Baked Jalapeño Poppers
- 12 fresh jalapeño peppers halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (or mozzarella cheese)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or less to taste
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 8 teaspoons Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
- 1 cup panko crumbs (or fine dry breadcrumbs)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence.
Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeño half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process.
Place the coated peppers, cut-side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.
This recipe yields 2 dozen.