Friday, January 31, 2014

Finding Uses For Everyone's Least Favorite Candy, Round 2: Oven Baked Jalapeno Sweet Heart Poppers

After yesterday's fiasco, it was suggested that I try making either a cocktail or something that benefits from added bitterness. Instead, I ignored both of these good ideas and decided to try smothering them with cheese and wrapping them in jalapenos. I'm curious to see how the baking process and exposure to mild levels of capsaicin will effect the hardness of the candies, as well as how it will taste. I chose to go with baking instead of frying because there's really no need for these to potentially be horrible AND insanely high in saturated fat.

You need:
Sweet Hearts
6 jalapenos
3 oz of softened cream cheese
3/4 of a cup of shredded which ever cheese you like best
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 tbs of milk
Spices to your taste, I'll be using Fire Eaters' Piri-Piri Style Spices. because my super cool friend Mik got me some.

Cost - $10 - $20

Preheat the over to 350 and lightly grease a baking tray. Mix the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and spices to your taste. Onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika would all be good choices. Coarsely crush up Sweet Hearts (I used 10) and mix into the cheese. I'd advise covering them and using a mallet. They're surprisingly, almost worrying, resistant to blunt force.

Rinse the peppers and hull them. You can cut them lengthwise, cut them diagonally through the center to make little tubes, or (as I did) cut the top off and hull it with a knife, leaving the pepper whole. 

If you want to make the poppers spicier, add the seeds to the cheese mix. Otherwise, discard them. Put the flour in one dish, beat the eggs and milk together in another dish, and the breads crumbs in a third. Line them up in that order next to the baking tray to make it easier on yourself. If you like, add more spices to the bread crumbs and eggs. I added black pepper and garlic powder to the egg and some more Piri-Piri spices to the bread crumbs.

Spoon the cheese mix into the peppers. If you kept them whole, cut the other tip off so you can see how full they are and to reduce air pressure while you fill them. The mix is a bit thick for a pastry bag so I just used a spoon.  The skin of hot peppers is smooth and waxy, so you may have to put a bit of water on them before coating. It's a bit hard to get even coverage, so don't worry about it too much. Coat them in the flour, roll them in the egg mix, roll them in the breadcrumbs until coated, and set on the tray. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

You show me someone who says that they can make jalapeno poppers without them exploding and I'll show you a fucking liar.

I'm shocked to say this, but it's actually tasty. The tartness baked out and the candy dissolved so the cheese filling has a sweet, almost cream cheese frosting-like flavor and it complements the other flavors nicely. They're so spicy too. I can't believe it. Sweet Hearts actually improved something! Stay queer!

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