|Pretty...'til they bite back!|
There are a lot of jalapenos in the mix, and thinking of those got me craving my friend Lupe's oven baked poppers, but I didn't want to fiddle with cutting and filling. Besides, there's bacon in her secret recipe, and I wasn't in the mood to smoke up the whole house, which due to my inability to stay put and watch the skillet when there's nothing to stir, is what always happens when I fry bacon. I decided to experiment with a dip version of this appetizer.
Like most of my recipes, this is a "wing it" sort of a thing. Use whatever mix of spicy and mild peppers you have on hand. Here's what I used:
3 medium sized jalapenos
1 bell pepper
2 mild banana peppers apx. 5" long
1 screamin' hot little red chili pepper
1/2 medium onion
1 medium tomato
I removed all of the pepper seeds, then diced all of the above very fine, and tossed the lot into a skillet with about
1 tbsp butter
and sauteed it for a couple of minutes. Jalapenos lose most of their fire when cooked, but the chili doesn't. If the poppers at your local pub are usually about as spicy as you can handle, leave out the chili pepper. Also, if the bacon idea appeals to you, fry up a few slices, use the fat to sautee the pepper mixture, and crumble the bacon into the finished dip.
Once the peppers and onions are soft, stir in
1/2 package of cream cheese or Neufchatel
Stir while this melts enough to blend, then add
a splash or two of milk
and stir/add more milk/stir until you have the desired consistency of dip. It will thicken a little as it cools. If it's a little too spicy, add more cream cheese, or even plain yogurt.
Enjoy with corn chips and good beer, margaritas, apple juice, or lemonade.
You eat that, while I finish painting a few things. Hopefully at least one of the eight projects I have in the works (aside from pepper preservation), will be finished and photogenic by Friday, so check back Saturday morning to see where I've been slinging paint this week. If you haven't already seen my portfolio, you can check it out right now at theartofthehome.com, and if you are working on a project of your own and have a question you think I might be able to answer, don't hesitate to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.