Friday, May 6, 2011

Jalapeno Cheese Squares

This appetizer is like a mini quiche without the crust.  A fluffy egg texture with onions and jalapenos, all topped with crispy toasted cheese.  According to my husband, an avid egg and jalapeno lover, these squares are acceptable for any meal and for a snack.

The recipe does not advise if you are to leave the seeds in when you are mincing the jalapenos. I guess that is personal preference. You are welcome to take the seeds out if you want a more mild tasting dish.

While baking, the cheese will puff up in the pan.  However, do not be alarmed when it deflates upon cooling, that is normal. 

When preparing a dish with hot peppers, it is best to use metal utensils.  Plastic may absorb some of the oils in the peppers.  Also, when mincing or grinding fresh or dry peppers with a machine, use one that can be taken apart and cleaned.  For example, a mini food chopper is better than a coffee grinder.

This recipe makes 36 squares.  You can double the recipe and bake in 2 nine inch square glass baking pans.  If using metal or a dark pan, the baking time will need to be adjusted.

Jalapeno Cheese Squares
courtesy of Bon Appetit/ prior to 2005

2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups grated monterey jack cheese
1 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs chili powder
2 tbs of minced jalapeno peppers (I used 2 peppers)
5 large eggs

Butter a 9 inch square glass baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the last 4 ingredients on the above list.  With a wire whisk, blend all the ingredients until evenly
distributed.  Then blend in milk.  With a metal spoon, mix in the onions and monterey jack cheese.

Pour mixture into baking dish.  Sprinkle all of the cheddar cheese evenly on top.  Place pan in oven and bake for about 45 minutes. The appearance should indicate when the squares are done. The top should be brown and puffy. In addition, the batter will be pulling away from the inside of the pan.

Remove from oven and cool slightly.  Cut and serve.  If not serving right away, place the squares on a cookie sheet and cover.  Store in fridge and rewarm at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes to serve.