Bar food, finger food, appetizers, call them what you want. Some even refer to poppers as a short intense buzz inducing drug. I just call them top drawer delicious.
Most bar poppers are hollowed out jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheddar and cream cheese, breaded, then deep-fried. And they are almost always pre-packaged and frozen. They’ll do after four or five Bud Lites and a couple of tequila shooters.
But don’t get lulled in to a pre-packaged jalapeno popper coma. Poppers can be made at home in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. They can be breaded or simply wrapped in bacon. And they don’t have to be deep-fried. They can also be baked or grilled. And don’t forget the dipping sauce on the side. Marinara, sour cream and chives, ranch or pepper jelly will do the trick.
Traditional stuffing of the pepper calls for a shredded cheddar and cream mixture. I do up a roasted red pepper dip that calls for cream cheese, shredded Mexican cheese, a dash of hot sauce and roasted red pepper strips thrown in a food processor and pulsed. Standard procedure now says you are ready to start stuffing. But many popper heads take it to the next level. Use your imagination. Crab meat, scallions, mushrooms even chili can brighten up a popper.
If you care to take a gander at the List, I’ve got a deep-fried, a grilled and a baked popper recipe with a few twists that may just blow you out of the water.
Keep on poppin’ everybody.