese mixture, letting the excess fall back into the bowl. Refrigerate if not ready to cook.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or coat with cooking spray. Optional: For a crisp crust, dip the stuffed chiles in beaten egg, then roll them in bread crumbs.
Lay the stuffed chiles on the pan and bake until heated through and the coating is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Yield

Makes 2 dozen

Good to know

Jalapeño “poppers” are now available frozen in every club store and most supermarkets, so why bother to make your own? Because the prefab versions are usually heavily battered and fried and filled with boring cheese. This lower-calorie baked version is still plenty rich, with two kinds of cheese.

Which beer should I drink with this?

Märzen or dunkel.

Notes

1. If you want additional crunch, you can dip them in egg and bread crumbs, but don’t expect this coating to adhere completely to the smooth skin of the chiles.

2. Removing the ribs and seeds leaves a shell with only a fraction of the heat of the whole chile, but even so, some chiles remain searingly hot while others in the same batch can be pretty mild. That’s part of the game with this dish--you never know when you’re going to get a really hot one.

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: Beau B/Flickr