Food & Wine

FESTIVAL FOOD WEEK: JALAPENO POPPERS

You love those freakish fried foods available only at festivals and fairs. So why wait? You can make them at home. (Though we're not 100 percent sure you should.) This week, we'll share a few fun recipes. This recipe comes from the website epicurious.com and was originally published in Gourmet magazine in August 2008.

INGREDIENTS

12 fresh jalapenos

3 oz. coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)

3 oz. coarsely grated Monterey Jack (1 cup)

1 teaspoon hot sauce

3 large eggs

1 cup plain fine dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons dried oregano

About 4 cups vegetable oil

A deep-fat thermometer

DIRECTIONS

Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chile. Make a crosswise incision at stem end, forming a T.

Pry open enough to hold back long cuts (to expose ribs and seeds), then devein and seed using tip of a paring knife and kitchen shears.

Stir together cheeses, hot sauce, 1/4teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

Fill chiles with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling, so that cheese is compacted and chile retains its shape.

Lightly beat eggs in a small shallow bowl. Stir together bread crumbs, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.

Dip chiles in egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with bread crumbs, transferring to a work surface. Repeat coating with egg and crumbs to form a second layer.

Heat 2 inches oil to 325 degrees in a medium saucepan. Fry chiles in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to several layers of paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325 degrees between batches.

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