Spooky Spicy Panko Pepper Fingers

Introduction: Spooky Spicy Panko Pepper Fingers

About: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.

These spicy, crunchy treats will make your Halloween party sizzle! This recipe from Rachael Ray is one of my family's favorites, you can choose peppers with the heat level you prefer, we like a blend of semi-hot banana peppers and jalapenos. They are breaded and baked in a cheesy panko topping. These pepper fingers will make a great Halloween night in watching scary movies, or, the recipe is easily doubled to serve a crowd.

Original recipe found here: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=3117 

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You'll need:

a 13-inch x 18-inch baking sheet with a cooling rack fitted inside, spray the rack with a nonstick baking spray. (I line the baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.) 

1 1/2 lbs. peppers of your choice, jalapeno, poblano, banana, etc.
1 cup flour, divided
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (you may need to add more towards the end) 
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (please use the real deal)
Salt and ground black pepper

Step 2: Prepare Peppers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Wash, stem, halve, seed, and slice the pepper halves in half, or sizes in equal shape to rest of peppers.

It's a VERY good idea to wear gloves during this process, and take it from me, those gloves will retain heat, so DO NOT touch your face or body while wearing them and wash them well in soapy water when done. 

Step 3: Bread the Peppers

Set up a 3-low bowl (or pie plate) breading station. Flour in one. Beat the eggs with the mustard and 2 Tbsp. flour in the second. (You won't really taste the mustard, it helps thicken the eggs so they coat the peppers better.) In the third bowl mix the cheese, panko, and some salt and pepper (I use 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.) Keep 1/4 cup panko close by and if the breading mix gets low, mix the extra in. 

Use the FEBuary method of breading--F=flour, E=eggs, B=breadcrumbs. Coat a few peppers at at time in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumbs pressing to make sure the coating sticks. (I usually roll them a couple times and try to hold them by their sides so the breading stays on the top and bottom as much as possible.) Transfer to the rack inside the baking sheet. Repeat until all the peppers are breaded. 

Step 4: Roast and Enjoy

Roast the peppers in the oven, turning halfway through baking (careful some of the breading will probably come off), until golden brown and crispy, about 18 minutes. 

Serve with ranch dressing and enjoy! 

Happy Halloween! 

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