Happy Hump Day!
I know this is kind of a Friday recipe but it's Wednesday and sometimes Wednesdays just feel HOPELESS but then also you could use them to plan for the weekend and WHAT BETTER THING to do on the weekend but make lots of appetizers and watch football?
Make lots of appetizers and watch Step Up, Magic Mike, Pitch Perfect, and Princess Diaries 1 & 2, but I rarely get to do what I want on the weekends. My life is incredibly hard.
So, whatever your poison on the weekend, PLEASE go ahead and plan to make this soon. Or maybe for a certain really important football game coming up in a few weeks?
This dip tastes like a jalapeno popper but takes approximately 10 minutes to make, doesn't include frying, and can be made ahead and taken to a friend's house so, I think BETTER than a popper. Also no American-ish cheese, not that there's a damn thing wrong with that. Let's make it!
For the basics, you need cheddar, cream cheese, garlic, fresh jalapenos, and panko bread crumbs. If you don't have any try not to freak out. Use regular bread crumbs, crumbled crackers or chips, or NOTHING. Seriously. Move on.
If you'd like to add a teensy bit more flavor, grab some Worcestershire and seasoning salt, too. This is optional - I included it in the recipe below, but really omit them for simplicity's sake; the garlic and fresh peppers are the real stars here.
To start, let's get to work on the cheese. If you're feeling really fancy, grate the cheese. I wasn't, so I cut it into cubes. By not fancy, I mean that I was too lazy to reach one foot under my cutting board and get my grater. Seriously.
And chop the jalapenos! Cut the ends off, then halve the peppers. The spiciness of the jalapeno mostly comes from the white ribs and seeds, so removing them will make the dip less spicy. I left one pepper whole and stripped one. The dip was spicy but manageable - not so spicy that eyes were watering. I also washed my face in the shower immediately after making this and my face got all blotchy and burned for 2 hours so....maybe don't do that.
Stir for another minute, just until the cheeses are totally melted and the dip is smooth. Then, pour the mixture into a baking dish.
Pour the panko all over the top of the dish, and make some decisions. If you're going to serve this later, refrigerate it covered, then bake uncovered until hot and bubbly and browned on top at 425F. If you'd like to eat this right now, broil it for a few minutes to brown the top and we're done!
This was spicy and flavorful but definitely not too spicy, though that will all depend on your jalapenos and if you leave the seeds and ribs in or not. The panko mimics a fried crust, and DAYUMM. Just so good.
Jalapeno Popper Dip
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces cheddar cheese grated or cut into cubes
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 chopped jalapenos seeds and ribs removed for less spicy
- ½ teaspoon seasoning salt
- ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- crackers or bread for serving
- Place the cheeses in a small pot over medium heat. Let the cheeses start to melt, stirring every few minutes. Then add the jalapeno, garlic, seasoning salt, and worcestershire sauce. Stir until completely melted and smooth, then pour into a small baking dish. (8x8 or slightly smaller). Sprinkle the panko crumbs over the cheese mixture.
- To serve right away, broil on high for 3-5 minutes until bubbly and browned on top. To serve later, refrigerate covered until ready to use and bake uncovered at 375F until hot, bubbly, and browned on top.
- Serve with crackers or as desired.
Shared with weekend potluck. Head over to join the fun!