Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
Chuck Hayes, Newborn, Georgia - [email protected]
I was about 10, and my cousin Marcus was about six. Sitting at our table at dinner time we watched my father as he loaded up his plate with a handful of peppers from our garden (he called them “finger hots”, but looking back they were probably cayenne). Marcus wanted some too. He grabbed one and stuck it on his plate like the “big boys”. The whole family told him that they were VERY hot, but he was insistent that he had to have one. After several other warnings about what he was about to get himself into he chomped down on half of the pepper and began to chew----Everyone watched in amazement at what we knew was going to happen. About then Marcus’ mouth opened as wide as possible, and a look of absolute terror took over his whole face. Eyes watered, face red as a summer tomato with large strings of drool hanging down from the corners of his mouth…….no real sound coming out…..just the faint hissing sound of air rushing into his lungs. Then the screams came. Ahhhhhhh the screaming. I can still hear it now.
While we are on the subject of eating peppers, try these. I GUARANTEE that these will be the hit of your next family gathering.
STUFFED JALAPENO PEPPERS
(quantities are somewhat approximate. Add, substitute, or change to suite your taste after making a test batch of these wonderful little two biters).
• 12 jalapeno peppers----largest ones you can find, cut in half lengthwise, stem intact, scoop out pith and seeds with a teaspoon (makes 24 halves).
• ¾ lb meat diced—left over grilled steak is great with this, but you can use cooked chicken, pork or left over taco meat
• 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup minced onion
• 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
• 1 tsp salt (if necessary)
• 4 Tb softened cream cheese (used as a binder)
• 4 Tb fresh cilantro leaves chopped (Or 2 Tb dried)
• Dash of cumin---just a dash because its taste can be overpowering
Mix all loose ingredients together. Mound stuffing into the halved peppers. Place peppers on a cookie sheet stuffed side up and load into a 250 degree oven for 25 minutes until stuffing melts. Take out and let slightly cool. Spoon copious amounts of sour cream onto pepper and relive a favorite childhood memory of mine----minus the searing heat, screaming, and strings of drool.