Friday, June 18, 2010

Save-My-Ass Summer: Grilled Jalapeno Poppers



Ahem. In case you hadn't noticed, the weather's heating up. That means shorts. Mini-skirts. The dreaded swimsuit and the baring of post-winter backside. I don't know about you, but the first exhibition of pasty, stew-fortified winter skin makes me cringe.

So how do we cope? We cheat. We break out the razor, the pedicures. Scan the drugstore aisles for any depilatory that doesn't smell like a home perm. Self-tanner is our friend. Hey, a girl does what she's gotta do.

Gaining weight in the winter is natural right? It's biology in action--fat is nature's Snuggie, n'est ce pas? But when the days get steamy, it's time to display some backside; preferably some that you're not ashamed of.

And yet, I'm not one of those freakazoids who can pull a Paltrow and exist on veggie juice and downward dog for two weeks straight. Sorry. I sort of like food.

We're easing into things moderately here, trying to trade in mashed potatoes for sweet corn, s'mores for strawberries. And guess what? When things healthy are concerned, the grill is your best friend.

Take the other weekend, for example. We had family and friends over for an afternoon of food and water mischief, and I wanted to keep things festive but not heavy. Awesome Stepkid R. was craving something spicy and cheesy, and while his scrawny caboose might be able to handle traditional jalapeno poppers, mine certainly can't.

But thanks to the Flay-man, we didn't have to compromise much. These grilled poppers deliver all the flavor and none of the grease-coma. They're a perfect thing to break out this weekend for your favorite, spice-loving Daddy-O.



Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chilis
recipe slightly adapted from Bobby Flay
serves 6


4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. soft goat cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat white or yellow cheddar cheese*
2 green onions (green and pale-green part), thinly sliced
few dashes ground cumin and hot sauce
salt and black pepper
12 large jalapeno chilis, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
1 heaping tablespoon ancho chili powder

Heat grill to medium.

Whisk together the cream cheese and goat cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in the cheddar, green onions, cumin and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill each jalapeno half with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture; sprinkle the top with ancho powder.

Place chilis on the grill (or use a grill basket, if preferred), filling-side up, and cook until slightly charred and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

**Cabot brand or Cracker Barrel reduced-fat, block cheese only, please. Otherwise, just run a few extra laps and use the full-fat stuff.

***

I don't bake, but if you're feeling like getting your inner Ace of Cakes on, there's some cute Father's Day cake ideas here!

31 comments:

  1. These look good. I only had the regular kind of poppers once, at a T.G.I.Friday's in Philly after a jazz band concert. I felt so ill when I got home that I vowed never to eat them again.

    I may have to give these a go when we entertain next, however...

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  2. What a nice reward for all the buffing, clipping, scraping and spraying. Summer rocks!

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  3. I don't bake either...good thing in this weather! The poppers look awesome! So I usually try to avoid reduced fat cheese, but your recommendation for Cabot and Cracker Barrel? They're worth the try?

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  4. Yummo (I'm sure you are in LOVE with that word). David would love these.

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  5. "Fat is nature's Snuggie." That might be my favorite line of yours ever. And that's saying a lot.

    Found a great lotion/self tanner this year, by the way. Only makes me look slightly citrus-y.

    Enjoy the weekend, TKW!

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  6. This looks fantastic. I suppose it would totally defeat the purpose to wrap them in bacon wouldn't it? I don't think I've told you that I used to read Gary Larson cartoon books constantly as a child. I think it may have something to do with creating my warped sense of humor ;)!

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  7. Looks Great... I love peppers on the grill the smokey flavor and the mild bite. These look great.

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  8. Girl, you know I am all about the food, because the only thing worth drinking also adds on the pounds...I cannot pull a Gwennie either!

    And if you can imagine, we have weather that permits showing off "ass"ets, regardless of what the calender says.

    Thanks for putting this out there, it sure beats the crap they try to sell frozen!

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  9. Oh my! My mouth is watering! Can't wait to try those! My wonerful husband brought me home Bobby Flay's Grill It! the other day and I have been in heaven trying out some new things!

