I’ve had jalapeños on the brain lately. They’re one of the few things still growing in my garden in this withering heat, and harvesting them has been a great excuse for playing around with recipes for football season.
Game-day poppers are one of my favorite fall eats because they’re easy to assemble before guests arrive—or with their help. You can go traditional and stuff them with simple cream cheese, or you can spike that cream cheese with other ingredients that give the bite extra flavor and depth. Crabmeat, cooked shrimp, crumbled bacon, sautéed mushrooms, feta or blue cheese, chopped herbs and other ingredients all work well with a cream cheese base. I really love the duo of sausage and scallions because it adds such nice salt and fat.
Once assembled, poppers only need to cook for about 10-12 minutes. Serve them with plenty of cold beer.
Sausage Scallion Jalapeño Poppers
Servings: Makes 2 dozen poppers
12 large fresh jalapeño peppers
8-ounce block of cream cheese, preferably full fat
4 ounces cooked crumbled pork sausage
¼ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
1/3 cup grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
Chopped scallions for garnish
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry the peppers. Using a sharp paring knife, slice each pepper in half down the middle so that the stem remains on both halves. Remove the seeds and ribs with a grapefruit spoon or the paring knife. (Be sure to wash your hands before touching your face!)
In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, cooked sausage and scallions. Fill each pepper half completely with the cream cheese mixture. Top each pepper with about 1-2 teaspoons grated cheese. Place the peppers on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped scallions. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.