When I asked my brother what he was bringing to my party, and he said “beer and jalapeño poppers,” I thought he was joking around. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t like fried jalapeños stuffed with cheese, but I figured he was being ironic in an I’m-bringing-over-Bagel-Bites sort of way.
He wasn’t. He and his girlfriend brought homemade jalapeños poppers, wrapped in bacon. Then, sparking everyone’s oohs and ahhs, they put them on the barbecue:
These refined poppers took a long, torturous while to cook, and they went really fast. I could only land one, but it made a serious impression. The fire-roasted Anaheim chile stays moist and holds it own against the salty sweetness of the browned bacon. The cream cheese and Pepper Jack that’s stuffed into the chile inevitably, and thankfully, comes pouring out onto the surface while the popper is barbecued, grilling to a lovely crisp.
Here’s what you need:
20 Jalapenos or Anaheim chili peppers
1/2 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 1/2 cups of Monterrey Jack or Pepper Jack for extra spice (shredded)
12 slices of thick-cut bacon (I prefer apple smoked and nitrate-free)
Here’s how you do it:
1. Slice open (longways) each pepper–don’t cut in half, just open enough to core and seed it.
2. Blend cream cheese and shredded cheese.
3. Fill each pepper withe cheese blend.
4. Wrap each pepper with a slice of uncooked bacon, secure with a toothpick.
5. Place on grill, allow all sides to cook thoroughly. Remember this is bacon, so it needs to be fully cooked.