Remember how I didn’t find out that I was allergic to gluten until 6 months after I opened a cake business? Well, once again, Murphy’s Law has shown up and reiterated its stronghold on my life. Let me tell you about it…
You see, the plan has always been that once we have a functioning kitchen again, I’d go back on the paleo diet. I’d be feeling great, and losing a bunch of weight. I’ve been looking forward to this for a very, very long time. This is week one!
Of course, that means that a week or so before the start date, I’d realize that YES! I can make gluten free stuff that is awesome, not awful, and that even people not cursed with gluten allergic can love. (The Gluten Free Chai Doughnut Holes were amazing, for instance) You see, none of those fake ^H^H^H^H alternative flours are acceptable on the paleo diet! AUGH! MURPHY! WTF?!
So… I’ll work around it. I’ve finally succumbed to the (hundreds of!) suggestions that I write a gluten free cookbook. I’ll pick away at it and make liberal use of human guinea pigs, both of the regular and gluten free varieties. I mean, hell.. I wrote both The Spirited Baker and Evil Cake Overlord while serving my gluten free sentence! Also, a bite or two of non-paleo food here and there won’t totally screw me up, the way a bite or two of gluten would!
In the meantime, check out my recipe for gluten free jalapeno poppers!
The thing with an impending diet start date is that it brings on severe cravings for food that is very much NOT diet food. With the jalapeno poppers, I decided that if I’m going to design a gluten free recipe, I may as well start from the ground up and completely customize the poppers.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of deep fried foods, so I decided to make them a baked variety. From there, I looked at the various other ways I’d make jalapeno poppers more “my” style. I prefer softer peppers, so I blanched them before stuffing them.
I love jalapenos with tequila, lime juice, and cilantro… so I incorporated those flavors. (For non-alcoholic poppers, substitute milk in the egg mixture). I chose to mix Colby and Jack cheeses as the perfect compliment t rthe rest of the flavors…
Oh, it was goooood. Even my husband – who has no issues with gluten – happily snarfed a plateful of these.
Gluten Free Jalapeno Poppers
8 large jalapenos
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded Colby cheese
2 Tbsp finely minced cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp tequila
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup white rice flour (Or whatever GF flour mix you like)
1+ cups gluten free crumbs*
1/2 tsp cumin (more if you’d like)
Preheat oven to 375F
Slice each jalapeno in half, lengthwise – I recommend wearing gloves for working with the peppers. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds and as much of the membrane as you’d like – jalapeno heat is concentrated in the white membrane. Scrape out most/all if you’d like a mild popper, less if you’d like some kick.
Personally, my husband and I like softer peppers in our poppers, so I like to blanch them. Place the peppers in a small pan or pot, add 2 cups of liquid (all water, chicken broth for a bit of flavor, or go crazy – 1 cup water, 1 cup tequila, and a squeeze of lime juice!), bring to a boil. Cook to desired softness. Strain, run under cold water, pat dry with paper towels. For a crisper popper, skip this blanching.
To make the filling, combine softened cream cheese, Monterey Jack, Colby, and cilantro. Cream together until smooth and well combined, set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, lime juice, tequila, and cayenne. Set aside
Measure flour into a separate bowl, set aside.
In a final bowl, combine crumbs and cumin. Set aside.
Divide filling between jalapeno halves. I rolled each portion of filling into a compressed ball, then pressed it into a pepper half, pressing to distribute.
Dredge each jalapeno in the flour, then into the egg mixture, and finally into the crumbs. Arrange peppers – filling side up – onto a prepared baking sheet. (I lined mine with parchment).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crumb coating is crispy and golden brown.
Serve hot, with ranch dressing to dip them in, if desired.
* For bread crumbs, I put Schar gluten free crackers in a large baggie and crushed them with a rolling pin. Feel free to use crushed GF Chex, premade GF bread crumbs, or any combination you feel like. Half crackers, half Rice Chex would have been great, for instance!