Looking for that perfect dish for the holiday pot luck? Something easy to prepare, portable, but a little unusual? Try this warm, rich, satisfying takeoff of a favorite holiday appetizer. Who doesn't like a Jalapeno Popper?
- 1/2 lb breakfast sausage (I use turkey sausage)
- 3 c. frozen southern-style hash browns
- 3 c. chicken broth
- 1 T. chicken bouillon granules or powder
- 1 T. dry minced onion
- 2 c. half and half or evaporated milk
- 6 T. Ultra Gel* (available at Amazon or carnetfoods.com)
- 3 oz cream cheese (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups diced green peppers and jalapeno peppers--adjust proportion to your family's tastes, but don't skimp on the jalapenos!
- Diced peppers for garnish.
- Combine frozen hash browns, chicken broth, bouillon, and onion in a heavy saucepan or four-quart slow cooker on high heat setting.
- Meanwhile, brown sausage in a shallow pan. Add to saucepan/slow cooker when browned. Turn slow cooker to low if desired.
- Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, but not mushy (about 2 hours on high or three on low if using a slow cooker.)
- Add half and half or evaporated milk and stir to combine.
- Stir in Ultra Gel gradually with a wire whisk.
- Add cream cheese cubes and parmesan cheese and heat until smooth and hot (protect from boiling).
- Adjust thickness by adding more Ultra Gel if too thin; more milk or chicken broth if too thick.
- Add diced peppers just before serving for the popper "crunch". Garnish with reserved diced peppers.