After many years of writing for us and sharing recipes with you, our regular Cooks Corner columnist Jean Redstone has decided to hang up her spatula and retire. I hope you enjoyed her columns as much as I did.
For now, I will be adding my own flavor to this column.
The Viereck’s are a multi-generational vegetable farming family. My husband specializes in growing heirloom and sometimes unusual crops that we sell, along with the other seasonal family grown crops at weekly farmers markets in the South Jersey area.
One of our trademarks is having recipes to give out using ingredients that include our vegetables, some of which people are unfamiliar with but want to try (fairy tale eggplants, Asian long beans, Georgia candy roasters, ground cherries).
Still readily available right now are peppers, both hot and mild. One features the jalapeño pepper and the other is for shishito peppers. Most shishito peppers are on the mild side, but watch out because every now and then you get a hot one!
Be sure to stop by your local farm market to get your peppers. And pick up other local late seasonal veggies and fruits before it’s too late.
BAKED JALAPENO POPPERS
Perfect snack for the Eagles game
12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne, or less, to taste
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. milk
8 tsp. Essence, recipe follows
1 c. panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried leaf oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients for the Essence and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, cheese, cumin, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 tsp. of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 tsp. of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 tsp. of Essence.
Spread 1 tbsp. of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny, and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
AIR FRYER SHISHITO PEPPERS WITH LEMON AIOLI
This recipe is VERY easy.
½ lb. shishito peppers
1 tsp. avocado oil or other oil with a high smoke point
½ c. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ tsp. each sea salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients for the Lemon Aioli in a small bowl. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
Preheat the air fryer to 390°F. for 3 minutes.
Toss shishito peppers with oil, then add to the basket of the air fryer in a single layer.
Fry for 4 minutes. Push pause and check for doneness. Peppers should be slightly softened and lightly blistered. If not done, cook for another minute or two.
Remove to a serving dish, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over them and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with Lemon Aioli.