Caribbean Poppers are baked, not fried. This tasty appetizer has all the fabulous flavor tucked right inside, so there's really no need for a dipping sauce.... but I included one for all you die-hard dippers out there. You know who you are. ;-)
There's nothing like a good challenge to inspire creativity... and you won't find this recipe anywhere but here at Instructables.com.
Let's get poppin'!!!
Step 1: Ingredients and Popper Filling Prep.
12 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers- makes 24 Poppers.
4 oz Cream Cheese- softened
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese- grated
3 oz. Canadian Bacon- diced
Pineapple Marmalade- chilled
Garlic Seasoning Salt
1/2 cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes
2-3 slices thin-cut Bacon- chopped (optional, but REALLY delicious!)
Light Corn Syrup
Maraschino Cherries and juice
Fresh Coconut slivers-optional sauce garnish
Popper Filling and Prep:
- 4 oz Cream Cheese- Room temperature
- 1/2 Cup grated Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Pineapple Marmalade
- 3/4 Teaspoon Garlic Seasoning Salt
Add pineapple marmalade and seasoned salt. Stir to combine.
Fold in diced Canadian bacon.
Taste your filling. Add additional salt if preferred.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Step 2: Jalapeno Popper Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Pineapple Marmalade
- 2 whole Maraschino Cherries- minced
- 2 Teaspoons Maraschino Cherry juice from the jar
- 1/2- 3/4 Teaspoon Garlic Seasoning salt ( to taste)
- Sliced Coconut- optional garnish
Add the cherry juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
Wait a few minutes for the flavors to mingle. If you prefer a saltier taste, add the remaining salt.
Wait a few more minutes and taste again.
Still to sweet? Add a little more salt. Too salty? Add a little more marmalade.
Set the sauce aside. No refrigeration needed.
If you have coconut slices, great! They look so pretty encircling the sauce bowl and they're also healthy crunchie-munchie addition to this appetizer.
Step 3: Fresh Jalapeno Preparation:
Cut the Jalapenos in half. Begin ning at the stem end, use a grapefruit spoon to scoop out the seeds and trim away the fibrous ribs
Put about 1/3 cup of the Pineapple Marmalade into a small bowl.
Use a small spoon to spread a scant 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade the inside belly of each Jalapeno half.
Give the Jalapeno bellies sprinkling of Seasoning salt on top of the marmalade.
Step 4: Fill and Bake
Place a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture into each jalapeno shell, forming a slightly rounded, mounded top. Repeat until all of the jalapenos are filled.
Top each filled Jalapeno with a generous pinch of coconut flakes and press lightly.
If you love bacon, now the time to add a few pieces on top. Thin sliced bacon cooks nicely for the time and temperature used in this recipe. If you're using thick bacon, precook it it the microwave for a couple of minutes before topping the Poppers.
Place the poppers on a non-stick baking sheet 1/2 " apart .
Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn the heat up to 400 degrees and bake 5 minutes more. The coconut topping and bacon (if you used it) should be nicely toasted.
Remove from oven and allow the poppers to cool at least 3-4 minutes before serving.
Step 5: Notes for Jalapeno-phobics
Not all Jalapeno peppers are created equally. Some are as mild as Anaheim Peppers. Others can be pretty damn hot!
The heat in Jalapeno Peppers can be somewhat lessened prior to cooking. You can soak the cut peppers a few hours in cold water (refrigerated) to tame the thermal blast. Freezing the cut/cleaned Jalapeno halves for 10-15(MAX) minutes will also do the trick. Just don't let them freeze solid. The resulting jalapeno will taste like a boring Bell Pepper if you do... yuck!
My suggestion? Be adventurous! (and keep a cold glass of milk handy... just in case! ;-)