I happen to really like Jalapeño Poppers but I have an aversion to deep frying. One, because I hate the smell of grease in my house and two, because besides being a messy cook I am also a cook that burns herself a LOT. Working with large amounts of hot oil is a recipe for disaster. I do, occasionally get the frozen kind that you bake and they are pretty good, but mostly I just get them when I go out.
But when I found this recipe for Jalapeño Popper Dip on a blog called Big Red Kitchen. I knew I had to try it. It is all of the flavor of Jalapeño Poppers without the frying! Sort of Jalapeño poppers deconstructed.
I took this to my friend Evie's bachlorette party and had a good response from the girls. But when I took it to work ,the guys really scarfed it down and everyone wanted the recipe!
This is a perfect "Sunday, watching the game" dip. You can serve it with Crackers (Ritz work well),bread or the guys really dug the "scoops" variety of tortilla chips. Get it? Dug? Scoops......never mind. You can make this mild or turn up the heat as you like.
I made just a few minor changes to this recipes and I used the "Lite" versions of cream cheese and mayo. I replaced the canned jalapeños with 4 fresh but the recipe does not reflect that because honestly, I think you will get a stronger Jalapeño flavor with them. Next time I plan to add both(but I really like a kick).
Don't forget when working with fresh Jalapeños that the heat lives in the seeds and membranes of the peppers. For less heat you should remove them for more heat leave them in. (I usually leave some but not all) I also recommend wearing gloves while working with them. The oils in the peppers can be difficult to wash off and you might get a not so friendly reminder of that later in the day when you touch your eyes or nose.
Jalapeño Popper Dip
2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1- 4 ounce can chopped green chilies-undrained
1- 4 ounce can sliced jalapeños-undrained
1-3 fresh jalapenos - cleaned and chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 stick butter, melted
In a food processor add the first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. Spread the dip into a greased 2 quart casserole. In a bowl mix bread crumbs and the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Pour melted butter over top crumb mixture and mix well. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes until the topping is lightly brown and dip is slightly bubbly. Do not overheat or the oils in the mayo and cream cheese will separate .
Notes: The panko bread crumbs can be replace with crushed saltines or crushed Ritz crackers (I would reccomend Ritz).
Baking this in a "flat" casserole dish rather than a deep one is preferred to achieve more topping to cheese ratio when eaten.
Please NO powdered parmesan cheese product...ick!