This year is the 20th anniversary of the jalapeño popper, a hot little nugget that enjoys a cold beer.
The original poppers were jalapeño chiles stuffed with cheese, battered and deep-fried—a spicy American snack version of the Mexican dish, chiles rellenos (stuffed bell peppers). They were created by McCain Foods for the restaurant/foodservice industry. You can find them in supermarket frozen foods aisles as Anchor Poppers.
Chefs and home cooks embraced poppers, and stuffing variations have expanded to include different cheeses, crabmeat, ground meat, chopped sautéed mushroom and whatever appeals to the cook (we like polenta and sausage). While restaurants tend to serve the battered and fried poppers, it’s easy—and less caloric—to grill them at home.
It’s A Snap!
The video below shows just how easy it is to grill jalapeños. The toughest part (and it isn’t tough) is scooping out the ribs and the seeds from whole jalapeños with the tops cut off, to create the vessel for filling.
You don’t need either to make the bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers in this video: Simply slice the chile in two, scoop, fill and use a raw bacon slice to wrap the two sides together. Fold in a foil packet and grill.
But if this is your type of food, the grilling rack speeds up the process—and is the green alternative to sending sheets of foil into the landfill.
Dip Or Sauce: Poppers don’t need a dip or a sauce, but people tend to like them. We combine melted pepper jelly with plain Greek yogurt. Salsa, marinara sauce or any favorite will do as well.
Cookbook: There’s also a cookbook for you: Jalapeño Poppers: and Other Stuffed Chili Peppers which has 100+ recipes, from jalapeño poppers to armadillo eggs to stuffed chili peppers galore.
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