This was a fun little treat that we made after receiving a big bag of baby bell peppers from our CSA. We wanted to use them up, but 1-2 per omelet wasn’t cutting it, haha. We love jalapeno poppers, so we decided to make our own play on them.
So, what you’ll need:
– Peppers (bell, jalapeno, banana, whatever!)
– Cheese (I’ve used fresh mozzarella, pepper jack, cream cheese, ricotta, even meunster)
– Bread crumbs (panko, homemade, whole grain, whatever)
– Egg wash
Start by cutting and cleaning the peppers. I usually find the direction that will give me the most symmetrical halves of the pepper while cutting down through the stem. Cut or scrape out the seeds and ribs of the pepper. NOTE: If using a pepper with any spice, DO NOT use your fingers to clean out the seeds. I have made the mistake of doing this and then touching my eye, nose, or other, um…”sensitive” areas, and it burns like hell.
Once cleaned, set up your dredging/breading station. Get three bowls in a row: 1) flour (if you are ever breading something that allows egg to stick better, like egglplant or okra, you don’t need the flour); 2) egg wash (just egg and water); 3) bread crumbs.
Add the cheese to the open side of the pepper. Just cut and stick or scoop in.
Start by coating the pepper with flour, then dipping the pepper in the egg wash. Let the excess egg wash drip back – you don’t want too much or your bread crumbs will turn into a mushy ball – then place in the breadcrumbs cheese-side-up and press down gently. Scoop some crumbs onto the top of the pepper and cheese and press lightly. Remove the pepper shaking gently to dislodge any loose crumbs. Too many crumbs will mean your pepper and cheese don’t cook and the crumbs will just burn – not tasty.
Bake at 350 until you have golden brown crumbs and you can see cheese bubbling. You don’t want burnt crumbs, but they can darken as much as you want for crunch/flavor.