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pepper jack jalapeño poppers

 

Once a year around the first week in February I get a craving for a cheesy baked jalapeño popper, preferably with buttery bread crumbs dusted on top.  So, I make Jalapeño poppers for a Super Bowl nibble or appetizer.  They are easy to make, requiring very little time and even during a COVID-19 Super Bowl party with a small socially distanced group-poppers will always be enjoyed.  They also can be made ahead, frozen and baked right out of the freezer, just add about 5 extra minutes to the baking time.  I made mine in the morning and baked them off right before the big game.  I like using pepper jack in my jalapeño poppers because of the spicy heat flavor as well as the look of the bright red and green pops of color from the peppers 🌶 🫑 The crunch from the buttery bread crumbs on top of the melted cheeses is the crowning touch to the poppers, don't forget your crumbs 😍


Ingredients and Recipe for Pepper Jack Jalapeño Poppers
Makes 24

1 dozen jalapeños
5 ounces full fat cream cheese
2 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons Panko 
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 400F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper 

Prepare the jalapeños by cutting in half, leaving most of the stems, trimming a little as necessary.
Wearing gloves remove the seeds and membranes from jalapeños using a paring knife and a melon baller.
Lay the jalapeños, cavity sides up on the baking sheet.
In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese and the shredded cheeses, taste, add salt and pepper if desired.
Place the Panko in a small microwave safe bowl and put the butter, cut into 4 pieces on top.  Microwave until butter is almost melted and the Panko is slightly browned, stir together so butter is evenly distributed.
Using a small spoon fill the jalapeños with the cheese mixture, pat down but don't overfill.
Sprinkle the Buttery Panko over the jalapeño tops.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are golden, don't bake too long or the jalapeños will be too soft to easily pop into your mouth.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving.


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