The Super Bowl
I have three thoughts on the Super Bowl. 1: I watched it with Roger Staubach’s cousin when the Cowboys played and he was kickin’. 2: It’s nice we have an informal national holiday with more Clydesdales than reindeer. 3: I think it’s really funny how the Roman Numerals are getting out of hand, but it’s a great embedded lesson, IIX =VIII, sorta.
Stabilize yourself, I do not own a television. Therefore, you know I am writing this from the bottom of my heart. I will not be watching any game but I am thinking about what you will be eating and you had better listen. I f I ever write anything on this blog that matters this may be it. It’s a game changer, so to speak.
The recipe is far from Super-centric. It will get you invited back every time, I promise. Its inception began about 25 years ago. I was half my age, really fit, naïve, nothing like the person you know, AND LOVE, now. I lived on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon working for a guide service, 30 miles over snow to the camp. (That’s at least, a short story). So when after ten days working the crew got four days off, the question burned where to go? What to do? Isolation doubled by isolation. The closest attractions were more National Parks.
Zion was by far my favorite. The colors, ah, the colors, reds and greens with snow stuck to canyon walls, ferns splitting rocks, dry creek beds that threatened to become killer water flows – I couldn’t go back enough. One Christmas Day there I met a couple (the only other visitors) hiking merrily along munching pistachios and sipping apple schnapps which they gleefully shared. But to travel just outside of the park boundaries to the village of Springdale there was a cozy pub (as “pubs” go in Utah) and they served a stuffed jalapeno. The Bit and Spur.
I dissected the “Stuffed Jalapeno” and it needed help. I spent years of research on the Stuffed Jalapeno, as did my closest friends. They never complained. The recipe is simple. The recipe is weird, but trust me on this one. Battles have been fought over less.
These gems are culinary Russian Roulette. One’s hot the next one’s not. I have to say that this recipe has become signature for me. I grew up passing Sesame Street (I could not relate to a creature that lived in a trash can) to watch Julia Child. I just assumed I would one day be a casual great French cook. Through a series of decisions, that had nothing to do with food, I became more of a New Mexican/Mexican cook. This recipe is hardly authentic, but do not mistake these jalapenos for those pre-fab breaded “poppers” and please wear surgical gloves while making them unless you are Asbestos Man.
- Wash a bunch of jalapenos, count each one as two
- Cut them in half from stem to stern
- Scoop out the seeds with a sharp paring knife
- Line them up on a lipped baking sheet
- Dribble a few drops of Teriyaki Sauce in each one (the stuff with the orange cap in the Oriental section, seriously)
- Take a block of chilled cream cheese and cut ¼” slices off the end. Cut in half as triangles and place one on each jalapeno half.
- Take a block of (preferably) Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar and cut wedges similar to the cream cheese
- Set these on top of the cream cheese
- Place under the broiler until the cheddar is tan and bubbling.
- Proceed with caution as you pluck these one by one.
Be aware that water will not quell a hot spell in your mouth. Dairy or cold beer will treat you best. It might be prudent to serve some salty chips and sour cream for the faint of palate. They’re great hot, but fine at room temperature. Leftovers? Doubtful, but if you do have some, cut off the stems and tuck them in an omelet (Hi Julia!) and wrap it in a warm flour tortilla – you will be so glad you made too many. Let me know how it goes – variations, deviations welcome. Oh, I so want to be you eating these for the first time!