Crispy Breaded Poppers


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8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated on large holes of a box grater
3 ounces sharp cheddar, grated on large holes of a box grater
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Frank's RedHot
1 pound jalapeños, stemmed, sliced into 1/2-inch rings, and seeded
2 cups cornflakes
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup bacon fat or canola oil
1 batch roasted tomato salsa or your favorite salsa, for serving


1. Place Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses in a medium bowl and toss with cornstarch until evenly coated. Transfer cheese to a medium saucepan and add evaporated milk and hot sauce. Place over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until melted and thickened, about 5 minutes. Let stand until cooled to room temperature.

2. Arrange jalapeño rings on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon cheese sauce into jalapeño rings, patting down with fingers.

3. Place cornflakes and breadcrumbs in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until cornflakes are finely processed. Transfer breading mixture to a shallow bowl.

4. Place buttermilk and flour in separate shallow bowls. Working one at a time, dunk a jalapeño slice into buttermilk and then roll around in flour until completely coated. Dunk jalapeño slice back into buttermilk and then roll around in breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with all jalapeño rings. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and let cool for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush breaded jalapeños all over with bacon fat or oil. Transfer baking sheet to oven and cook until cheese is heated throughout and outsides are browned and crisp, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer jalapeño poppers to a tray. Serve immediately.


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The rules said no time when I read this challenge it got me thinking about some other cooks I've done in the past...Time to experiment!

I know the request was for crispy breaded we're just going for crispy.

Most of the ingredients:

Pretty much my standard popper mix: cream cheese, 4 cheese, Desert Gold, Cuckoo Racha, cayenne, and a dash of Frank's Red Hot. Wrapped with thin slice bacon, cooked on the MAK2 at 275.

I rolled some of the cooked poppers in egg roll wrappers:

Then I sliced the remaining poppers into medallions and wrapped in wonton wrappers, as I got better at wrapping I made the medallions bigger:

Here's how they look pinched up:

A little egg wash and back on the MAK2 at 325, they browned up nicely.


The Egg Roll poppers were tasty and definitely crispy, but not all that visually appealing.

The real star turned out to be the wonton wraps, very crispy and done in 1 or 2 bites.

I can see wrapping other foods as well, a chunk of banana and chocolate? (nod to Scooter's famous desert)

I think next time I will add a dollop of cream cheese to the medallion before wrapping...Poppers Rangoon anyone?

Hi!!! I tried this yesterday but it's turned out not crispy.. Give me tips?
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