Sunday, July 15, 2012

Italian Poppers

Some like it hot! These poppers can be as hot as you like, depending on the number of jalapeno seeds you put into the mixture. But, if you have folks crying, then don't blame me. The recipe is plenty spicy as it is!
Here is my recipe: 
6 large jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut in half, reserving 1/2 of seeds from 1 pepper
2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 pound ground beef
1 cup marinara sauce
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, or 1 tablespoons dried basil
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. dry oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt  to taste

Here is how I did it:
1. Cut jalapeno peppers in half, discard seeds reserving 1/2 seeds from 1 pepper.  Place peppers in non-stick skillet with cut side up over medium high heat. Cook until skin begins to char; Turn peppers over, cut side down, and continue to cook until edges are thoroughly charred. Remove from skillet. When cool enjoy to handle, stuff with shredded mozzarella, reserving remainder of cheese for topping. Place stuffed peppers in baking dish; set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place ground beef, broken into small pieces, in skillet over medium heat. Cook until just grey with no pink showing. Add marinara sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, salt and reserved jalapeno seeds. Cook until heat throughout and spices are fragrant.

4. Pour ground beef mixture over stuffed peppers. Sprinkle with remainder of shredded mozzarella cheese. Place baking dish, uncovered, in preheated oven. Cook for 10 to15 minutes, to your preferred degree of pepper tenderness.

5. To serve, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Garnish with a fresh sprig of basil and enjoy!

Servings: 6

Calories Per Serving: 148.82
Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2012

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