If your area of the world is anything like the Mitten, you’re FINALLY experiencing some pleasant, summery weather. For weeks, our weather has been either insanely hot and muggy, or crazy torrential rain – or both – and this week, we’ve finally got some sunny, 80-ish days, with cool and refreshing evenings. It definitely makes the idea of being outside (and grilling!) much more appealing.
This recipe is a simple and delicious one – you can cook these little poppers right in your oven, or throw them on the grill if you’d prefer. They will disappear unbelievably fast, so once you think you have an idea of how many you should make? Double it.
recipe from here
18 jalapenos, halved, seeds and ribs removed
1 package cream cheese (full fat or light)
1lb bacon (about 12-15 slices), cut into thirds
1.) Rinse your jalapeños, and then cut the stem end off, and slice them in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scrape out the seeds and ribs.
2.) Once your jalapeños are all prepped, use a butter knife to spread a couple teaspoons worth of cream cheese into the center of each one. Set them aside as you go.
3.) Now, for the bacon! Take each 1/3 slice of bacon, and wrap it around the cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno, making sure the ends overlap on either the top or bottom of the pepper. Secure with a toothpick, making sure to get both ends of the bacon, and go all the way through the pepper.
4.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (make SURE the pan you use has sides – otherwise the bacon grease will drip into the bottom of your oven and create a huge mess). If you have one, set a baking/cooling rack inside the baking sheet – lay the jalapeños out in a single layer on the sheet or rack. Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and crispy, using the broiler in the last minute or so if needed. If you want to grill these, they’ll cook faster, but you’ll need to flip them once the first side has browned and the bacon has crisped.
5.) If you did not use a baking rack in your baking sheet, remove the jalapeños to some paper towel and let the extra grease drain off. Serve warm.
For something so simple, these are mighty delicious! I have made them for tons of parties over the years, and even when I make what I think is a TON (like, 4-5 dozen)… they are GONE before I know what happened! The prep work can be a little time intensive – but if you do everything in batches (slices all the jalapeños at once, then scrape out all the seeds at once, then stuff them all with cream cheese, etc), it goes by pretty quickly. Be prepared for people to ask you to make these constantly!
Now, a quick aside: jalapeños (and any other hot pepper) can give you some pretty wicked pepper burns on your hands (and consequently, any other part of your body you touch while the oils are on your skin). If you have extremely sensitive skin, you’ll want to wear some gloves while you handle them. If you don’t wear gloves, stop and wash your hands frequently – and whatever you do, DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE. Despite the fact that I’ve handled MANY a hot pepper in my life, I am still kind of an idiot and rarely wear gloves. Which means I often wake up in the middle of the night, after having dealt with some peppers, thinking my arms are on fire. It’s a highly unpleasant feeling. In my experience, none of the traditionally recommended remedies helped me when it came to pepper burns – no variety of dairy products would ease the pain. The only thing that would help was just keeping my hands under freezing cold running water, which is not super conducive to sleeping or doing anything else.
Right before I made this last batch of bacon-wrapped jalapeños (which were so damn hot I was coughing up a lung just from the SMELL of the seeds and ribs), I happened to read an odd recommendation regarding pepper burns: mustard. Any variety. So, when my hands essentially lit themselves on fire just from being in the same room with these peppers, I gave it a shot – I whipped out the jar of dijon mustard, spread it all over my hands, and let it sit for about 3 minutes. The burning continued while the mustard was on my hands, but then, when I washed it off, the burning started to ease. I made sure to wash my hands in VERY cold water, keeping them under the water for a full minute or so… and then pain went away. Like, completely. And at three in the morning, when some other parts of my hands and arms decided to issue their delayed reaction to the peppers – it worked again! So, weird though it may be, next time you burn yourself with peppers, try mustard. You can either thank me later, or curse me for wasting half your jar of delicious dijon mustard.
Who knew mustard was delicious AND medicinal?