Makes one dozen
DANGER!! WARNING!!! Take every precaution you can think of. These peppers are hot. Don't come crying to me if your eyes, nose, throat, lips or skin become irritated from handling these guys. I warned you. I use gloves, run a fan and still have to wash my hands about 50 times before all the heat disappears. Next time I make them I'll probably wear a mask.
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 1 pound bulk sausage
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 6 jalapeño peppers, red and/or green
- 1 small can pineapple chunks or tidbits
- 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups peanut or other vegetable oil, or as needed for frying
- Blend cream cheese and chopped cilantro together in a small bowl. Form into a log and chill for about 10 minutes, then divide into 12 equal pieces and set aside.
- Combine sausage, cumin seed and chili powder in a small bowl and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
- Put on your gloves to handle the peppers. Remove stem ends and cut peppers in half. Remove all ribs and seeds (a melon baller works nicely for a first pass), then switch to a small knife to get out any remaining membrane.
- Spoon a bit of cream cheese into pepper half. Nestle a piece of pineapple into the cream cheese and cover with more cream cheese.
- Continue until all pepper halves are filled.
- Place one portion of sausage in your palm and flatten into a disk. Carefully embed one of the filled peppers into the sausage, then pull up the sides and pinch together. Roll between your hands to form an egg shape.
- Be sure "eggs" are well sealed so nothing leaks when they are fried. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. (Note: They can be stored overnight or frozen at this point. Thaw before rolling in crumbs and cooking.)
- Put panko bread crumbs in a shallow plate and gently roll "eggs" to cover well.
- Heat peanut oil in a large skillet to 375º Fahrenheit. Oil should be 1-inch deep or more. Gently lower "eggs" into the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on all sides and drain on paper towels.
- Make no mistake. For some, these are hot as the devil. Here's a variation for the less foolhardy if you'd like to try the flavors without as much risk to the roof of your mouth.
- Still pretty hot variation:
- Skip the jalapeño halves. Chop up as much jalapeño as you're brave enough to try into the cream cheese mixture. Make a meatball with the sausage, then hollow it out with your thumb. Place a spoon of cream cheese into the hollow. Bury a pineapple piece in the cream cheese, then pinch to seal. Make sure the seal is tight so the filling does not leak out during cooking. VERY gently roll between your palms to form into an egg shape. Place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes before rolling in crumbs and frying. Can be packaged and frozen before rolling in crumbs. Thaw, then proceed with the recipe.