Poppers for Papa

Bring on the heat. The sun won’t seem as hot as your mouth.

Fire up the grill! It’s Fath­er’s Day. What does a hungry dad want to eat on his spe­cial day? Per­haps ribs, wings, ka­bobs, steak or bur­gers will be on his menu. No doubt his feast will in­clude a vari­ety of bar­be­cued beasts. Whatever - the day calls for strictly man­food. That’s what’s cook­ing for dear old dad.

Since it’s dad who fre­quently does the grilling, ap­pet­izers made es­pe­cially for him would com­ple­ment his culin­ary ef­forts. The trend of hot pep­pers and hot sauces def­in­itely seems to ap­peal to the male pal­ate. And very of­ten, it’s the hot­ter the bet­ter. So why not bring on the hots? The fol­low­ing two ap­pet­izers in­clude jalapeno pep­pers. Dif­fer­ent as night and day, they are a good ac­com­pani­ment to any grilled foods.

To say that these pop­pers are a hot item isn’t just blow­ing smoke. Serve them with sour cream to cut some of the heat.


12 jalapeno pep­pers, about 2½-3 inches long

1 cup shred­ded sharp ched­dar cheese

4 oz. cream cheese

1 tsp. gar­lic powder

2 eggs

1 cup plain panko crumbs

½ tsp. salt


Sour Cream

- Pre­heat oven to 350 de­grees.

- Spray bak­ing sheet lightly with can­ola oil. Set aside.

- Cut pep­pers in half length­wise. Scrape out and dis­card seeds.

- In a small bowl, stir to­geth­er the ched­dar, cream cheese and gar­lic powder. Fill pep­per halves with cheese-gar­lic mix­ture.

- In a shal­low bowl, lightly beat eggs un­til thor­oughly com­bined.

- On a sheet of wax pa­per, mix to­geth­er panko crumbs and salt.

- Roll each filled pep­per in egg, then in bread crumbs.

- Place on a bak­ing sheet.  

- Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

- Bake about 30 minutes or un­til pep­per is tender and filling is slightly browned.

Serve pop­pers warm with a bowl of sour cream for dip­ping.

Al­though served cold, the fol­low­ing shrimp ceviche de­liv­ers heat from the pep­per, yet it is re­fresh­ing on a hot, sum­mer day. It would qual­i­fy as low fat. Serve it in a glass with a piece of lime hung on the side.


1 lb. me­di­um shrimp, peeled and de­veined

1 Tb­sp. salt

6 limes, juiced, or enough juice to cov­er shrimp

1 tsp. salt

1 cup finely chopped red onion

1 large to­mato, chopped 

1 jalapeno pep­per, seeded and minced

1 cu­cum­ber, seeded, chopped in­to small pieces

1 cup fresh cil­antro, chopped

1 avo­cado, peeled, seed re­moved, cut in­to small pieces (If not us­ing avo­cado, add 1 Tb­sp. oil to the mix­ture)

- Bring a large pot of wa­ter to a boil. Add salt. Add shrimp and cook (de­pend­ing on size of the shrimp) for 1 to 2 minutes un­til shrimp curl and turn slightly pink. Im­me­di­ately drain then cool down the shrimp by put­ting them in iced cold wa­ter. This will stop the shrimp from con­tinu­ing to cook.

- Drain shrimp. Cut shrimp in half or in­to pieces.

- Place shrimp in a shal­low glass bowl with the lime juice and salt.

- Cov­er bowl and re­fri­ger­ate for 1 hour.

- Add the onion, to­mato and pep­per.

- Cov­er and re­fri­ger­ate for ½ hour.

- Add the cu­cum­ber, cil­antro and avo­cado just be­fore serving.

Serve with crack­ers or tor­tilla chips.

Here’s the Fath­er’s Day equa­tion: Dad plus BBQ equals beer. Prob­ably many dads will wash down their jalapeno treats with a cold bottle of beer - maybe even a Corona. Al­though I am not en­dors­ing Corona here, I did learn an in­ter­est­ing food (drink) fact a few weeks ago. On the sub­ject of beer, my friend’s hus­band, Jack, told me that the reas­on Coro­nas are served with lime wedges is to keep flies from land­ing on the rim of the bottle.

Al­ways the in­quis­it­ive food­ie, I had to do a little re­search on that point. Turns out that lime is said to be ef­fect­ive in keep­ing would-be beer pests at bay. Some beer writers sug­gest that lime juice wiped on the bottle rim re­moves any rust left from met­al caps, and helps kill germs. But also lime was thought to mask any skunky-tast­ing beer that might have gone bad in those clear glass Corona bottles on a hot day. Then there was the the­ory that the lime ad­di­tion was just really good mar­ket­ing. Let’s face it, that little wedge of lime is something like the cherry on top of the sundae. Of course, we all want the lime wedge. Whatever - it turns out that Jack knows his facts about beer.

Eat well, live long, en­joy!   

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 3412 Pro­gress Drive, Suite C, Ben­s­alem, PA 19020)

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