May 5, 2015

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

YOU get a pepper, and YOU get a pepper...
It's Cinco De Mayo! In honor of that, I was thinking I'd whip up a traditional Mexican dish. Then I thought about it for more then a second, and changed my mind. Because, with very few exceptions, Cinco De Mayo is more of an American holiday than a Mexican one. So I decided to go for something more Americanized-Mexican. And what's more kind-of-but-not-really-Mexican than stuffing a chili pepper with, among other things, cream cheese? That's more pseudo-Mexican than a luchador eating Taco Bell in a Ford Pinto.


4 Jalapeño Peppers
3.5 oz. Cream Cheese
2.5 oz. Colby Jack Cheese
3/4 Cup Tortilla Chips (If you want to be a super-special badass, you can make your own Tortilla chips. For this recipe, it really won't make a difference, but I suppose it'll let you dickishly one-up your friends who followed this recipe)
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 average-sized human's pinch of Black Pepper
1 smallish-sized human's pinch of Salt 

The first thing you need to do is embrace your love of a culture that you don't truly understand, but will to use as an excuse to get drunk anyhow. It's hard, I know. It's not like you have any experience from things like St. Patrick's day. Are you there yet? Cool. Now it's time to take your Jalapeños and cut them in half lengthwise. Unless you really like the spiciness, or you're making these for your enemies, scoop out the seeds, along with the internal membrane.
"I hate broccoli. And yet, in a certain sense, I AM broccoli"
These things are where most of the spiciness lives, and I saw an article that tried to get me to believe they can be removed relatively easily with a standard-issue spoon. I tried it myself, and was actually pleasantly surprised with the results.

Shred the crap out of your Colby Jack cheese, and mix it in to your Cream Cheese along with your pinch 'o Salt. Take your cheese glop, and evenly spread it all up insides your jalapeño halves. As a fun side note, dairy helps with spiciness, by binding the capsaicin, and then taking it on a fun journey out of your mouth, and into your digestive system. So you're largely disarming your peppers by scooping out their innards, and then further demoralizing them by stuffing them full of their kryptonite. This recipe, more than anything else, is about torturing peppers. Once your peppers are openly weeping at their own impotence, crush your tortilla chips up, and mix them with the Cumin, Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Black Pepper.
Have you ever had cheesy, gooey, spicy, crunchy, and
awesome all at once? It's kinda like that, but more so.
Take this mixture, and press it firmly down in your glop-filled, saddened peppers. Add more on top for kicks, and then throw those babies into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (Note for the stupidly literal: Don't actually throw them into the oven. Place them into the oven, like a normal human being would have been able to infer). Once the cheese is gooey and melty and awesome, take them out, and wait for them to cool slightly before consuming them all in a shame-inducing binge. I'm just kidding! You won't be able to wait. See you in the burn ward.

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