Oven-roasted Jalapeño Poppers
Yield: 12 poppers
The beauty of these incredibly popular appetizers is that they are simply delicious. (Read: simple and delicious!) By removing the ribs and seeds from the jalapeños and subjecting them to a nice roasting process, you greatly diminish the amount of heat associated with raw chiles. While they still have a little spark, with all of that bubbly cheese you may find that even the faintest of heart will be tempted! This is a basic recipe to which you can add all of your favorite touches like cilantro, aged ham, lime grilled shrimp, etc.
Cut the tops off the chiles and with a tomato corer or a paring knife scrape out the seeds and ribs. (Always use food-safe gloves when working with hot chiles.) Combine the cheeses and fill each jalapeño. You can use a small spoon or a pastry bag for this. Don't overfill them, as the cheese will bubble out as it cooks. (Depending on the size of the chiles you may have extra cheese to fill more.)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Stand the 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. For example: 12 jalapeños = 12 x's. Set the roasting pan on a sheet pan. Push each jalapeno into its x, standing it upright. (Very important: Don't dispose of the roasting pan afterward. Save it for your next round of poppers!)
Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the 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, a touch of blue cheese, etc.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on September 3, 2011.
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
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