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MICHAEL SYMON Wicked Jalapeno Poppers

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These jalapeño poppers are wicked good!

1 pound medium jalapenos
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
8 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/4 pound honey ham (finely diced, 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lime (zested)
1/4 cup parsley (finely chopped)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs (beaten)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
canola oil (for frying)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large Dutch oven, heat the canola oil to 360ºF.
Cut the stems off of the jalapenos and remove the seeds and ribs. Lay the cleaned jalapenos on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt. Place in the oven and roast until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ham, garlic powder, lime zest, and parsley and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag, and fill each jalapeno with the mixture.
Prepare a dredging station. Arrange 3 shallow baking dishes, one with flour, the next with beaten eggs, and the final with bread crumbs.
By hand, dredge the filled jalapenos into the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the egg, and dredge in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.
Drop the dredged jalapenos in the Dutch oven 4-5 at a time and fry until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and repeat with the remaining jalapenos. After frying, set aside for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Tip: To carefully seed several jalapenos use a teaspoon or the tip of a pairing knife to help scrape out the seeds. Wearing rubber gloves also helps to prevent hands from burning.

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