Sandwiches

Recipe—Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

This was one of my recipes in the running for the Hot and Spicy Week I did back in September but I just had too many good jalapeño recipes to share so this one got the boot. Well my jalapeño plant was still producing in November thanks to this unseasonably warm weather so here it is, the jalapeño popper grilled cheese sammy! It is creamy, cheesy, and spicy, all the qualities a person looks for in a popper. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
2–3 large jalapeños, roasted
2 tbsp butter, softened
4 large slices of sourdough
1/3 c cream cheese
8 slices cheddar cheese

STEPS

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Spread one side of each piece of the bread with butter.
  • Place two slices of bread butter side down in the skillet.
  • Top the bread in the skillet with the sliced cheddar cheese.
  • Add the roasted jalapeños to the sandwich.
  • Spread the remaining two slices of bread with cream cheese on the sides without butter.
  • Place the bread cream cheese side down on the sandwich.
  • Cook for approximately 3 minutes or until the bread is a toasty brown.
  • Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted and the other side is a nice toasty brown.
Dinners

Recipe—Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Today is the 5th and final day of my hot & spicy week! My jalapeño plant has been giving me more peppers than I know what to do with so this week I will be featuring five different jalapeño based recipes. I hope you enjoy each and every one! 

One of my all time favorite appetizers has got to be jalapeño poppers. I pretty much like anything with jalapeños but when you combine them with cream cheese and cheddar, oh my, it is good! This dinner recipe combines this awesome appetizer with a meaty chicken breast that ends up being so moist and tender. For this recipe I used crushed Ritz because I really like the crunchy buttery exterior but I really want to try it with Cheez-Its instead next time. I think that would be pretty darn tasty giving it that extra layer of cheesy crispiness.

Note: As much as I like my fried chicken this recipe has you bake it. If you aren’t concerned about cutting the extra calories you can certainly fry it up and then finish it in the oven for an even crispier exterior.

INGREDIENTS
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 jalapeños, deseeded and chopped
1/4 c cream cheese, softened
1/2 c cheddar, shredded
1 egg
1 1/2 c crushed Ritz crackers

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, cheddar, and peppers.
  • Using a small sharp knife carefully cut a pocket into the side of the thickest part of the chicken breasts.
  • Using your fingers work the cream cheese filling inside each breasts until they are packed full.
  • Secure the opening in each breast with a toothpick
  • Using a shallow bowl beat the egg.
  • Dip the chicken pieces into the egg and then the crushed crackers making sure to cover the chicken completely.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a greased baking dish.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before serving. The cheese filling will be very hot!

Appetizers

Recipe—Western Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend I thought I would share one of my favorite finger food recipes. There are many variations of jalapeño poppers out there, but these are my favorite. They are absolutely evil and they are sure to start your Super Bowl party off with a bang. These are perfect balance of spicy, salty, and tangy. Make three times more than you think you will need, just trust me on that. Most people end up inhaling several. They really are that good.

Note: Poppers can be prepared a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge right before cooking if needed. These can also be finished off on the bbq instead of the oven to give them a nice smoky flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
5 jalapeños, seeded and deveined based on desired heat
5 slices (about 1/4” thick) of cheddar cheese cut in half lengthwise
5 slices of bacon cut in half
¼ c of your favorite bbq sauce

STEPS:

  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • Place bacon in a large pyrex dish so that the slices do not overlap.
  • Pre-cook the bacon in the oven for 8 minutes flipping once halfway through. You do not want the pieces to be overcooked. They should still be partially raw and flexible so that you can easily wrap the slices around the poppers.
  • While the bacon is cooking, place a block of cheddar cheese in each jalapeño half. You may need to cut the cheddar block slightly shorter to fit within the pepper’s cavity. The pepper will fill in with the cheese once melted.
  • When all of the jalapeños are filled, and the bacon has cooled, wrap the half slice of bacon around each jalapeño. Secure the bacon with a toothpick if necessary.
  • Place wrapped poppers on a baking sheet and dab with bbq sauce.
  • Cook in the oven for 10–14 minutes or until bacon looks cooked through and cheese is melted and bubbly. If you want to give the bacon a little extra crisp turn on the broiler for a minute before removing from the oven.
  • Dab with additional bbq sauce before serving.