Monday, February 2, 2009
Ahhh, Superbowl Sunday. It's practically a holiday in conservative, flag-waving Ballard, where residents of the dupe did what any true patriots would due when faced with gridiron mayhem: we invited a bunch of people over, flipped on the big screen, and adjourned to the kitchen where we tried desperately to stay warm in front of the deep-fryer.
In between our asides in deep-fryer experimentation (Chika insists that America is just not ready for the bacon-wrapped marshmallow), we made some downright tasty fried goodies. There were fried plantains, fried pickles, fried lotus root, fried burdock root, fried bacon (that's right), and these bad boys:
Lavender-Infused Honey and Thyme Goat Cheese Jalapeno Poppers:
24 medium-sized jalapenos
8oz goat cheese
16oz cream Cheese
2T lavender petals
1T thyme, minced
1t + 1T kosher salt
1/2t black pepper
2c panko breadcrumbs
2c oil for frying
Prepare the honey by placing 4t lavender petals and honey together in a glass bowl or jar. Set the jar in simmering water and melt the honey. Let the honey infuse overnight.
1. Set a pot of water to boil. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems. Blanch the peppers in the boiling water for 90 seconds, and chill them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
2. Set up a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Blend the goat cheese, cream cheese, 2t lavender petals, the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste until creamy. With the mixer running at it's slowest speed, drizzle the honey into the cheese 1T at a time, tasting as you go.
3. Heat up oil until it reads 325 on a deep fry thermometer. Prepare a dredging station with three bowls: in one mix the flour with 1T of salt, in another beat the eggs with the milk, and in the last put the panko.
4. Fill each jalapeno half with the goat cheese mixture. Dip each pepper in the flour, dust off the excess, dip in the egg, and then roll in the panko, pressing to adhere. Fry each pepper until the panko darkens, and the filling just starts to leak through the batter. Remove the peppers to paper towels to drain.