Thursday, July 28, 2011
Stuffed Jalapeno Pepper Poppers= yummy goodness!!
Okay this is a post about a super easy appetizer that is way better than those restaurant pepper poppers you can buy. My very sweet aunt Margie showed me how to make this a few weeks ago, and they were a huge hit with my wonderful husband. We grow jalapeno peppers in our garden and they are always one of the things that are a great producer for us. Not much else works out for us except okra, but I digress. Here is how you make this super yummy treat. Bet you can't eat just one.
Okay, buy a bunch of large jalapeno peppers. If you are feeding a small crowd you are going to need a lot of these. For two people, about a dozen or so.
BACON (4 strips per dozen peppers)
Cheddar cheese, you can use grated or buy a block and cut off 1/4 inch thick slabs.
STEP 1: Take the peppers and slice them in half lengthwise. Don't worry about cutting off the stems. They make great little handles for later. De-seed the peppers with a small paring knife, or if you are brave, use your fingers. You want to get out the membrane and the seeds. Leave a few seeds on if you want them to taste hotter. Beware, just a couple of stray seeds can make these babies HOT!!!
STEP 2: Really this should be your first step and it can be cooking as you do step 1. (I don't claim to be a regular food blogger so pardon my order here.) You need to fry up about 4-6 slices of bacon till it is crisp. I buy the thick sliced bacon and simply peel off the number of strips I need in a stack and take a sharp knife and cut them into pieces. Then I fry them up till crisp. Drain on a paper towel. (My aunt cuts the slices of bacon into about 3 pieces and fries them that way.) Don't discard the bacon grease. You need it for the next step. It really makes these poppers taste better.
STEP 3: Keep that bacon fat in the pan. Depending on how much you cooked up you may need to drain off some. You want grease to cover the bottom of the pan, but you don't want it to be more than coated. Your peppers shouldn't swim in the pan. Place the peppers in the pan skin side down and let cook till they blister and sort of color (brown) on the bottom. Turn and cook the inside for a minute or two. Peppers will soften, but you don't want them mushy.
STEP 4: You can do this last step one of two ways. You can take the peppers out of the skillet and slightly drain them on a paper towel. Then place them on a foil lined cookie sheet and top with cheese and bacon. Bake at 300 F for 5-10 min. till cheese is melted. Or broil them slightly till melted but beware of leaving them too long. They will burn.
Or you can place the cheese and bacon on them in the skillet and let them cook a little more till the cheese melts. If you do this method I would suggest cooking a little less in Step 3 on the skin side.
Serve these babies warm to your guests. They are sure to disappear fast. And then everyone will beg you to share the recipe.
Beware of eating straight from the pan or oven cause they will be HOT!!!! Like temperature hot, not so much spicy hot. Although these little beauties do pack a bit of a spicy punch. My husband loves me when I make these for him. He likes hot stuff. Not that he doesn't love me normally. Just sayin'. :)