Monday, 4 February 2013

Simple Low-Carb Jalapeno Poppers

Can't cook?

Don't worry. You don't need to be able to for these. All you need to do is chop, scoop, stuff, fold, stab, and place in the oven.

This variation on the bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper is husband-approved and definitely suitable boy-food.

I must admit, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with bacon. Sometimes, it's great. Other times, I can't even stand to look at it in the supermarket. The fact that it's raw has always freaked me out a little, and for that reason, I chose to substitute salami in its place for this recipe. I didn't want to have to balance cooking times for the peppers and the meat and blah blah blah.

As for the plain old cream cheese? Well, I'm sure it's fine, but the first time I tried this recipe, I happened to have a wheel of delicious South Cape herb and garlic cheese hanging around in my fridge. If you're on a budget, I imagine that the flavoured Mexican or Herb Danish cream cheeses you can buy in Aldi would go just as well in this recipe.

You'll need:

  • As many fresh jalapenos as you desire (you get two poppers per chilli)
  • Cream cheese to stuff - preferably a herb-infused one
  • Salami of your choosing - I used Spanish hot salami from the supermarket deli
  • Toothpicks
And, for the love of all that is sacred, gloves to wear while chopping the chillies. I learned the hard way that just because I can quite happily eat hot chillies, it doesn't mean they won't burn my skin.

How maek fuds?

1. Preheat your oven to 170-180°C. Also, put the frigging gloves on. Just do it.

2. Cut jalapenos longways, from stem to pointy-bit. You can leave the stem on if you want. I chose not to.

3. Scoop out the seeds from the insides and discard. I'm not too thorough about this bit, as I don't mind a bit of heat. Use your (gloved) fingers, use a spoon, whatever.

4. Cut chunks of the cream cheese with a knife and stuff them into the chilli-halves. Don't worry, even if you cut the stem off, the cheese won't melt and leak out the end.

5. Wrap your salami over the open, cheesy top of the pepper and skewer sideways with a toothpick to hold it in place. My salami slices were so big I decided to fold them in half.

6. Put your poppers on a tray and slide them into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

That's it. They're done. Eat them while they're warm!

Depending on the salami you used, these can be a little salty. Might be an idea to have your favourite low carb beer on hand!

If you wanted to make these vegetarian, you could probably substitute the salami for grated parmesan and/or almond meal. Just press it into the top of the cream cheese and bake away. In fact, that might be a little more similar to original battered/crumbed/fried poppers.

Carb count:

Because this recipe is so flexible in the size of the batch you can prepare, your best bet is to work it out based on the nutrition panel on the ingredients you used.

Eg: I made a batch of 10 poppers. That was about one cup of jalapeno flesh (5.5g carbs). I used just under half of the South Cape cheese (3g carbs), and probably <100g salami (2g carbs). My entire batch worked out at 10.5g, or just over 1 carb per popper.

Happy munching!

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