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  10. You are a BRAVE woman. These would curl my hair. (Wait. That could be a good thing.)

    They LOOK delish, and my kids would go for them in a heartbeat, but I'd have to sit out with my Tums.

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  11. Kitch, if the jalapeno and I were on friendly terms, I'd be making this in a heartbeat.

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  12. Oh Lord...did you have to remind me. Skirts and shorts are NOT my friend. I don't care who fat is getting snuggie with. I could without. Of course, that doesn't yet mean I'm willing to go without. Hence my conundrum.

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  13. You are too kind! If you want one, you'll have to wait until the summer of 2012 when Barbara returns to hold my hand--or threat the bobbin. As for me, I still have finished the blouse for 7th grade home ec. Oh my goodness, I can't even remember how long ago that was!!

    Have a great weekend.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  14. Did Gwyneth really do that? What can't that woman do!

    I've already apologized to my husband for not being in better shape for my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary party next weekend. But I still have roughly 4 weeks to get shorts-worthy.

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  15. Okay, these are definitely on the menu for my parents' visit next weekend. Thanks for the tip! (And what's wrong with s'mores this time of year? Just crank up the a/c!)

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  16. These look great! I love jalapeno poppers, but the guilt involved usually stops me. But this healthier version is totally up my alley! Yum!

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  17. These looks good. Not sure if my honey will enjoy if they are not wrapped in bacon as my recipe calls for. I got it from The Pioneer Woman Cooks! blog. They are fabulous but yours definitely seem like I should make to compare.

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  18. Looks yummy.... lovin' these "save my ass" summer recipes. I just referred another friend to your blog - she doesn't blog herself, but... likes connecting / commenting, etc. on others, and.... loves the food blogs as well as the women chatting it up blogs ;-). Anyway.... I think we're grilling tonight, so this may go on the menu (and I'm always ready to get my cake on....:-).

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  19. You are awesome! Thanks for sharing this! (And you seriously don't look like you have to worry about any backsides, honey.)

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  20. I have never tried goat cheese. Sadly, in the one horse town I live in, we don't get it. But, is it good? Does it taste different than regular cheese? Sadly, I had to give up dairy because I am now sensitive to it, but if I could use goat cheese I could actually eat.:P

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  21. Oh, but I so want to be "one of those freakazoids who can pull a Paltrow and exist on veggie juice and downward dog for two weeks straight" (You are so funny! I love the way you see things!)

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  22. I LOOOOOOOOOVE jalapeno poppers but they're usually so bad for me so I sadly stay away. And then I found a Cooking Light's oven-baked recipe that uses panko breadcrumbs - so crunchy and you can hardly tell that they aren't fried.

    But I never thought to grill them! This would be perfect for the summer. And yes, still light, still bikini (OK, maybe tankini for me) friendly. THANK YOU!!!

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  23. Oo, just the sort of nibble to warm us up in the midst of our still-cool weather. I'm not complaining -- air conditioning is still a novelty in many houses up here.

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  24. You trade in the s'mores in summer! Man, we're just breaking 'em out around here, LOL!! But yeah, I'm right there with ya. Stupid fat legs (in my case). The poppers sound perfectly hot and delicious, though! ;)

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  25. That looks like something I might actually try - b/c is there anything bad that is made with goat cheese? I didn't think so either.

    Is this where I don't talk about the s'mores brownies I made?

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  26. good ol' bobby flay. i like the cheese choices here--they'd be very conducive to carrying the spicy flavors. :)

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  27. you are such a riot, so fun to be with. You're infectious, you know that? but in a wonderful way. Thanks for spending time with us, it was such a treat to know you more. And your children are soooo beautiful!

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  28. hey! That looks pretty good. We need to bust out the grill. It's still in the garage under it's winter "grill blankie". How sad is that?
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today too :)

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  29. Have I found your new "spot"? No posts in July? I can't blame you in all this heat but just want to be sure I'm not missing anything in blogland.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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