Two things you’ll notice right away about my recipes:
- There aren’t very many of them.
- What few I have are lacking in specifics.
There’s a reason for that, let me explain. I think detailed recipes are great. I have a bunch of cookbooks and have used quite a lot of recipes over the years, but there are times — like today — when I won’t use one. To my mind, recipes are like training wheels, and once you know how to wing it, you can remove those training wheels and call yourself a pretty great cook.
Am I a pretty great cook? Well, sometimes I am, but sometimes my concoctions don’t turn out so great, so I guess you could say I’m a pretty great cook in training. But I think today’s stuffed jalapeños turned out . . . pretty great!
Last weekend I was walking through the produce aisles in my grocery store and saw some of the biggest jalapeños I’d ever seen. It’s hard for me to walk past a beautiful pepper, so it should come as no surprise that I bought a nice supply, with no clear idea of what I was going to do with them.
A little later in the meat department, I noticed a package of bulk chorizo sausage. Now my grocery store has had chorizo for awhile, but it was always link sausage in casings. Still, being in New Jersey, I wasn’t complaining and felt lucky to have chorizo in any form. Why lucky? Well, because it’s New Jersey, and chorizo ain’t exactly Italian. But seeing the bulk chorizo made me buy one 10-ounce package, again with no clear idea of what I was going to do with it.
Today when I opened the refrigerator and saw those jalapeños, I realized that I needed to do something with them before they went bad. But what? Rummaging through the refrigerator drawer, I found the chorizo, and also a package of goat cheese that I’d purchased a few weeks earlier, but still hadn’t used. Also in the fridge was a bunch of fresh cilantro, and some nice tomatoes that had been given to me by a co-worker.
The result was Chorizo and Goat Cheese-stuffed Jalapeños, which, as I said, were pretty darned great!
As I warned you, the following recipe is short on specifics, but that shouldn’t matter. If your stuffed jalapeños taste slightly different than mine because the amounts aren’t exact, who cares? I’m betting they’re still going to be pretty great!
ROAMIN’ GNOMIALS CHORIZO AND GOAT CHEESE STUFFED JALAPEÑOS
Several fresh jalapeños. In other words, not the pickled nacho slices, but fresh green ones.
One ripe tomato
One bunch fresh cilantro
One 10-oz. package of goat cheese
Bulk chorizo sausage
Rinse the jalapeños and cut off the stems. Use a coring tool to remove the seeds and veins, or since you’re going to split them anyway, you can just use a sharp knife to perform this task.
Meanwhile, fry the chorizo until done, then drain and blot away most of the grease with paper towels.
In a mixing bowl, add enough of the goat cheese, some diced tomato and cilantro, along with the cooked and still-warm chorizo. Mix well to form a paste. Remember, if you end up with too much, it only means you’ll have to go out and buy some more jalapeños, so all is not lost!
Stuff each jalapeño with the chorizo-cheese mixture, then bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. During the last few minutes, turn on the broiler to get a nice brown on top.
Remove from the oven and enjoy.
The flesh of my jalapeños was still slightly crunchy, so if you want them to be softer, bake them for awhile longer, but the firmness of mine allowed me to eat them with my fingers, without any dripping goo from the filling, so keep that in mind before cooking yours to total limpness.
Mine were not muy picante, but one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the heat of jalapeños can be amazingly variable, so keep in mind that you might need an ice cream chaser if your jalapeño crop was hotter than mine.