Summer Has Arrived – Hot Bites

TGIF Hot Bites

These are great to nibble on with a cold beer, margarita, even ice tea … but they do have some fire in them so a cooling dip is almost a necessity. They are similar to ones you may have had at a certain restaurant who shall remain nameless but I think you can figure it out ;-).

Do watch your fingers and hands! If you are used to working with jalapenos and other hot peppers, you know about their volatile oils and what they can do if you touch your face, especially around your eyes! I suggest you pick up a box of food safe plastic disposable gloves to wear when you work with these. It’s also a good idea to use them when you work with raw chicken, meat and fish to aid in preventing cross-contamination. I know most of us don’t think about that in our home kitchens, but we should. We should also have different cutting boards for meat, poultry, fish, and fruits and vegetables – for the same reason.

With more food recalls for salmonella, we can’t be too careful.

Hot Bites

  • 1 can (26 ounce) sliced jalapeno peppers (NOT pickled)
  • 2-2/3 cups unseasoned cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • vegetable oil (for your favorite deep frying system)

Drain jalapeno peppers, pat dry and set aside. Mix cracker crumbs and flour together; blend well. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add water; blend well. Heat oil in fry pan, deep fryer, or fry cooker until temperature is at 375. Dip slices of peppers in egg wash and then the flour and cracker crumb mixture; dust off excess dry ingredients and carefully place in hot oil. Watch for splatter – I don’t want you to get burned!

Place peppers in your pan so that they are not overcrowded. Take care–the peppers like to pop a little. Fry until golden brown. You may have to do these in batches and if you have to add more oil, be sure it comes back to 375 before adding more peppers. Remove peppers when golden and drain on a paper towel.

Keep in mind not to put your fingers or hands on your face until you have finished working with these peppers. I suggest you use disposable kitchen gloves (not the latex ones used for dish washing).

Peppers should be served with your favorite Con Queso Dip or ranch dip on the side.

And remember, if the peppers are too hot, milk is the antidote!

 

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