Jalapeño poppers can go one of two ways, in my experience. Either they are filled with cheddar cheese, or some sort of sour cream/cream cheese situation – either one is a winner. Because of the complete lack of cheddar in this fair city, my jalapeño popper dip follows the cream cheese route.

Most of the recipes I looked up involved a combination of cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, none of which are particularly figure-friendly. I decided to make it up as I went along, using a combination of fat-free Greek yogurt and 50% reduced fat cream cheese.

Even though I used pre-sliced, canned jalapeños, I still chopped each slice further into quarters, only because I don’t like giant chunks of jalapeño in any given bite. The “juice” from the canned jalapeños probably added a little bit of moisture to the dip overall, so perhaps fresh jalapeños would produce a different consistency, but I have no complaints (and no fresh jalapeños with which to test that theory).

I also threw in some dried dill and chives, because I am powerless to resist those two ingredients when they are in my pantry. I’m a serial dill-er (had to).

This dip was actually just as delicious unbaked and sans breadcrumbs as it was when I pulled it out of the oven, and I would serve it either way, depending on season and temperature and whatnot. The breadcrumbs do add the final component of the jalapeño popper (the outside fried crust), but even without it you get the popper experience.

For the latest installment of beautiful Italy, here is the Torre Truglia, located in Sperlonga, a small town on the western coast of Italy, now a popular beach resort destination. The Torre Truglia is the best-preserved of four original watchtowers, and was originally built by the Spaniards in 1532. The tower served as a lookout point, in addition to providing civilians shelter and protection when faced with maritime threats. Like pirates. Nowadays, it serves as a nice break from the boats and beach chairs that dominate Sperlonga’s landscape.

Low-fat Jalapeño Popper Dip Recipe

  • 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried chives
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 can jalapeños sliced (and further chopped, if desired)
  • breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top

Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking dish, then top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden-brown.

Note: my breadcrumbs refused to brown, for some reason. If this happens, switch oven to the broil setting for the last 30 seconds – 1 minute of baking.

Advertisements