Garden bloggers have been all over the herbs lately. I liked the post on Growing your Own Garnishes over at aHa! Modern Living — a blog I only recently started to follow. The awesome daily garden inspiration blog Studio 'g,' did a quick post on a container herb garden in an alley. And of course LotB has their photo contest! The prize? Labeled herb planters!
This spring I've really come to appreciate my herbs. I enjoyed them last summer, but now I can say that without a doubt they're the best part of my balcony. It's so easy to clip a couple chives to dress up a baked potato; or snatch a handful of oregano and basil to add to tomato sauce; or pinch a leaf of lemon verbena and a fistful of mint to mix for sweet tea; or a handful of sage, thyme and rosemary for Thanksgiving stuffing; or...well, you get the idea. I really rely on my collection of herbs to enhance (and sometimes inspire) my cooking.
My husband and I love the kind of jalapeno poppers you can get at any run-of-the-mill restaurant where the most popular item is beer-n-burgers. They're breaded and fried and absolutely one of my favorite guilty pleasures. (Plus being a vegetarian at a beer-n-burger joint isn't the easiest thing, and sometimes this is the only thing on the menu I can have...besides fried cheese.)
My homemade version takes advantage of the herbs I have growing right now, and adjusts to our diets, and my aversion to making battered foods. (I just hate getting my fingers covered in layer upon layer of eggs and breading.)
Baked Jalapeno Poppers with Garden Herbs
6-12 Jalapenos (depending on size)
8 oz cream cheese (1/3 fat)
1/2 c cheddar cheese
A handful of herbs — I used chives, green garlic, oregano, green oregano, and lemon thyme.
Salt + pepper
Heat oven to 350. Oil a baking sheet and set aside.
Slice the jalapenos in half, remove the seeds and membrane.
Add both cheeses to a bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Add minced herbs and mix. Salt + pepper to taste.
Spoon the cheese/herb filling into the peppers, dunk the filled side in the breadcrumbs, place on the baking sheet.
(Count yourself lucky if you have leftover cheese filling — it goes really well with crackers.)
Bake poppers for 30-40 minutes.
Serve immediately, but be careful, they're hot! :) We found they go really well with milk.
They turned out pretty good for being an experiment. My husband called them "restaurant quality," which I think is a complement. Really, the fresh herbs just made a huge impact.
15 hours ago