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
1 cup plain panko crumbs
½ tsp. salt
- 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)