Pepper Poppers

DSC_5573 [1600x1200]Over the last year we have been seeing these little sweet peppers at the local grocery.  They are an import from Mexico.  We have been using them to slice for use in slaw, and they make excellent toppings for pizzas.  I’ve been slicing them on a mandoline and freezing them on a tray prior to storing them in plastic freezer bags.  I had a notion to stuff them with cheese ala jalapeno poppers and I think it worked out well.DSC_5574 [1600x1200]This is a mixture of soft cream cheese, shredded cheddar, a glop of nacho cheese we had leftover, and crumbled bacon.  I think I added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt.DSC_5578 [1600x1200]Make a T-shaped cut in the peppers, across the top and down the side to remove the seeds and membranes.  I had filling aplenty and ran out of the colorful sweet peppers and went ahead with a few jalapenos.  Mrs J has a set of nozzles and a box of disposable pastry bags I used to fill these, it could be done with a plastic bag with a corner cut off, or by hand with a spoon.  Some recipes call for the peppers to be blanched first but I’ve never done it that way.DSC_5580 [1600x1200]I dipped them in flour, then in an egg and milk mixture, then again in flour and back into the eggs before rolling them in panko style bread crumbs.  I bet there’s a better way – a few recipes I looked at said to let the peppers dry on a rack after the wet dips.  I knew we were going to freeze these for later use so I froze the entire batch, not setting any aside for immediate frying.  I wanted to see how they came out to make sure freezing was a viable method or whether we would need to cook and eat them right away.DSC_5582 [1600x1200]These spent the night in the freezer and then went straight into 375+ oil.  Note that the breading browned before the cheese stuffing had a chance to thaw.  I later thawed a few and cooked them in slightly cooler (350) oil, this time they were perfect.DSC_5591 [1600x1200]