I can’t eat a jalapeno popper without getting squirted in the face with the bubbly, hot filling. Do ya get me on this? No matter how small of a bite I take, the insides inevitably end up boiling the outside of my mouth, too! It’s a serious Catch 22 here, as I totally adore them, but I’m not a huge fan of the pain. I mean, pepper burn is one thing. But, is twice-fried really the way to go? The more it happens, the more I don’t think so. Maybe it’s ‘just me’? I don’t know.
The other day, when I was considering my options, I had a light bulb moment. Why not just do the peppers separate from the filling? Why not cut them in rings, batter ‘em up, and fry those – and serve the filling on the side as a dip? Then, I’m not even limited to solid-ish fillings that may leak everywhere! Why have I not thought of this sooner? Am I the only one that hasn’t done this? Things that make me go duhhhh!
So, Deconstructed Pepper Poppers were born. Do ya dig the ‘foodie’ name I gave it? LOL Sounds way better for you than Deep Fried Peppers, too, right? Junk food disguised as healthy food. Yes, please! That’s how we roll around here sometimes.
Any kind of pepper will do. Pepperoncini? Sure! Why not? Sweet peppers? Hello, Heaven! Get in my mouth! I tried spicy wax peppers first, as that’s what I had on hand at the time. Then, I tried red bells. Both were great! You could even do it in strips, if rings aren’t your ‘thing’. If you’re a purist – go for the jalapenos. I won’t judge – I might even join ya!
I think I’m in love, though. Like, seriously. Why aren’t these an option along with onion rings? In fact, I think I like them even more than onion rings – which is saying a lot, because I’m a bit of an onion ring fiend. Yes, they’re slightly more labor-intensive than just stuffing a whole pepper, because they need to be sliced into rings or strips. But honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. Oh! Please remember to wear gloves or otherwise protect your hands when handling spicy peppers, too. Don’t ask the hang nail on my thumb how I learned this! (Please excuse my uncontrollable screeching)
Anywhoooo…Give ‘em a try. If you like peppers, you’ll love these! Here’s the batter recipe I used:
1 can beer (or water/milk)
1 C flour
1 TB Prairie Dust (recipe below)
1 tea salt
Mix all together, dip rings in batter, then dunk carefully in preheated oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dips & sauces.
1 TB salt
1 1/4 tea paprika
1 1/4 tea ground black pepper
1/2 tea onion powder
1/2 tea garlic powder
1/4 tea ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tea ground turmeric
1/4 tea ground coriander
Mix all together. Store in cool, dry place. Can also be used as a seasoning for meat, veggies, or even popcorn! Delish!
As I’m sitting here typing, I’m even thinking about using them as egg rings. Have you seen those? Lay a deconstructed pepper popper ring on a heated skillet and crack an egg into the middle. Let it cook, flip or cover for a minute to cook the top, and eat. I think breakfast (or heck, any meal!) just reached a whole new level around here! What about thrown on a burger or sandwich? Are ya droolin’ yet? I know I am! Can you think of any other uses for them? Be sure to let me know in the comments below. Buon Apetito!