Something to look forward to: Pops' poppers
I took this picture last June when I was home visiting my parents. One of the best parts about going home (in the summer) is having a nice big old yard to hang out and barbecue in. I suppose I could fire up a few steaks on my mini city balcony but I don't think my neighbors would appreciate that much. I don't think it's very legal either.
Now that we have our tickets to head back stateside in May, I've begun to daydream about seeing the stars again, listening to crickets and eating lots of nice flame broiled food. I have been especially thinking about these little poppers that my Pops concocted last summer. He's become quite the little barbecue savant and I was more than jealous of his simple but spectacular grilling gadgets. It started out with a very handy vegetable roasting pan. The perforated metal pan makes roasting vegetables so easy. No need to flip and grill veggie slices one by one. All you need to do is slice everything up, add a whirl of olive oil and throw it on the top rack of the grill.
But then came the poppers tray and he brought it to a whole new level. The fact there even exists a tray designed for the sole purpose of making jalapeño poppers is pretty cool. The recipe is simple - jalapeños, pre-cooked sausage and onions, and cheese. Turkey sausage is best. All the flavor without the fat. What makes these poppers outstanding is the grilling technique. After one or two test batches, my Pops found that the best results come from starting the poppers out on the top shelf of the grill with the lid closed. This melts the cheese and, most importantly, it cooks the peppers until they are nice and soft. Once these two things are achieved, you introduce them to the lower level of the grill and then things really start cooking. The flames lick at the undersides of the peppers making a nice charred crust which adds just the right amount of smoky crunchy texture.
Get out the fire extinguisher. My mouth is already watering.