Mexican jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese and smoked fish are a wonderful botana adapted from Susana Trilling’s Oaxaca cookbook, Seasons of My Heart. Just be sure to use the pickled jalapeños and not raw ones, or they will be too hot for most people.
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces smoked mullet, sable, tuna or salmon, boned and finely shredded
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 20 whole pickled jalapeño chiles (jalapeños en escabeche)
- ¼ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted and chopped
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the smoked fish and continue to beat until fish is incorporated.
Add the onion, garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce and lime juice. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.
Open each jalapeño by making a vertical slit from stem end to point end, and carefully remove seeds. Using a spoon or pastry bag, fill each chile with cheese mixture, so that the filling is mounded out. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the filling. Serve chilled. Makes 20 stuffed chiles.
For graduation celebrations: Mexican summer buffets