Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Beer-Battered Jalapeño Poppers With Tomato Jam

Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

I really wish I knew how old I was when I had my first fresh jalapeño. I do know that I started eating spicy foods at a very early age! A lot of the candies in Mexico are dusted or dipped in this fiery red chile, limon, and sugar blend, hahaha!! It’s funny to think that poppers were not a staple for us growing up, yet we ate chiles rellenos coated in an egg batter, at least once a month. Mmmm, chiles rellenos, ooops … I was day-dreaming again. I taught Mexican cooking classes for a couple of years, and this was one of the most requested recipes to learn, jalapeño poppers! The most popular one is the one filled with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. You could serve these with any salsa, but the added ingredients of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce make for a nice, tangy sauce and it complements the poppers well. This recipe serves 4 as an appetizer.


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  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. On a lined baking sheet, add tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero, poblano, and jalapeños. Drizzle with a little oil and gently stir to coat evenly. When oven is ready, roast veggies for about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with kitchen towel and set aside to cool.
  2. Separate the jalapeños from the rest of the veggies, and set aside. Remove the blistered skin from the poblano and remove the stem and seeds from the habanero. In the food processor, add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, habanero, and poblano pepper. Pulse several times until you achieve a rough chop, set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium heat. After a few minutes, add the tomato mixture from the blender, ketchup, W sauce, water, and honey. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Add the chopped cilantro and cook for a good 30 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  4. In a medium bowl, add the flour, salt, baking soda, paprika and pepper. Whisk in the beer and continue whisking until most of the lumps are gone. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine the shredded cheese and green onions. In a medium pan add canola oil, enough to come up 1 inch on the side. Heat to medium/high heat.
  5. Take one jalapeño at a time and carefully cut a T-shape towards the top of pepper, but do not disturb the stem. With the small knife, gently cut the seeds and membranes, pull them out with your fingers. Fill each pepper carefully with cheese mixture; do not overstuff. Dredge in flour, and if oil is hot enough, holding on to the stem, dip into beer batter, using a small spoon to help you coat it evenly. Transfer to hot oil and cook for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown in color. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve with warm tomato jam, garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro.

Chef Notes

Another form of roasting peppers is to do it directly on the stove top. Just line a heavy skillet with foil paper, drizzle with oil and cook at medium heat until the veggies start to char in spots. If you have any poppers left over (good luck with that!), you can reheat them in a dry, nonstick skillet on medium heat until the batter crisps up.

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