I am absolutely nuts about chilli poppers and even though I make my own, I always enjoy the ones I get at a restaurant a little bit more.
They are relatively easy to make, all you need is some pickled jalapenos. Make a slit on one side and scoop out all the seeds with a small spoon. Rinse them out and stuff with cream cheese or feta. Roll them in flour, dip them in beaten egg and coat them in breadcrumbs. Chuck them in a hot pot of oil until golden brown and then take them out, let them rest and serve with garlic and herb dip, sour cream or guacamole. YUM!
They are so easy to do and so delicious, yet I am still drawn to any and every restaurant in Cape Town that serves them and am constantly on the hunt to find the ultimate chilli poppers …
My first adventure was to Banana Jam in Kenilworth, I was only there for a few cocktails with some friends and after a few too many delectable drinks we decided to take a look at the menu. The very first thing I spotted were the chilli poppers. These beauties were stuffed with creamy feta cheese, were so juicy and mouthwateringly good.
The next time I went in they had added to their menu and now also serve cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon … these are such a treat! The rest of the food on the menu is also divine, especially the pizza’s, which is my favourite choice after the poppers of course.
The next week I landed up at Boracchos Mexican Restaurant in Plumstead on a Monday night to take advantage of their buy one get one free chill popper starter special that they had running at the time. These are the largest chilli poppers I have ever seen. Basically the special allowed you to order a popper starter and get another popper starter for free (I’m in heaven at this point!).
Each starter had four chilli poppers and you could choose between cheese stuffed jalapenos or ones with cheese and bacon inside, both crumbed and served with a selection of dips. Well, lets just say that they were so good that we never landed up ordering a main course.
The next outing took me to Cape to Cuba in Kalk Bay where yet again I was slurping back a few cocktails with my feet in the sand, surrounded by friends. We ordered Cuban bread (what a winner!) and of course chilli poppers. Now these ones were slightly different to my previous popper experiences, they were packed full of sweet chilli cheese and coated in a beer batter. These are, I think, my favourite ones so far.
Hudsons in Claremont made my taste buds run wild. They served up porky poppers, which are chilli poppers wrapped in bacon with a blue cheese dip. They also have the most divine three cheese poppers that you get to dunk into a delicious tomato relish.
If you are also mad about jalapenos, you will love their burgers, they have a few different ones that feature some form of jalapeno on them, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Last but by no means least are two markets, one is the Earth Fair Market in Tokai and the other is the Blue Bird Garage Market in Muizenberg. Both of these markets have a stand in them, one is sprung and the other ones name escapes my mind, never the less, they both serve something amazing.
A spring roll … stuffed with … wait for it … yip, you got it … jalapenos and cheese. Now these are a treat and a half. It’s not your normal kind of popper but it is so exquisite and incredibly more-ish.
My search continues to find the greatest chilli poppers around, so if you know of where you can get the best chilli poppers, please do share!