I hunted for pickled Jalapeno chillies (what we normally use) but could not find them anywhere. I found large, fresh chillies at my local supermarket, and decided to try and pickle them myself. Feeling like the perfect little wife-to-be I was rather chuffed with myself - until we started eating them. Somehow in between me pickling them and Luke slitting and stuffing them, we had forgotten to remove the seeds. They were scorchingly, mind-blowingly hot - so much so, that they gave me hiccups. I tried to soak my lips and tongue in milk, but it didn't help. We were devastated. We were so looking forward to eating the fruits of our labour, but just couldn't. We'll never forget for next time though...
We coated them in a very South African Chilli Bite Mix (available here for overseas readers) - a spiced flour mix that is simply added with water and fried, they are the instant, perfect coating for these poppers. You can of course make your own flour / spice batter or even wrap them in phyllo pastry and bake them, but here is the recipe for our favourite recipe:
Our Perfect Home Made Chilli Poppers
Jalapeno chillies, pickled and without seeds
Cream cheese (we used caramelised onion flavour)
Chilli Bite Mix
Oil for frying
Remove the seeds from your chillies. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese and feta until evenly distributed. In another bowl mix the Chilli Bite Mix (with water, according to packet instructions). Heat about 10cm of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. While you're waiting for this to heat, you can start your assembly line : start by slitting your chillies horizontally down the side, and stuffing with the cheese mixture - we found a teaspoon best for this.
As soon as they are stuffed, and your oil is hot (test it by dropping a little of the batter into the saucepan - it should sizzle immediately) dip them into the chilli bite batter, letting the excess drip off, and laying them gently into your pan of oil - we found placing them "horizontally" into the pan worked best. Remove from the pan as soon as they are brown on all sides, making sure not to overcrowd your pan.