In search of a signature dish, I went shopping at the local grocery store with a lovely abandon. I just started putting things into the cart that I thought were fun or that would compliment things that I already needed to use in my refrigerator (like a great log of goat cheese that had been awaiting use)
Then I saw these gorgeous jalapenos and thought…Oooh poppers! My boyfriend LOVES heat. What a fun way of making a little bar appetizer before our main meal.
Now I’ve never really made these before and I decided not to work off a recipe–very typical. So…I took an amazing batter recipe from my culinary professor (flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, beer), sliced my jalapenos lengthwise to remove the seeds and preserve the stem, stuffed them with goat cheese, and worked them through the batter. Pan frying them in canola was a breeze and they easily took on a perfect golden brown. However I had to finish them in the oven to fully cook the peppers.
Biting into them was just slammin’. First you got that nice crunchy exterior, followed by the wonderful taste of jalapeno and finished with the creamy and warm goat cheese in the center. The dish was one for the books.
4 jalapenos (sliced lengthwise, seeded, stem preserved)
8 T goat cheese (you could use goat cheese with herbs if you wanted an added flavor)
vegetable oil for frying
1 C flour
1/2 C cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 C beer (Newcastle is a favorite–though I used honeymoon-made by the producers of Blue Moon)
Seed and stuff the jalapenos and cover in batter until fully coated. Dip one end of them into the heated oil (the tip of the pepper should start to sizzle with light bubbles). Once this sizzle is achieved, and the oil should fill the pan so that it touches 1/2 of the pepper you are frying, each side takes about a minute (you are looking for a golden brown color and for your jalapeno to be cooked thoroughly). I had to finish in the oven with mine. With proper heat these babies should be a cake to finish in the pan.
The highlight of this recipe for me was the goat cheese. Most poppers use a combo of cream cheese and shredded cheese. The goat cheese encompassed both flavors for me in a perfect way and though my next round of poppers will be all the more lip smackin’, I have to say I was very pleased with my first attempt.