Zen and the Art of Hot Peppers

Finally – finally! – roughed out that tricky scene in Seeds of Bloods last night, so I’m taking a break from the rough draft today. I’ll tackle it more tomorrow….

I find chilies are anti-depressant for two main reasons. First, they’re anti-inflammatory, and if you have reduced inflammation and pain you generally feel better. Second, and this is mental – one of the things that gets you trapped in a depressive spiral is if you can’t stop thinking about whatever’s bothering you.

And when you eat a stuffed jalapeno pepper, I assure you, there’s at least half a minute where you can think about nothing else but the burn.

Which, mentally, pushes a reset button on your brain. “What was I so worried about again? Oh, right….”

I originally found a variant of this recipe that used bacon and cream cheese. I didn’t want to use bacon, and cream cheese and I give each other suspicious looks. So I substituted mozzarella, and it worked just fine.

12 jalapeno peppers
8 ounces shredded cheddar
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprinkle chipotle chili powder

De-stem, halve, and take the seeds and white out of the peppers; lay the halves out on a cookie sheet.

In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. Fill the peppers. Don’t worry if some spills over the sides, it will.

Stick it in an oven preheated to about 350 F and cook for about 23-28 minutes. What I do is open the oven about 5 minutes in, take the tray out, use a spoon to scoop the now-melted cheese mix back on top of the peppers, and stick it back in for the rest of the cooking time.

You will need a spatula to pry these loose. The crispy cheese on the pan is nummy, too.

Supposed to be good in the fridge for at least 4 days or so. Nom.


11 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Hot Peppers

  1. What sort of chipotle do you use? (technically, chipotle is a term for how a chili pepper is processed, specifically “any chilli pepper that has been smoked dry”) My preference is chipotle cayenne, since it really brings out the flavor in the cayenne even more than normal. (not that I eat stuffed jalapeño often, since I don’t care for the jalapeño itself. it’s just hot, without real flavor of its own)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Breaking the spiral of increasingly worse thoughts or the grove your brain got stuck in can only be of the good . . . and it’s always good to have more than one strategy because some of them don’t work all the time.

    The strong bite / burn of peppers should do that . . . there was a nice bite to the green chiles in the shredded beef burritos we had the other day. Not much for stuffed peppers . . . most of my experiences with jalapeno is in pepper jack cheese . . . which is just about the amount of it I can usually handle.

    I tend to be mild to medium on spicy and hot stuff . . . . above that, I find the burn too unpleasant to gain any benefit from it being in the food, largely because I can’t eat it if it’s too spicy and even have difficulty convincing my stomach to let me eat something else after trying something too spicy. My often tetchy stomach is probably why I’m a fussy eater.

    But my brother and dad both like stuffed peppers so I might try making it for them . . . 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you don’t want the pain that’s distracting you to be in your eyes, for the love of all things culinary, //wear gloves//. Pepper juice, in the eyes, hurts so very much…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. For a faster, easier burn, you could try using my mom’s emergency stuffed-up nose remedy: suck a packet of Taco Bell hot sauce. Your version sounds much tastier, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I don’t like “really hot stuff”, I grew up in Latin America, so I find Taco Bell hot sauce to be barely better than lightly flavored water… I wouldn’t even call it “mild hot sauce”. Tho I do agree, good chili can really help when you’ve got a stuffed-up nose.

      Liked by 1 person

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