[Photographs: fred zilla]

Texas torpedoes, jalapeno slammers and armadillo eggs are all amped-up names for the humble and versatile jalapeño popper. Whether stuffed with
cheddar cheese and deep-fried or wrapped in bacon and grilled, jalapeño
poppers are a spicy crowdpleaser welcomed at any summer gathering.

There's no limit to what can be tucked inside a jalapeño, so why not get a little creative with the options? From my experience, just try to keep the fillings smooth, running them through the food processor if it's too chunky. After the chiles are stuffed, they can be baked, broiled, fried or grilled—whatever strikes your mood.

Also, a note of warning regarding the jalapeños. While playing around with different jalapeno popper combinations, I was surprised at the variety of heat from the chiles. While most of the chiles had a steady, reliable medium heat that jalapenos are known for, there were others that exploded on the Scoville scale. But this only lent to the fun of devouring them.

Here are nine creative fillings I came with to stuff a jalapeno poppper with. What are yours?

  • Mushrooms mixed with goat cheese, smoked paprika and chile oil
  • Pepper jelly and cream cheese
  • Cheddar cheese and cooked ground beef; then wrapped in crescent roll strips
  • Chorizo and grated potatoes (cooking in the leftover chorizo oil) combined with shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Pimento cheese (this is also good layered into raw jalapenos too.)
  • Canadian bacon, diced pineapple, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan
  • Crabmeat, mayo and chopped green chiles
  • Sundried tomatoes mixed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon
  • Refried beans and salsa

About the author: Andrea Lynn is senior editor for Chile Pepper magazine, where she not only creates a wide range of zesty recipes for readers, but also participates in numerous tastings for hot sauce, salsa, and other spice-laden products (even chocolate!). Her favorite chile? A tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano.


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