Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stuffed Jalapenos

Everyone knows the Super Bowl is just an excuse to get together with friends, watch some funny commercials and eat LOTS of good food (right?!) So this past week, I was scoping my favorite websites for a fresh new appetizer to bring to my aunt and uncle's house for the BIG game.

Have you ever checked out Chow.com? I adore this site because it's not just recipes. They have discussion forums, food related articles, how-to videos.... the list goes on. 
Anyway, Chow is a great website for appetizer recipes, like these Jalapeno Poppers. When I think of a popper, though, I think of breaded and deep fried. These are definitely not that. You don't pre-cook the peppers themselves at all, so they retain most of their crunch. The result is a fresh tasting stuffed pepper that doesn't really resemble it's mushy deep fried cousin at all.

Splitting and removing the seeds from the peppers was the most time consuming part of this recipe. If you wanted to prepare in advance, you could make the mixture and fill the peppers, then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. If you want more heat (!!) add some of the seeds to the filling. Mine didn't come out too spicy. In fact, I didn't think they were that spicy at all. I would add some seeds back in the mix next time.

For the instructions on how to keep the peppers whole, see the original recipe which I linked up below. I wanted to halve mine for two reasons: #1- it would make more portions so I could stretch the recipe, and #2- the halves are good so people can eat them up in 1 or 2 bites without much mess. This two-bite aspect is pretty important for party food, in my opinion.

Just broil for a few minutes until golden and bubbly. Arrange them on a platter and you're ready for the big game! They should keep fine at room temp for a few hours.... if they last that long...
Mine sure didn't!

Recipe adapted from Chow.com. Click here to view the full recipe. I doubled it.

14 jalapeno peppers, split in half, seeds and ribs removed
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 links of hot or sweet Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled (should yield about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup yellow onion, sauteed
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Turn the oven to broil and line a cookie sheet with foil. Set aside.

Halve and de-seed your jalapenos. Or follow the original recipe's instructions on how to remove seeds while keeping them whole. Line them up on your prepared cookie sheet.

Next, put your room temp cream cheese into a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Cook the sausage in a saute pan and crumble it up into small pieces as you cook it. Drain and add to the cream cheese.

In the same pan, saute the onion in a bit of olive oil until translucent and starting to brown. Add to the sausage & cream cheese mixture. Stir in a few grinds of pepper, and then scoop into a ziplock or pastry bag. Pipe the mixture into the peppers. Broil for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and broil for 4 more minutes until the cheese mixture is browned and bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a platter and you're ready to party!

What are your favorite party foods??

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