I have two things to discuss with you today- jalapeños and football.
Remember how I said I was super-scared for when all my jalapeños were going to come in? Because 2 of my bell pepper plants turned out to be jalapeño plants?
Well... they're heeeeere.
Luckily, luckily I came up with a fabulous solution to my problem- jalapeño poppers! I decided to serve them up for our draft party last weekend. I'd put some serious thought into these poppers when I met my friend for lunch at the local cantina last week. She suggested making a raspberry sauce to dip them in. The thought had never crossed my mind. I'd never tried jalapeño poppers with raspberry sauce before, although I vaguely think I'd at least heard of the combination. Never one to turn down the possibility of eating those succulent red berries, I decided to foray ahead.
The morning of our draft party, I ambled out to the jalapeño plants and proceeded to harvest approximately 20 of them. A word of advice when handling these peppers? Wash your hands afterwards. Immediately. I have on occasion removed all the seeds and membranes, only to forget to wash my hands. This inevitably leads to me touching either my face or the hubby's. You want someone to jump six feet in the air and run down the hall to the bathroom yelling? Put a jalapeño hand on someone's face. That'll do it. Wash your hands my friends, just do it. After the harvest, I stuffed the pepper halves with a mixture of cream cheese and bacon. Dip the poppers in a little panko, place them on the baking sheet, and get them in a nice, hot oven. In 15-20 minutes, you'll have melty, bacon-y peppers with a nice crisp topping. Super simple.
And the raspberry sauce? Raspberries and sugar. That's all you need. It's the perfect foil to the savory, spicy peppers.
When I was younger, I avoided any combination of savory and fruit. In fact, I avoided lots of combinations that sounded weird. As I got into my late 20's however, it's almost like my tastebuds became bored. All I wanted was new and different combinations that I'd never tried before. Combinations like strawberry and gorgonzola, chicken and waffles, and smoked duck with pickled blackberries were revelations to me. I know a lot of combinations (or dishes) I post on here are unconventional, but that's what makes life fun. I know it may be tempting to stay in your comfort zone, sticking to "normal" food ideas, but what if, just for today, you tried something you've never tried before? You might just like it. You might just love it. Life is short people, and the world is so very big. Try some raspberry sauce on your creamy, bacon-y jalapeño popper :)
All right, I've talked jalapeños. Let's talk football. The NFL kicked off last night, and with it an ominous foreshadowing of my fantasy year. As I was setting my roster yesterday morning, it occurred to me that this year's strategy of drinking a pitcher of margaritas pre-draft did not a good team make. Let the ribbing begin as I tell all of you that I drafted not only Aaron Rodgers, but Randall Cobb. I'm not necessarily against taking a quarterback with a corresponding wide receiver, in fact, I was most successful with Peyton Manning and Wes Welker last year. But that's Peyton Manning. Man who is more machine than human. Last night's combination of Rodgers/Cobb, well, sucked. The 12th man was in Rodger's head like white on rice. Granted, I always give my fantasy teams a couple of weeks before I start to panic and begin rowing for shore, but anxiety is already setting in this year. After the first game.
It's Friday! Does everyone have fun plans for the weekend? The hubby and I have dedicated ourselves to housework this weekend, as we are leaving for Minnesota super-early on Wednesday morning for my aunt's 80th birthday. We'll be bringing my parents home with us from Minnesota, so we need to get stuff done NOW. Hopefully your weekend will be more enjoyable than mine :)
Ingredients (makes 20 jalapeños or 40 halves):
2 (6 oz) packages of fresh raspberries
1/8 cup granulated sugar
2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese, softened
5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
20 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed, halved
1 1/2 cups panko
1. Preheat oven to 400º.
2. Prepare the raspberry sauce- in a small saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar over medium-low heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until raspberries have broken apart. Remove from heat. Place a sieve over a small bowl and push raspberry mixture throw the sieve. Discard the raspberry seeds caught in the sieve. Set sauce aside to cool.
3. In a medium size bowl, combine cream cheese and bacon. Place panko in a small bowl. Fill a jalapeño half with a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture, then dip jalapeño half in panko. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with all jalapeños.
4. Bake jalapeños in pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until panko has browned. Serve immediately with raspberry sauce.
Looking for other jalapeño recipes? Try these!