Jalapeño poppers are a fun app for football games or backyard cookouts. My version, stuffed with chorizo sausage and smoky cheese, is healthier than the deep-fried offering at your local sports bar, yet no-less-delicious. I prep these before guests arrive and have ready to pop in the oven at halftime. Not noted below, you might grill or pre-bake the peppers for just a few minutes to soften them up before halving and stuffing. It’s fine to skip this step, and in this case the peppers will just have a little more bite to them.
Sausage and Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños
- 10 medium jalapeños
- ¼ pound fresh not cooked or cured chorizo sausage
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of allspice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons mild olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces shredded smoked cheese such as cheddar, or sub goat cheese or mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon sour cream thinned with 1 tablespoon of lime juice or water
- In a medium saute pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. If your sausage has a casing, remove it and add it to the pan with the garlic, oregano and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring to break it up, until it is done all the way through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cut the stem off of the peppers, and slit lengthwise. Remove the seeds and the stems, then place cut side up in a baking pan. Mix the cheese into the sausage, then fill the peppers equally with it. They can be prepared up to this point, refrigerated, then continue on with step 3 when ready to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 325. Place the baking dish in the oven, and let the peppers cook 15-20 minutes until warmed through and slightly softened. Remove from the oven and serve, drizzling the thinned out sour cream over top if desired.