The sun is shining today! In fact, it has been shining for several days here is Berlin. Such an occurrence is a far cry from normal. For you see, Berlin is typically a dismal grey abyss from mid-October until April. In fact, I was once told that if one could survive two Novembers in Berlin, then and only then can one really be a “Berliner”. I would love to be outside enjoying the fresh air and catalyzing my Vitamin D production, but I am inside because I have a scratch on my eye. It sucks, but I am trying to stay on the positive side. For starters, I have time to write a little bit more (which is awesome) and I may even paint a cupboard. Plus, I just got a phone call from my new boss and he asked if I want to work an extra 5 hours tomorrow (which I totally do!).
I picked the last of the jalapeno peppers last week. Their short growing season has come to an end as we transition from tank tops, bathing suits and green landscapes to and jackets, boots and gem colored leaves falling to the ground. Here is my recipe:
40 grams, diced smoked ham or bacon
1/2 garlic powder150 grams plain cream cheese
1 small onion, finely minced
20 jalapenos, washed, seeds and stems removed and cut in half
2 eggs (or more as needed), beaten
2 cups bread crumbs (or more as needed)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp butter, optional
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. If using bacon, add the bacon and onions to the pan and fry until the bacon is fully cooked. If using ham, add butter to the pan and cook the onions for 2 – 3 minutes until softened. Add the ham and cook until heated through. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Mix the meat, cream cheese and garlic powder together.
- Working in batches (about 1/3 of the jalapenos each time), fill the jalapeno halves with 1 – 2 tsp of the cheese mixture and place in the freezer on a baking sheet until the cheese is slightly hardened.
- Mix the bread crumbs, smoked paprika and salt to taste together in a bowl. (to check the saltiness, lick your pinkie finger and dip it in the bread crumb mixture)
- When the cheese has hardened, remove the filled jalapenos from the freezer. Dip the jalapeno halves first in the beaten egg and then in the bread crumb mixture. Return the breaded jalapenos to the freezer and freeze for an additional 15 – 20 minutes.
- Remove the slightly frozen jalapeno poppers from the freezer and repeat step #5. Return the jalapeno poppers to the freezer and freeze for 1 hour on a baking sheet before transferring the poppers to a plastic bag for storage.
- When preparing the jalapeno poppers for consumption, heat your oven to 200C/400F, spray the poppers lightly with cooking spray and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.
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- These can also easily be made vegetarian by leaving the ham/bacon out. Simply increase the amount of cream cheese by 50 grams, or add 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Be sure to season with salt and pepper to taste as the bacon/ham adds salt and a bit of flavor.
- When breading the poppers, use one hand for dipping them into the egg mixture and one hand for breading. This helps to avoid a sticky mess/clumps of breading in the egg.