Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

My friend Sharon has a Cinco de Mayo party each year. It’s always a lot of fun and there are some great memories and stories of previous parties. I made these bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers for this year’s party.

8-10 large Jalapeño Peppers
8 ounces Cream Cheese (1 package), at room temperature
12 ounces of finely shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese - divided
(can also use Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 pound hardwood smoked regular sliced Bacon (1 pound has approximately 16-18 slices)

Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl combine together the cream cheese, 8 ounces cheddar & Monterey jack cheese, and garlic powder. Mix until blended and manageable.

Rinse the jalapenos and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and veins with a paring knife or spoon. Rinse off any remaining seeds. If you like the heat and hot foods leave in the veins and seeds.

Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture. Fill full but do not over mound the cheese mixture. Wrap each stuffed jalapeno with a slice of bacon. Start at the top of the jalapeno and wrap around the jalapeno slightly overlapping the bacon. Try and encase the jalapeno and cheese mixture as much as possible. Skewer or toothpick the wrapped jalapenos if needed.

Place the wrapped jalapenos on a rack on a baking sheet. Do not crowd or have them touching on the rack. Lightly sprinkle the top of each jalapeno with more finely shredded cheese.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes until the tops are lightly browned. Watch the jalapenos in the last few minutes of cooking. They can go from done to bursting cheese mixture very quickly.

Carefully remove from oven (there will be hot bacon fat in the baking sheet), allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a platter lined with paper towel to drain.

Makes 16-20 bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers

I leave the stems on. If you remove them don’t cut off the entire top of the jalapeno.

Caution: Jalapenos can cause burning sensations on the skin. Wear rubber gloves if you have sensitivity skin and keep away from the face and eyes. Do you touch your face or eyes for several hours after working with jalapenos. Wash hands thoroughly after finished handling peppers.

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