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Gooey Jalapeño Poppers


6 jalapeño peppers
1/2 cup shredded 75% reduced- fat cheddar, such as Cabot
1/4 cup reduced- fat whipped cream cheese, such as Weight Watchers
4 scallions (white and green parts), chopped fine
1/2 cup whole- wheat flour
1½ cups whole- wheat panko breadcrumbs, such as Ian’s All-Natural (used regular panko)
4 large egg whites
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup fat- free sour cream, such as Breakstone’s (used Chobani 0% fat plain Greek yogurt)

Preheat the broiler on high. Place a wire baking rack on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Cut each jalapeño in half and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Place the jalapeños on the prepared baking sheet and broil until they begin to char slightly and are partially cooked, about 2 minutes. Allow the jalapeños to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

In a small bowl, mix together the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and half of the scallions. Using a teaspoon, fill each jalapeño half with the cheese mixture, packing it in tightly.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. Put the panko in a small dish. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites with a whisk until they are extremely foamy but not quite holding peaks.

Working in batches, dredge the jalapeños in the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the jalapeños to the egg whites and toss to coat completely, being careful not to let the filling come out. Add the jalapeños, a few pieces at a time, to the panko and coat completely.

Spread the jalapeños out on the wire rack and season them generously with salt and pepper. Spray the jalapeños lightly with cooking spray. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted throughout, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and the remaining scallions. Season with salt to taste. Serve the scallion sour cream with the hot poppers.

*Indeed it is gooey delicious! The first recipe in Rocco DiSpirito’s NOW eat THIS! was the Gooey Jalapeño Poppers. I just have to make it. I got lucky when I went to the market. I bought the jalapeños for $1.79 for almost 2 lbs.  By the way, I bought the jalapeños first then I got the book from the library, so it was meant to be. Everything I followed I just didn’t have sour cream so I used plain Greek yogurt adding a little bit of salt and cayenne. I made my hubby happy and so was I…all under 350 calories! enJOY!!!

Tip: When handling the jalapeños just be sure you don’t have a cut in your hand. It stings like crazy believe me this is base on experience. It happened also when I was preparing a dish with habanero peppers.  To be safe use kitchen gloves.

Source: NOW eat THIS! by Rocco DiSpirito