Jalapeño Poppers

chef humorist Vinny Verelli

Peppers seeded and deveined

The jalapeños are popping up more than our sweet peppers so it was time to make some poppers. Back in the 70’s and 80’s I don’t know of any place in New York that stuffed jalapeño peppers with cheeses and bacon, bread them twice and deep fry them. This time of year in Georgia, you can’t go anywhere without seeing them on the menu.
If you go to a pot-luck in the mountains 2 or 3 people will bring poppers. Sissy Reed made the best ones I ever had, the perfect cheese blend stuffed in a pepper and wrapped with bacon, then grilled.

In the past two weeks I tried 3 different recipes as I experimented with the prolific peppers. I didn’t want to fry or bread the poppers and wanted to control the amount of bacon used. The first batch were made with cream cheese, smoked gouda and some cooked bacon (drained and dried) and some spices. If the peppers aren’t deep enough the cheese when melted runs out. It was messy but delicious.

The next batch were prepared by coring out the center of the pepper and leaving it whole. You stuff the cheese mixture into the pepper and then place in a special tray to keep the peppers upright. This time I substituted smoked salmon for the bacon. Ate these too quickly to get a photo.

For the last batch I had no bacon or smoked salmon. So I took a can of smoked salmon, drained and added a tablespoon of mayo before adding 4oz cream cheese and 4 oz of smoked gouda along with ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke and some smoked paprika. This mixture was stuffed into the halved peppers. But to keep the melted cheese from running all over the place, I wrapped the stuffed peppers in some phyllo pastry that was getting past it’s prime. I don’t have any photos of them coming out of the oven but I do have a photo of the peppers the next morning after being browned up in a frying pan and served with scrambled eggs.
PopperBreakfastNOTE: I wasn’t sure how if the peppers would cook enough when wrapped in the phyllo so I roasted the stuffed jalapeño halves for about 15 minutes at 350. Let them cool and transferred the mostly cooked peppers onto the phyllo and wrapped them up. I really don’t like working with phyllo dough as you have to keep it moist or it dries out and is impossible to work with. Plus it takes a lot of melted butter.  

Refrigerate any leftover poppers and heat them in a frying pan when you’re ready to eat. No need to add any oil to the pan. Start the heat low and butter will start to flow from the dough and you can cook to a crispy brown.



National Cognac Day – June 4

Humorous Motivational Speaker Vinny Verelli

celebrates National Cognac Day. June 4th is also National Applesauce Cake Day, National Cheese Day and National Frozen Yogurt Day. Vinny combines 2 foods with amazing results.

In addition to the cognac mentioned in this video Remy Martin also makes some extremely high end bottles of cognac that can cost up to $26,000 for a bottle. This limited edition cognac is individually numbered from 1 to 786 in Baccarat dark crystal decanters.The Rare Black Pearl sold out in 3 months and the only place to get it in NYC was at the Rose Bar in the Plaza Hotel. You would pay $250 for a shot, before tip. That bottle would net $80,000!!  They’re also producing a Louis XIII in a 3 liter Jeroboam, the photo on the right.Rare-Louis-XIII-Black-Pearl-CognacRemy-Martin-Louis-XIII-jeroboam










Posted by Humorous Motivational Speaker Vinny Verelli

Mobile Pizza Oven

Cooking With Vinny at the Newest Wine Tasting Room in North Georgia

Today was the Grand Opening of Serenity Cellars new tasting room. They have a great tasting; 9 wines and a souvenir glass for $7.50.  However, the main reason I went out there on this beautiful day was to see if Pauli could make pizza from his new mobile oven that rivals the in-store pizza at the Tavern. Well it turns out he can. He is very proud of his new set up and he should be. I ate way more than I should have. The only problem? Try to find a nice cold beer at a winery. Pizza cries out for beer.

Serenity Cellars: http://www.serenitycellars.com
Nacoochee Village Tavern & Pizzeria: http://villagetavernpizza.com
Posted by Humorous Motivational Speaker, Vinny Verelli

Shrimp Clemenceau

Uncle Bernie came to visit and brought all the ingredients for Shrimp Clemenceau. Simple and extremely tasty.

National Margarita Day

February 22 was National Margarita Day and February 27th was National Kahlua Day. So I made a margarita with a coffee flavored tequila. YUM! In a cocktail shaker add 3 Parts Patron XO Cafe (coffee liqueur made with tequila.) 1 part Grand Marnier, 1 part Roses Lime. Shake vigorously. Before staining into a cocktail glass add a little club soda.

For more information about funny motivational speaker Vinny Verelli go to http://motivatethis.com

Visit Vinny Blog at http://cookingwithvinny.com

Haven’t Decided What to Make for Christmas?

Whip up this Beef Wellington.

Last year I make a festive Beef Wellington for Christmas Dinner.  By the time I posted the video it was middle of January. If you’re one of those last minute types of gourmets and haven’t decided what to make this year, try this Beef Wellington served with a Demi-glace reduction with muscadine jelly and single barrel Jack Daniels.

 Original post and complete recipe can be found here

If You’re Not Having Fun, You’re Doing It Wrong.