These are like those fried jalapeño poppers but homemade and better. I made them gluten-free for Linda by using cornmeal for the breading.
The recipe that these are pretty loosely based on calls for cutting a slit in each jalapeño and actually stuffing them with the cheesy filling but the first time I made these I didn't read the directions and had sliced all but one in half before I saw that. So I did the last one the "right" way, but I liked the halved ones better.
Adapted from Epicurious (from a 2008 recipe from Gourmet)
8 fresh jalapeños
1 cup cheese, shredded (I used gouda the first time, mozzarella the second, both good.)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup frying oil (veg or safflower)
When preparing the jalapeños be careful about touching your face and eyes. Some aren't that spicy, some are. Cut each jalapeño in half. Spoon or cut out the seeds and veins.
Put the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and microwave it for about 15 seconds - this will make it easier to combine with the other cheese. Add the cheese and paprika and combine. Spoon the cheese mixture into each pepper. Don't overstuff too much.
You'll need two bowls, one for the egg and one for the cornmeal and oregano. Dip the bottom of each jalapeño into the egg, shake it off, then into the cornmeal. Repeat a first and second time for each jalapeño.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Fry each jalapeno until the bottom is just browned. Carefully remove so the breading doesn't fall off and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. If you're not serving right away, or maybe even if you are, it might be a good idea to keep them in the oven at 300.