New Mexico Firecrackers

 Ingredients Pear Salsa
1 cup (2) firm pears, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons red, yellow and green bell peppers, chopped
2 teaspoons Anaheim chiles, toasted, peeled, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons scallion tops, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Firecrackers
1/4 cup La VacaRica brand Cotija, grated
3/4 cup La VacaRica brand Asadero, shredded
1/4 cup La VacaRica brand Añejo Enchilado, crumbled
4 ounce boneless chicken breast, skinned, halved
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
18 peperoncinis
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
18 (17x12-inch) sheets (one pound) phyllo dough
36 fresh chives, blanched (To blanch chives, place chives in boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove chives, drain)



Instructions 1. To make salsa, combine all Pear Salsa ingredients in small bowl. Stir until well mixed; set aside.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine cheeses in small bowl; set aside.
4. Cut chicken into 18 (1/4 ounce) pieces. Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt.
5. Cut tops off peperoncinis and remove seeds.
6. Put 1/4 ounce cheese mixture and one piece chicken into each peperoncini. Set aside.
7. Brush 6 sheets phyllo with melted butter; stacking sheets on top of each other. Cut phyllo into thirds in the width, and in half lengthwise to form 6 portions. Place one peperoncini one inch from narrow edge of piece of phyllo. Roll phyllo around peperoncini. Twist ends to seal.
8. Repeat with remaining phyllo and peperoncinis.
9. Place firecrackers on greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown.
10. Tie twisted ends of firecrackers with blanched chives. Serve Firecrackers with Pear Salsa. Makes 18 appetizers with 1-1/3 cup salsa.