Scorpion Tails With Pequillo Pepper Sauce

"by Paula Disbrowe The jalapeños will be easier to fill if you allow the cream cheese mixture to chill for at least 30 minutes before assembling. They will hold their shape better under the broiler if they are covered and chilled again before cooking. For the best flavor the entire jalapeño should be cooked throughout until it's drab."
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  • Slice the stems off of the jalapeños and reserve near their bottom (so you can reassemble later). Using a paring knife, slice a vertical V-shaped opening into the side of each pepper. Using your fingers, gently spread the opening and use a paring knife to remove the pepper's ribs and seeds. Repeat process with remaining peppers.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the Neufchatel at medium-high speed, just to soften. Add the cotija, corn, egg, garlic, and basil and beat at a low speed until blended. Cover filling with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to several hours).
  • Using a butter knife, fill each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of cheese filling. Top pepper with stem (frost the stem with filling so it will adhere to the pepper, if necessary) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining peppers. Cover sheet with plastic and refrigerate peppers at least one hour before broiling.
  • Meanwhile, place the drained pequillo peppers, olive oil, and sherry wine vinegar in a blender and puree. Transfer puree to a small saucepan. Heat gently just before serving peppers.
  • Just before serving, turn on broiler and place an oven rack on its highest shelf. Place the sheet of peppers under the broiler and cook until blistered (but not overly blackened). If the bottoms of the peppers are still green, reduce heat to 200°, place peppers on a lower oven rack, and finish warming through. To serve, spread a few tablespoons of the warmed pequillo sauce onto a small plate. Place two peppers on each plate and serve.

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