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Make a T-shape cut in the side of each jalapeño; remove seeds and membranes.
Stir together Monterey Jack, cream cheese and cumin in a small bowl. Pack about 2 teaspoons of the filling into the cut in each jalapeño.
Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add beer (or milk). Beat until smooth.
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a heavy saucepan or deep-fat fryer, heat 2 inches cooking oil (or melted shortening) to 375°F. Dip stuffed peppers into batter. Fry jalapeños, several at a time, in hot fat for about 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a baking sheet; keep warm in oven while frying the remaining jalapeños. If desired, serve with salsa.