What to do on Father’s Day when it’s time to eat and you want to serve something manly and filling? Other than steak, that is.
Here are some nominees, including one that re-engineers a classic sports bar appetizer – jalapeño poppers.
Standard jalapeño poppers are thumb-sized hot peppers stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then breaded and deep-fried. Yummy, but most home cooks aren’t too excited for the mess of deep-frying. That’s why there also is a baked version – half a jalapeño stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon.
Both types are delicious, but neither is all that healthy. After all, we want to keep Dad around for a while. So this version delivers guy gratification without overdoing it.
A couple of tips for preparing the jalapeños. First, be sure to wear rubber gloves when you’re halving and gutting the peppers. No matter how macho you’re feeling, you don’t want those capsaicin oils burning your hands. Also, use a grapefruit spoon, if you have one, to remove the pepper’s innards – its ribs and seeds – which are the hottest parts of a chili.
Is Dad a burger fan? From the Chicago Tribune we have a simple burger flavored with heat-producing elements of chipotle and jalapeño chilies, and you can set the level of fire. The chipotle adds a smoky heat, while the raw jalapeño contributes fresh sharpness.
Adjust the burgers’ heat by using more or fewer of each pepper. Tasting a tiny bit of the jalapeño before mixing it in will help you control the level you want.
If the classic sweet-and-tangy taste of barbecue sauce is more to Dad’s liking, try a bourbon-based version with shrimp from The Associated Press’ J.M. Hirsch. Add some soy sauce for saltiness, some cider vinegar for acid and a bit of Frank’s Red Hot sauce for bite, and we’re off to a great sauce.