Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shrimp Jalapeno Poppers

Shrimp Jalapeno Poppers
Serves: 8
Shrimp jalapeno poppers
This is another great appetizer.  It is surprisingly good – disappears quickly in my house and assuredly will in yours. I have two jalapeno plants in my garden this summer.  My mistake. I had no idea how very productive they were and needed to figure out some additional recipes featuring these relatively mild peppers. Removing the seeds and ribs not only makes room for the stuffing but also greatly decreased the heat.

A mature jalapeño fruit is 2–3½ inches long and is commonly picked and consumed while still green, but occasionally it is allowed to fully ripen and turn crimson red. Good-quality Jalapeno peppers should be firm, smooth-skinned and have solid green coloring. Dry lines are not a blemish. They are signs of a mature pepper and indicate hotness. 
Jalapenos in my garden. Ready to harvest!

Avoid product that is soft, bruised, has wrinkled skin or spots of mold. It is considered a moderately hot chili. However, chili peppers are an amazingly complex product. The region, climate, growing conditions, time of harvest all has an impact on the heat. The only real test is to taste one.
  • 15 jalapeno chilis
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Gouda cheese, grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 C cooked bay shrimp

Wearing gloves, halve the 15 jalapeno chilies lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and ribs with a spoon. Set them aside. 
Scrape out the seeds. Do NOT rub your eyes afterwards.

Toast ½ tsp cumin seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
Toasting cumin seeds
Transfer the toasted seeds to a food processor, add 8 oz softened cream cheese and 8 oz shredded Gouda cheese, and whirl to blend. Put cheese mixture into a bowl and stir in 3 thinly sliced green onions and 1 C cooked bay shrimp. If your jalapeno chilies are small, you might want to cut the shrimp in half horizontally so filling will more easily fit.
Bay shrimp
Spoon the cheese filling into chilies. You can bake this in the oven or heat on your grill.  If baking, line a baking sheet with foil, place each stuffed chili on the foil.  
Shrimp and cheese filling
Ready to cook
Once done, place in a 350 degree F oven. Cook until chilies are tender and cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, preheat your grill to medium (350 – 425 degree F).  Once heated, lay a sheet of greased foil on cooking grate. Set chilies, filling side up, on greased foil, cover the grill and cook until tender and cheese melted, about 15 minutes.
Let stuffed chilies cool slightly before serving. You and your guests will be surprised by how really good these are. Serve with beer, Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris and enjoy.

Bon Appetit!


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