A quick little post with an old recipe from when I lived in California. We used to make these all the time and because they’re baked, not fried, it is a healthier alternative to the Jalapeño bites found in bars. Sadly, I don’t have a current photo on my computer so I’ll snap one next time I make these bites. In the meantime, let me know what you think?
Remember, when cooking with hot peppers, it is important to wash your hands frequently and to not touch your eyes. As spicy as the peppers feel in your mouth, they are even hotter if they come in contact with your eyes.
12 fresh jalapeño peppers
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Monterey Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons paprika
1 cup dry fine bread crumbs
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Rinse and dry the 12 jalapeño peppers. Cut into the side of each pepper and remove the stems, then carefully scoop out the seeds and membranes. Blanch the peppers for 150 seconds then immediately submerge in ice water.
3. The ingredients will be mixed in four separate bowls. In the first bowl, blend the cream cheese with the Monterey Pepper Jack. Stir in the cumin and cayenne. In a second bowl, mix the flour, onion powder, and dried thyme. In a third bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and paprika. In the fourth bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
4. Using a small spoon or cheese spreader, put 1 tablespoon of the cheese blend inside each of the jalapeño peppers through the side opening. After they all have that mixture inside, lightly coat each with the flour mixture from the second bowl. Then dip each into the egg mixture in the third bowl. Finally, drag each jalapeño through the bread crumb mixture in the fourth bowl, pressing to coat. The process can be repeated if the coating is not at its desired thickness. If you are making this dish ahead of time, at this point, you store the ingredients in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Then continue with the remaining steps when you are ready to cook and serve.
5. Place the 24 coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the filling is hot and the crust is golden.
6. Remove from the oven and serve.