This is a guest post by Ashley Adams from About.com’s Dairy Free Cooking.
It goes without saying that something that is full of flavor and spice, like jalapenos, pairs nicely with something creamy, cold, and refreshing, like Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese mixed with fresh cilantro. But I’m saying it anyways: these vegan jalapeno poppers, whichever way you decide to make them, are amazing. Fried or baked, the breading adds a textural layer and a simple way to hold your poppers, and with a little bit of coconut and lime mixed into the process, flavor abounds.
A note of caution: working with this many peppers, no matter how much I moisturize my hands, makes my skin sting and burn anything I touch for 24 hours. So, if you have had or think you may have a similar experience, I suggest wearing gloves or sandwich bag over your hands while seeding, halving, and handling your peppers.
“Vegan Jalapeno Poppers, Two Ways”
12 large jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
For the Filling:
2 8-ounce tubs Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (I use the non-hydrogenated variety)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
For the Breading:
1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached white flour
3 T. nutritional yeast
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 T. fresh lime juice
About 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
About 2 cups canola oil or more if needed, for frying
1. First, ready your work station. Place your halved and seeded jalapenos on a clean, dry work surface. Set out a mixing bowl, three kitchen bowls and a large plate or platter lined with paper towels. Place a stainless steel pot or pan on the stove at the ready.
2. Make the filling. In the mixing bowl, beat or stir the Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese with the fresh cilantro until well mixed.
3. In one of the three kitchen bowls, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, and sea salt. In another bowl, mix together the coconut milk and the lime juice. Place the panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
4. Now you’re ready! To assemble the poppers, fill each of the halves with a tablespoon or 2 (I usually opt for 2) of the Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese filling. Then dip the poppers in the coconut milk mixture, followed by the flour mixture, followed by the coconut milk mixture again, and ending with dredging the poppers in the panko bread crumbs. Do this until you’ve filled all 24 halves.
5. Pour the oil into your stainless steel pot and turn on the stove heat to medium-high. Drop a panko crumb into the oil after a couple of minutes, and if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. If not, wait a minute more and then try again. Once your oil is hot enough, gently lower the poppers—just a few at a time—into the oil and fry for about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side. Use a slotted spoon to gently remove the poppers from the oil and place onto the paper towel-lined plate or platter. Do this with all of the poppers. And then EAT THEM!
No frying required!
If fried foods aren’t your thing, then do the following and BAKE these bad boys instead:
1. Do all of the same things you did in steps 1-3 of the recipe above, except also preheat your oven to 425 F., and lightly oil a large baking sheet. Set out one extra kitchen bowl with about ½ cup of canola oil, too.
2. Fill all of your jalapeno halves with the Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese and cilantro mixture. Then, dip the poppers in the coconut milk mixture, then the flour mixture, then the coconut milk mixture, then the panko mixture, then the oil, and ending with the panko mixture once more. Place each popper on the baking sheet and repeat this with all of the remaining poppers.
3. Bake your poppers for about 12 minutes, then turn on the broiler on high for 1-3 minutes, or until the panko browns up nicely but doesn’t burn.
Visit Ashley at www.dairyfreecooking.about.com
*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.
Share and Enjoy