Oven-roasted Jalapeño Poppers
Yield: 12 poppers
The beauty of these popular appetizers is that they are simply delicious. (Read: simple and delicious!) By removing the ribs and seeds from the jalapeños and roasting them, you greatly diminish the heat associated with raw chiles. While they still have a little spark, with all that bubbly cheese you may find that even the faintest of heart will be tempted!
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Cut the tops off chiles and with a tomato corer or a paring knife scrape out seeds and ribs. (Always use food-safe gloves when working with hot chiles.) Combine cheeses and fill each jalapeño. You can use a small spoon or a pastry bag for this. Don't overfill them, as cheese will bubble out as it cooks. (Depending on the size of the chiles, you may have extra cheese to fill more.)
Stand jalapeños upright in a jalapeño roaster that's been placed on a baking pan.
If you don't have a specialty roaster, try this: Take a "disposable" rectangular aluminum roasting pan and turn it over. For each jalapeño, cut an x about 1-inch wide into the aluminum (so, 12 jalapeños = 12 x's). Set the inverted roasting pan on a sheet pan. Push each jalapeno into its x, standing it upright. (Don't dispose of the roasting pan afterward. Instead, save it for your next round of poppers.)
Roast upright peppers for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling over and the chiles are starting to get tender. Let cool a bit before eating.
NOTE ON CHEESE:
These are just suggestions for cheeses. If you want to mix it up, keep the cream cheese, but use your favorite firm or semi-firm cheese in place of the Manchego and Gouda. Other suggestions might include white cheddar, P'tit Basque, Fontina, Monterey Jack or a touch of blue cheese.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on September 3, 2011.