The Strategic Retreat

The Best and Easiest Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Plate of Jalapeno Poppers

My Jalapeño poppers are amazing. Let’s just get that out of the way. There’s no place for false modesty when dealing with not only the world’s best but damn near the world’s easiest Jalapeño poppers.

Recently, when I was making jalapeno poppers for the Super Bowl, I decided to peek in on a few other recipes to see if there was anything I could tweak. Just because you’re the best doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. Unfortunately, it turns out that the two top googled recipes were ridiculous. One read like the formula to transform lead into gold and the other was, essentially, cream cheese and jalapenos. Out of the 2 top recipes one had 3 ingredients(including bacon) and one had 17 ingredients(not including bacon).

Readied Poppers

I shouldn’t have to say this but, both are abominations and should be stricken from history, never to be spoken of again. If you follow either of those recipes you’re doing a bad thing and you should feel bad about yourself. I normally don’t like to talk smack about other recipes, I’m not a negative campaigner and I love all food. But, seriously, 3 ingredients? 17 ingredients! Are they insane? Have they never cooked before? That is not how poppers are made. There’s a butter zone for popper ingredients, and it’s not anywhere near either of those two extremes. I will say that the instructions for the 3 ingredient poppers were well done and beautifully photographed. But I’m not sure if doing a great job of teaching somebody the absolute wrong steps should be commended.

Well, let’s get to making actual good poppers rather than dwell on what may have been if I didn’t heroically post my own recipe.

Step 1:

Buy a grip of jalapenos. For this recipe I’d say to pick up about 18-24(around 1 pound/half kilogramish). Here in California, peppers are like $1 a pound, so if that’s your situation you may want to get a few pennies more of peppers in case you have extra filling. Back in Singapore jalapenos were about $25 a kilo. If that’s your situation, be a little more stingey on the peppers. I can’t give an exact number since ‘jalapeno’ is not an exact unit of measure.

jalapenos

Step 2:

Gather the other ingredients and supplies. You’ll need:
A spoon
A knife
A baking tin or 3
Gloves(if you can’t take the heat)
toothpicks(if utilizing the bacon option)

The aforementioned jalapenos
1 package(8oz) of cream cheese
1 cup of shredded cheddar(I like Extra Sharp Tillamook)
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack
1/4 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Garlic Powder
1/2 TSP Chili P
1/2 Cup of Bread Crumbs.
(Optional) Bacon, One package.

Bam, nine ingredients. The Goldilocks median.

Step 3:

Make the filling.
Take the cheeses and mix them together. I use my hands but a spoon will work too, if you’re a bit fancier. If that’s the case you probably want to leave the cream cheese out for a bit to soften.
After the cheeses have been mixed add the salt, garlic, chili p and mix. Set this mixture aside to stuff the poppers with.

Step 4:

Wash the peppers, de-stem the peppers and halve the peppers.

Step 5:

Scoop out the insides.
Some people use plastic/latex gloves for this step. I don’t but I won’t judge you if you do. It’s all about personal sensitivity. If you don’t wear gloves, make sure not to touch anything sensitive for the next hour or so.

Take the spoon, dig into the pepper near the stem. leaving a skin width intact on the end, and scoop out the insides. Basically, you’re making a little canoe. For extra hot poppers do a sloppier job, leaving a few seeds and insides behind.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit(150C).

Step 6:

Fill the hollowed out jalapenos with the cheese mixture. Put in cheese then scrape it off so that the cheese doesn’t go above the edge of the pepper. Any excesses cheese will just spill out, so there’s no sense in pushing it.

Step 7:

Once all the peppers are filled with cheese, dip them in bread crumbs. Simply have the bread crumbs on plate, take a filled pepper and dip the cheese side into the crumbs. The crumbs will stick to the cheese.

Step 8:

If you feel like it, add bacon. Take one piece of bacon per popper and spiral it around the popper. Stick a toothpick through the popper to keep it in place.

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Step 9:

Put poppers on a cookie sheet and place in oven. It generally takes about 20 minutes but eye it up based on how the bacon looks.

Step 10:

Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy. Although not necessary some people like to dip poppers in ranch dressing.

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Until I make these again I won’t have the best photos or photos for each step, but if you’ve tried my cookies you know that doesn’t matter. If I say something is delicious, it is. I wouldn’t lie about food. I don’t want to live in that world.

About Jeff Penman

Jeff is a classically underemployed philosopher and MBA student, Singapore trivia champion, seeker of happiness, truth and the perfect sandwich. He once survived for 4 months in a lean-to on the side of college housing with only a fishing license.