Oh, happy day! It is……wait, let me check……36°F outside!!! This may seem like a ridiculous thing to be excited about and down right cold in most places but so fantastically warm here that I feel like shouting from the roof tops. What am I going to do when it gets into the 60’s?! I should probably carry a paper bag around with me to prevent hyperventilating. This winter has been brutal! It has not gotten above 10°F in over three weeks! That is until today!!!! There is hope. So much hope that I feel like stuffing jalapeños with cheese, rolling them in bread crumbs and baking them in the oven (covered with more cheese, of course).
I do this in the spirit of watching sports and that we’ve come upon the one time every two years that I wish television would come to North Dakota…..just kidding, other people have TV, just not us. I desperately miss watching the Olympics and am totally pissed that NBC has to be such little dictators about showing us what the hell is happening over there! They will only allow you to watch it online if you are a Comcast member but if I were a Comcast member I would be watching it on my TV, no?! Urgghhh! So I’m reduced to sneaking peeks wherever I can. I’ve found myself spending a little extra time at the gym and in front of the big screen TV display at Costco. I’ve also been scouring the internets in search of contraband coverage which is where I discovered this outstanding performance from Meryl Davis and Charlie White ice dancing to Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love”, which didn’t really happen but is still phenomenal.
Deep-fried jalapeño poppers are good, but not so easily accomplished at home. By roasting the peppers you cut back on the calories and the hassle. This version is made with salty Spanish Manchego cheese but a lot of other cheeses would work well here, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, or even simple cream cheese would be delicious. So while I can’t veg out with a platter of cheese-stuffed jalapeños on the couch and watch some hot Sochi action, I can dream about it. If you see me in Costco starring at the TVs with salsa on my face, just keep walking.
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Make a slit, lengthwise, down the side of each pepper. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and inner core of the peppers (if you like the peppers spicy you can leave some of the seeds in)
Coarsely shred 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and cut the remaining into 16 sticks.
Place 1 cheese stick inside each pepper and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a shallow dish and season with salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon).
Place the panko into a separate shallow dish and season with salt and pepper as well.
Dip each stuffed jalapeño in the egg, rolling it around to coat and then the panko, pressing the breadcrumbs to each pepper. Transfer the breaded pepper to a 9-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining peppers.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the top and roast in the oven until the peppers have softened and the cheese is browned and melted. Top each pepper with salsa and serve.