Roasted Jalapenos stuffed with Mint and Two Cheeses

Once you get the hang of roasting and cleaning jalapenos, this appetizer dish, stuffed with goat and cream cheeses, and brightly flavoured with mint, is a hands down winner.

Roasting a jalapeno not only partially cooks and softens the flesh but mellows its heat, especially once the seeds and inner membrane are removed, and the cheese and mint combination counterbalances the chile’s remaining fire.

Choose jalapenos that are smooth skinned and of normal size. We are often inundated with mega-sized chiles that are better suited for other recipes, not for a delicate two bite appetizer. (But if you can only find the mega variety, once you roast them, cut the peppers in half length-wise, and stuff).
Roast the chiles on a cast iron comal or pan until evenly blackened. Transfer to a plastic bag, or covered bowl and allow the chiles to sweat. This makes them easier to peel.

Using a paring knife, scrape away the blackened skin, then make a lengthwise slit in each chile and carefully remove the seeds and inner membrane.Lightly rinse the chiles to get rid of any residual seeds and skin and pat dry.

Meanwhile, make the filling (see recipe below), and using two teaspoons, fill the chiles and shape the chile around the filling to keep it enclosed and neat looking. Don’t overfill them. I found around two teaspoonfuls is ideal with a regular sized jalapeno.

At this point, the dish can be made ahead and refrigerated.
Just before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat the stuffed chiles until heated all the way through, around 12 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy with icy margaritas, preferably on a hot sunny patio.

Fire Roasted & Stuffed Jalapenos with Mint and Cheese
Yield: About 12 chiles (allowing two per person)
12 roasted jalapenos, peeled, seeds removed
125 gr. cream cheese
113 gr. plain goat cheese
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, tightly packed, chopped fine
Roast the chiles on a comal or cast iron griddle until evenly blackened. Put them in a plastic bag to sweat.
Meanwhile, make the cheese filling, working the softened cheeses together with the back of a spoon. Add the minced shallots and chopped mint and work it in evenly and set aside.
Carefully, scrape the blackened skins off the chiles. With a small sharp knife, make a slit lengthwise on each each chile and removed the seeds and membrane, especially the seeds attached to the stem of each chile. Take care to leave the chile attached to the stem – it’s going to make it easier to stuff.
Pat the chiles dry, and with two teaspoons, add 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoonfuls of the cheese mixture to each chile.
When ready to serve, heat the chiles in a 350 degree oven until heated through.

 



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