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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mini Pepper Poppers

Bajji, Pakoda, Ulunthu (Urad dal) Vadai, Masaal Vadai, Samosa... deep fried snacks were quite an indulgence around monsoon season when I was young. Of course, they were made for festivals and guests, and just because as well. Bajjis were my favorites - batter-dipped and fried eggplant, large green chilies, carrots, onions.

The weather being cold and soggy, and it being winter break for the kids, we felt like having some home-made deep-friend snacks.

Mini Peppers are so cute and colorful and have become my favorite indulgence of late, along with Baby Bella aka Cremini mushrooms.

Rather than the usual Baajjis, we had some Jalapeño and Mini Pepper Poppers, with some Habañero (seeded) thrown in the filling for the adults. Not an unusual recipe, but, quite satisfying nonetheless... Save any leftover filling in the fridge and use as sandwich spread

12 Jalapeño, Mini Colorful Peppers,
½  Habañero pepper, seeded and finely minced (optional)
8 oz Cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
grated cheddar and mozarella as much as needed for the filling
garlic, herbs, finely minced
1 Tbsp finely minced drained, squeezed pineapple bits (optional)

some milk, flour for coating
about 20 oz. breadcrumbs or as much as needed for coating

oil for deep frying

  1. Filling: Mix the Neufchatel cheese, freshly grated cheddar and mozarella, some minced seeded habañero, finely chopped pineapple, minced garlic and set aside
  2. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, seed them, and scoop some filling in and keep handy
  3. Have a bowl of milk, a plate of flour, a dish of breadcrumbs ready
  4. Heat the oil to about 375°F
  5. Dip the filled half peppers in milk, then in flour, allow to dry; then dip in milk and then in breadcrumbs and allow to dry; then once more in milk then in breadcrumbs and deep fry
  6. Drain in a paper towel and serve with favorite dipping sauce

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