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How to Make Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: You don't even have to know the rules of the game to enjoy the year's biggest day in football -- at least not when Molly Yeh's game-changing, Cheeto-crusted, bacon-stuffed jalapeño poppers are involved.

I don't watch football and I don't have a clue which teams are playing on Sunday, but I am smitten with the NFL for giving us all a good reason to day drink and eat fried foods.

Ask me the champions of the past 10 years and I'll have to Google it. But ask me what I ate and I'll tell you in detail. (In 2008 I ate all the pigs in blankets, in 2009 I had my first chicken wing, in 2010 I made arancini with fontina, etc, etc.) I take my game day food seriously and you should, too. It's not every day we can get away with frying all the things and washing them down with beer.

So let's go all the way. Let's put bacon in everything. Let's use Cheetos to our heart's desire. 

Go team! 

Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

Makes 16

4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
4 ounces or 1/2 cup chopped pimientos or roasted red peppers
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash paprika
8 jalapeños
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
5 cups Cheetos
Oil, for frying

Make the filling by combining the bacon, chopped pimientos or roasted red peppers, cream cheese, shredded gouda and cheddar, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

Stem the jalapeños, cut them lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Then stuff each half with the filling and place on a baking sheet.

Grind the cheetos into fine crumbs in the food processor.

Then set up three bowls: In the first, mix together flour with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper; in the second, beat the eggs with the milk, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of pepper; and in the third, place the cheeto crumbs.

Coat the stuffed peppers first in flour, then in the egg mixture, and lastly in the cheeto crumbs. Deep fry at 365º F for two minutes or bake at 350º F for 30 minutes.


See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Molly Yeh

Tags: Pepper, Appetizer, Snack, Super Bowl, Game Day, DIY Food, How-To & Diy, Small Batch