Baked Jalapeño Poppers

In the last two weeks my “big boy” Jalapeño pepper plant has been producing giant green peppers at an amazing rate.  It seems that every time I go outside I discover a new 4-5″ long pepper hiding under the plant’s leaves just waiting to be picked.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to make 1-2 recipes a week that use Jalapeños, but what the heck am I supposed to do with 15 peppers that all ripen at the same time??  Tonight I found the perfect answer… turn them into Jalapeño Poppers!

These peppers all came from one plant. Time to put them to good use as Jalapeño Poppers!

I found a recipe for Jalapeño Poppers from Emeril on the Food Network.  There are lots of recipes for Poppers on the internet but I liked this one because it was highly rated and involved baking the peppers rather than deep frying them.  I modified Emeril’s recipe slightly to use reduced fat cream cheese and mozzarella (this was our dinner, after all) and the Poppers turned out spicy, cheesy, and delicious.

Emeril’s Baked Jalapeño Poppers (from the Food Network)

You will need…
12 Jalapeño Peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
6 oz. Reduced Fat Cream Cheese, Softened
1 1/2 cups Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
8 teaspoons Emeril’s “ESSENCE” (mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano and thyme; click for ratios)
1/2 cup Flour
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Milk
1 cup Bread Crumbs or Panko

Combine the cream cheese, mozzarella, cayenne and cumin together with a stand mixer or handheld mixer and then fill each halved jalapeño pepper with the cheese mixture.  Stir the flour and 2 teaspoons of Essence together in a shallow bowl.  In a second bowl, beat the eggs, milk and 2 more teaspoons of Essence together.  In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the 4 remaining teaspoons of Essence.

One at a time, dredge each stuffed jalapeño half in the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs.  Place stuffed side up on a lightly greased pan and bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes until the cheese starts to melt and ooze over the sides of the peppers.  Serve alone as an appetizer or over rice as dinner.