Jalapeno Poppers

INGREDIENTS

    • 12 fresh jalapeños
    • 3 ounces coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)
    • 3 ounces coarsely grated Monterey Jack (1 cup)
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 cup plain fine dry bread crumbs
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • About 4 cups vegetable oil

PREPARATION

    1. Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chile. Make a crosswise incision at stem end, forming a T.
    2. Pry open enough to hold back long cuts (to expose ribs and seeds), then devein and seed using tip of a paring knife and kitchen shears.
    3. Stir together cheeses, hot sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.
    4. Fill chiles with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling, so that cheese is compacted and chile retains its shape.
    5. Lightly beat eggs in a small shallow bowl. Stir together bread crumbs, oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.
    6. Dip chiles in egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with bread crumbs, transferring to a work surface. Repeat coating with egg and crumbs to form a second layer.
    7. Heat 2 inches oil to 325°F in a medium saucepan. Fry chiles in 3 batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to several layers of paper towels to drain. Return oil to 325°F between batches.

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