Ham and Cheese Jalapeño Poppers

6 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces thick-cut ham, chopped
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup chopped pickles
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash paprika
8 fresh jalapeños, stemmed, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
5 cups buttery crackers, such as Ritz, ground in a food processor
oil, for frying

Combine the cream cheese, ham, Swiss, mozzarella, pickles, mustard, cayenne and paprika in a medium bowl.
Stuff the jalapeño halves with the filling and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Set up 3 bowls. In the first, mix together the flour with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper. In the second, beat the eggs with the milk, a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper. In the third, place the cracker crumbs.
Coat the stuffed peppers first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture and then in the cracker crumbs.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-frying thermometer registers 365 F.
Fry the stuffed jalapeños in batches until golden-brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per batch. Alternatively, you can bake the poppers in the oven at 350 F for 30 minutes.

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