Inspired by Emeril Lagasse's recipe these poppers taste great and don't make you feel guilty. They can be made ahead and reheated or prepped ahead and baked before serving.
- 6 ServingsServings
- 6 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
- 1/3 cup low fat cream cheese (softened or use whipped)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
- pinch cumin
- pinch cayenne
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon each seasoned salt, oregano, paprika, and pepper mixed together
- 3/4 cup panko
- 1/2 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In one bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, cumin, and cayenne.
Prepare the traditional breading in three bowls. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 1 teaspoon of spices. In another bowl, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 2 teaspoons of spice mix (sometimes I add extra paprika for better color). In a third bowl or dish, combine the flour and remaining spice mix.
Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet spray with a little cooking spray if desired and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes at 350 and then another 20 minutes or longer at 275.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.