Over the years, jalapeño peppers have gotten larger. It used to be that the only jalapeño peppers on the market were the canned variety, pickled with onion, carrot and occasionally mushrooms. Nowadays, meeting at fast casual restaurants for cocktails and appetizers with friends has become increasingly popular, and has given rise to the Jalapeño Popper.
Usually battered and fried, and stuffed with cheese, Jalapeño Poppers are fairly sinful. We thought we would come up with the recipe that was a little easier on your daily calorie count, and we think we have a winner!
In addition to becoming larger, jalapenos seem more mild in flavor as well. Cooking or deep frying a jalapeño mellows the flavor a bit more, so you might underestimate the heat level of a fresh jalapeno. But since we have opted not to cook or fry this jalapenos, this chile retains all of it’s natural, fiery heat.
Quite frankly, this dish is not for the unaccustomed pallet. Only true chili heads will appreciate this recipe. Searing hot, crispy and crunchy, fresh jalapeños can really bring tears to your eyes. But the creamy herbed cheese stuffing, and light dollop of Spanish tuna on top helps cool some of the fire.
Serve your un-fried jalapeño poppers with other tapas style appetizers, such as toasted bread, cooling raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, celery, and small skewers of roasted chicken, beef, or shrimp. Crisp crackers such as lavosh or tortilla chips are great for stacking with your poppers.
And for spirit pairings, your fiercely flavored popper demands a bold beverage, such as a dusky malbec, or salted tequila shots. However you choose to enjoy these poppers, warn your dinner guests: they are too hot and delicious to be left out of the conversation!