Experimental jalapeño poppers

gougeres rolled

The bowl of white stuff is dry corn starch.  I did something different this time and painted it dry on the upper corner of each wonton wrapper then dampened it when rolled to seal it tightly as possible. For some reason, the carrots shown on the plate are in the can with the sliced jalapeños. They taste exactly the same, so I sliced them too and included them. That way, one small can of jalapeños worked perfectly with one package of wontons.  The dark orange cheese shown here is cheap cheddar that was on sale.  It's awful and I don't care for it.  After the first package I switched the cheese to queso anejo (aged) for the remaining 2/3. This batch took three small tins of chile peppers and three packages of wonton wrappers, about 130 total. The process is a bit tedious and messy.

gougeres rolled

gougeres plated

The purpose of this trial is to determine if these could be baked instead of deep-fried, in preparation of Deena's fund raiser three days off. The thing is, they must be deep-fired in batches, a few break open, the cheese leaks out into the oil, burns, the oil must be continuously cleaned, then discarded, it's a mess.

These were rubbed with olive oil. They might also be sprayed which would be even easier.

Conclusion: They're tougher. The mouth-feel is different, but not altogether bad. They taste equally great. It's a lot easier, they're entirely passable, but deep-frying is still better. So it gets down to a trade off between convenience and excellence. I think I'll stick with frying in batches. Besides, it's dramatic, a little bit dangerous and it's fun.

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