12 fresh jalapenos

3 ounces coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)

3 ounces coarsely grated Monterey Jack (1 cup)

1 teaspoon hot sauce


freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs

1 cup plain, fine, dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons dried oregano

about 4 cups vegetable oil


1.  Cut a lengthwise slit from stem to bottom of each chile.  Make a crosswise incision at stem end, forming a T.  Pry open the chile, then devein and seed, using the tip of a paring knife and kitchen shears.

2.  Stir together cheeses, hot sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

3.  Fill chiles with cheese mixture, pressing seams closed after filling so that cheese is compacted and chile retains its shape.

4.  Lightly beat eggs in a small, shallow bowl.  Stir together breadcrumbs, oregano and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in another shallow bowl.

5.  Dip chiles in egg, letting excess drip off, then coat with breadcrumbs, transferring to a work surface.  Repeat coating with egg and crumbs (a double layer of breadcrumbs is the key to a crisp exterior)

6.  Heat 2 inches of oil to 325* in a medium saucepan.   Fry chiles in three batches, stirring occasionally, until golden brown all over, 5 to 6 minutes per batch.  Transfer to several layers of paper towel to drain.  Return oil to 325* between batches.

from Gourmet Special Edition, All-Time Best Recipes

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