I'm becoming a bigger fan of football. Not only because my husband has encyclopedic knowledge of every aspect of the game and history of the players, and not only because we have a better TV than most bars on the east coast (thanks to my in-laws!) but because it gives me a bar food audience. With loads of space and a service span of 3 hours of gametime, I can rock. Since I am an Eagles fan by marriage, last week I must say the food was better than the football. My stuffed peppers evolve beyond ground beef, rice and tomato. The way I learned from my Mexican brigade is the roast, stuff, and fry method. I was hoping for Poblano peppers but none were available so I opted for large jalapenos and made a twist on the commercial popper.
Hooray for gas powered cooking! This allows me to roast peppers on the burner. It's my preferred method because it removes the skin without cooking the flesh to mush, a hazard when roasting in the oven. Alternately it can be done under a broiler. After roasting all over, place in an airtight container so they continue to steam a bit. This will make the skin peel right off.
After steaming and cooling they are ready for peeling. I refrain from using water to assist getting the skins off, you wash away some flavor and as these are going to be fried it's best to keep them as dry as possible. After peeling I made an "L" shaped incision on the side, allowing me to remove some of seeds and stem root inside to make room for the filling. I made a rice mixture with chorizo and onion, and put a thick strip of mozzarella in each one so they'd be gooey.
Best beer batter recipe: 1 part dark beer to 1 part seasoned AP flour. Mix, and chill. Batter must be fried very cold to get crunchy, tempura like results. Slightly advanced fry technique - after dipping in the batter, dip 1/2 into hot oil and hold it there. Carefully. Once the batter puffs (about 5 seconds) it's OK to release. If you drop it in without holding, it will sink to the bottom and stick. If it sticks when you release it from the bottom it will most likely tear spilling out the contents. This is something I knew when I cooked professionally on a regular basis and quickly recalled after messing up my first one. Oops! Served over leftover filling minus mozz.
Jalapenos vary wildly in heat factor. Some are as mild as green bell peppers. These were as if they had an affair with a habanero on the vine. Roasting with seeds in also intensifies the heat. Despite having removed most of the seeds while stuffing, eating only 2 left me in a lot of pain. Not as much pain as Paul was in watching his Birds get stuffed and fried themselves.