Friday, June 19, 2009
I hatched the perfect plot for this Father’s Day, and everyone—except Dad, of course—was in on it. At the heart of the plan is a small, cheap (let’s hear it for cheap!) gadget. It’s gimmicky and cheesy (literally!) and fun, requires the use of a hot grill, and produces manly man food, all of which makes it just the thing for Father’s Day. It’s a jalapeno rack with corer. Like I said, perfect for Father’s Day.
I ordered the gift and then, since I live half a country away from the parentals, I put in a phone call to my little brother, “I’ll buy and you cook.” He immediately agreed, “OK. I’ll do it because I want to eat them.” The conversation *rubbing hands together* went exactly according to plan. But now that I think about it, I should’ve told him to mix up some Traditional Margaritas too. I promised I would write out my jalapeno recipe.
Then Mother signed on to receive and hide the package, which, as it turns out, included a little white lie about mail ordering hair care products. Mom’s a master of counterintelligence. She also volunteered to do the grocery shopping if I sent her a list.
So, with this recipe, I officially complete my part of the mission. Dad, happy Father’s Day! I miss you and wish I could be there. I hope you love your brand new shiny toy and your Father’s Day jalapeno popper meal, even though it includes something green!
And happy Father’s Day to all you Dads out there!
Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
2 links Mexican chorizo
1 ½ cups shredded Monterey jack
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar
½ cup minced cilantro
36 medium jalapenos and/or large Fresno chiles, stemmed and seeded
Heat the grill to medium-low. Add the chorizo and cook, covered, without disturbing for 8 to 9 minutes, or until it releases from the grate and is crusty and brown. Using tongs, turn the chorizo and continue to cook, covered, over medium-low heat another 6 to 7 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chorizo to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Dice the chorizo when it is cool. Mix together the chorizo, jack, cheddar, and cilantro in a large bowl. Divide the stuffing among the chiles, lightly packing it in. As you work, place the stuffed chiles into the rack. Grill, covered, over medium-low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chiles are tender. Transfer the rack to a serving platter and serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer or 4 to 6 as a main course with Mexican Rice on the side. Not as spicy as you might think. The heat level of jalapenos varies, but seeding, cooking, and smothering them with cheese tones down their heat. Wear gloves when handling chiles. Skewer any small chiles with a toothpick across the top to keep them from slipping through the rack as they soften. If you don’t have a grill, place the rack of chiles onto a baking tray and cook in a 400˚F oven. Jalapeno poppers are especially popular in Texas. They are frequently breaded and deep-fried.