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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Well I'm certainly not the originator of this recipe... but I was glad to be a recipient!  This is a balanced mouthful of hot, sweet, creamy, crunchy, smokey goodness!  Great for watching that big football game.

This is a GALLON sized zip top bag full of jalapeños!  That's a lot of collective heat!!  The lady that keeps my two toddlers during the day has them growing in her garden and keeps me stocked up.  (Hey... every little bit helps with that grocery bill!). Jalapeños freeze wonderfully - you don't need to cut them or anything.  Just throw them whole into the freezer.
  
So this afternoon, I decided to make bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers.  Mmmm.  I took out 18 peppers for this recipe.
To get the ice crystals off, I just gave them a quick bath in a bowl of cool water.  Easy enough, huh?
So at this point.... maybe it would be a good idea to put on a pair of latex gloves.  You'll thank me later.  The heat won't get you right away; but in about an hour, it'll start creeping in on you.... and set up house for several hours. 

Next, first, cut the peppers in half.  Try to cut "through" the stem.  It looks prettier and gives you a handy dandy little handle to pick them up with when they're done.
Pull out all the seeds and the white membrane.  If you want them to be spicier, feel free to leave as much of this in as you desire... but these are home grown peppers and they didn't need any help with getting hotter!

Notice this is NOT a gloved hand.  That's why I'm forewarning you to wear gloves.
Next, I soaked the gutted peppers in milk for a a while - I actually just dropped them in as I went along.  I wanted to remove a bit more of the bite from these hot beauties.
Now comes the filling:
  • one package of cream cheese
  • one granny smith apple
  • a nice handful of fresh green onions
Chop the apples to a small-medium dice.  I know at this point some of you are scoffing at the addition of the apple.  Don't.  It's darned good in there!
Chop the green onions fairly small.  I make quick work of this with my kitchen shears... which I use ALL of the time.  This is much easier than chopping them with a knife. (Did I mention how much money you can save by growing your own green onions?  You almost can't kill them.)
Mix.
Fill. (Heap!)
Wrap.
For this recipe, I used a maple flavored bacon.  Cutting each strip of bacon into thirds was just about the right length to wrap the peppers.

Secure with a toothpick.  Do not wrap them too tight - as the bacon with contract during baking.
This makes a bunch - so choose a nice sized pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  Yes - it does take a long time, but you don't want soggy bacon.   It should be nice and brown and crispy and fragrant.
Let them sit for about 10 minutes.
Yum!  

Written Method:

This is a GALLON sized zip top bag full of jalapeños!  That's a lot of collective heat!!  The lady that keeps my two toddlers during the day has them growing in her garden and keeps me stocked up.  (Hey... every little bit helps with that grocery bill!). Jalapeños freeze wonderfully - you don't need to cut them or anything.  Just throw them whole into the freezer.

So this afternoon, I decided to make bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers.  Mmmm.  I took out 18 peppers for this recipe.

To get the ice crystals off, I just gave them a quick bath in a bowl of cool water.  Easy enough, huh?

So at this point.... maybe it would be a good idea to put on a pair of latex gloves.  You'll thank me later.  The heat won't get you right away; but in about an hour, it'll start creeping in on you.... and set up house for several hours. 

Next, first, cut the peppers in half.  Try to cut "through" the stem.  It looks prettier and gives you a handy dandy little handle to pick them up with when they're done.

Pull out all the seeds and the white membrane.  If you want them to be spicier, feel free to leave as much of this in as you desire... but these are home grown peppers and they didn't need any help with getting hotter!

Notice this is NOT a gloved hand.  That's why I'm forewarning you to wear gloves.

Next, I soaked the gutted peppers in milk for a a while - I actually just dropped them in as I went along.  I wanted to remove a bit more of the bite from these hot beauties.

Now comes the filling:
  • one package of cream cheese
  • one granny smith apple
  • a nice handful of fresh green onions

Chop the apples to a small-medium dice.  I know at this point some of you are scoffing at the addition of the apple.  Don't.  It's darned good in there!

Chop the green onions fairly small.  I make quick work of this with my kitchen shears... which I use ALL of the time.  This is much easier than chopping them with a knife. (Did I mention how much money you can save by growing your own green onions?  You almost can't kill them.)

Mix.

Fill. (Heap!)

Wrap.
For this recipe, I used a maple flavored bacon.  Cutting each strip of bacon into thirds was just about the right length to wrap the peppers.

Secure with a toothpick.  Do not wrap them too tight - as the bacon with contract during baking.

This makes a bunch - so choose a nice sized pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  Yes - it does take a long time, but you don't want soggy bacon.   It should be nice and brown and crispy and fragrant.

Let them sit for about 10 minutes.

Food Notes:
The larger peppers are often milder (less hot) than the small baby ones.  If you are growing your own, you can let them mature (they will turn red) into a sweeter, milder version. - the mellow in their old age compared to the hot tempered adolescent ones!

Also - let them sit out (uncovered) to serve.  The air helps the bacon to maintain its crispness.  If you put them in something airtight, the bacon will soften up.  That will still be okay, but the crisp bacon is much better.

Although I'm usually a huge advocate of cooking with your kids, I don't recommend it for this recipe.  It drove my daughter absolutely nuts that she couldn't help with this.  I was very concerned that she would touch something that had been in contact with the peppers then rub her eye or something.  And these peppers are just way too hot for little ones to be handling.

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