2000s Recipes + Menus

Jalapeño Poppers

Makes 12 snacks
  • Active time:45 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
August 2008
Try to eat just one. A haute version of the favorite bar food, these bites resemble miniature chiles rellenos. A double layer of bread crumbs is the key to their miraculously crisp exterior.
  • 12 fresh jalapeños
  • 3 oz coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)
  • 3 oz coarsely grated Monterey Jack (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • About 4 cups vegetable oil
  • Equipment:

    a deep-fat thermometer
  • Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chile. Make a crosswise incision at stem end, forming a T.
  • Pry open enough to hold back long cuts (to expose ribs and seeds), then devein and seed using tip of a paring knife and kitchen shears.
  • Stir together cheeses, hot sauce, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 3/4 tsp salt.
  • Fill chiles with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling, so that cheese is compacted and chile retains its shape.
  • Lightly beat eggs in a small shallow bowl. Stir together bread crumbs, oregano, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.
  • Dip chiles in egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with bread crumbs, transferring to a work surface. Repeat coating with egg and crumbs to form a second layer.
  • Heat 2 inches oil to 325ºF in a medium saucepan. Fry chiles in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to several layers of paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325ºF between batches.
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