There are essentially 5 functional parts of the perfect popper: 1. The pepper 2. The filling 3. The initial batter 4. The breading 5. The final batter The peppers: Fresh jalapenos. A potato peeler with a pointed end is the perfect tool for deseeding. The radius of the peeler allows you to make a hole about 1 cm in diameter, which is optimized for efficient seed removal, effective stuffing of popper, and minimal leakage (more on that later). Stab the pepper adjacent to the stem, with the stem on the concave side of your peeler, remove, turn pepper roughly 1 radian and repeat. After 3 or 4 stabs, you will have seperated the stem from the rest of the pepper. Pull out, with slight twisting motion, and you will remove most of the seeds. A little additional scraping may be required to get out the innards. Put aside and repeat until done. The filling: Mix equal weights of cream cheese, finely shredded cheddar (sharp or v.sharp), and finely shredded Monterey jack. My batch used 8 ounces of each. Mix these together in a bowl, until additional mixing makes no change in consistency. The batters: Both of them have basically the same ingredients. The differences are in consistency (and time of preparation). Dont use milk for the batter. It wont grab the pepper, because of the waxy consistency. Beer works best of beer, water, & milk. Use generic fried vegetable batter (I used the Chuck Wagon stuff), and an equal part of flour. Season with garlic salt, black pepper, onion salt, and powdered cayenne for color (both in the batter and in the unsuspecting faces of your guests). I used about 1 teaspoon of each to about 1/2 cup each of chuck wagon stuff and flour. For the initial batter, you want it very thick, thicker than pancake batter. This is to hold the breading to the popper. If you add too much beer at the start, add flour to thicken. I think it took about half a beer for this. For the final batter, you want it very thin, it should take less than a second for the batter to climb the tines of a fork when removed and held vertically over the batter. This has an added bonus of making those little crunchy things to eat with the poppers. This was still less than a whole beer, so dont get too carried away- make it thick and add the beer in small amts. Remember, dont make this until youre serving them! The breading: Just a plate with a pile of white cornmeal, dry. The process: After coring a sink full of peppers, stuff them all full of the cheese. Use your pinkie to pack the cheese in good, leaving about a 1/4 inch divot on the end of the pepper (recessed cheese, in case Im not being clear). Then line up your thick batter and corn meal, and an oven tray lined with aluminum foil. Dip the pepper in the batter, holding by the cheese and tip ends. Allow as much of the excess batter as you can stand to drip off. Then place the pepper in the corn meal. Pick up a handful of meal and bury the pepper. Place your hand on top of the pile (cupped), and apply some light pressure to help everything pack together. Pick up the pepper and shake off the excess meal. Again, handle the pepper by the tips, it helps minimize the bald spots. Place the pepper on the tray, and repeat a million (OK, 200, but it seems like a million) times. Place the pan in the freezer. This is called flash freezing. After about half an hour (the time it takes to fill the next tray) remove the first tray, and place all of the poppers in a big ziplock bag. Put the bag back in the freezer. Wait overnight or longer. The serving of and eating of poppers: Heat up grease in your fry daddy. Make the final (thin) batter. Get some of your frozen poppers. Some of the breading may have come off in spots, dont sweat it. Dip the popper in the thin batter and put in the grease. Cook until golden brown. Conveniently, this is also the point where the cheese is melted, yet the pepper isnt overcooked. Pop in yer mouth. Possible variations: A friend suggested that the initial batter/breading might have nothing to do with the success of the final batter sticking, that the freezing may be the trick there. If true, It would save a lot of work! I havent had a chance to try it yet. Please tell me how these turn out when you try them! continued in part 2
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (4260g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 11182 (90%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 1242.5g||1657 %|
|Saturated Fat 700.1g||3500 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 312.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 52.1g|
|Cholesterol 3991.6mg||1228 %|
|Sodium 11655.4mg||402 %|
|Potassium 5055.7mg||133 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 154g||45 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0 %|
|Sugars, other 154g|
|Protein 216g||309 %|
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Calories per serving: 12487
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