Beat the heat with more heat. Ever wonder why the world’s spiciest foods come from the world’s hottest climates? It’s all about cool. Spicy food cranks up the body’s most efficient air conditioner, sweat. In torrid latitudes, this is a defense giving meaning to comfort food. So don’t hesitate to serve salsa, curry and spicy peppers on hot summer days.

JALAPENO CHEESE POPPERS

• RECIPE •

 

  • 24 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying

 

Slice jalapenos in half and scoop out membrane and seeds. You might want to wear gloves for this. Blend cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Fill each pepper half with the cheese. Mix remaining ingredients except for the oil and breadcrumbs. Dip stuffed peppers into milk and dredge them in the flour. Place on a baking sheet with a rack. Let them set for about 10 minutes. Pour breadcrumbs into a separate bowl. Dip floured peppers into the milk again and then into the breadcrumbs. Place peppers back on the rack. Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Dip peppers into the milk a third time and coat with breadcrumbs. The coating needs about five minutes to set. Fry peppers one or two at a time until golden brown. This will take a minute or two. Remove from oil and drain on a baking rack. Dipping sauces include sour cream with chopped cilantro, salsa and bleu-cheese salad dressing.

About The Author

Jim Hillibish
Contributor

Jim Hillibish is a graduate of Kent State University and started at The Repository as a photographer and reporter. He has been a feature editor, Lifestyle editor and City Editor. He developed and launched cantonrep.com in 1996 and presently writes editorial columns and food and feature stories.