Impress your buddies at your next BBQ with easy to make, but fricken awesome cream cheese filled jalapeno bacon poppers. Pay attention to the warnings below about when you are handling the peppers.
What you need:
1 – pack of sliced bacon (uncooked, approximately 12 pieces)
12 – medium sized jalapeno peppers (or enough for 1 per slice of bacon in the bacon package)
1 – 8 ounce pack of cream cheese
12 – toothpicks (or enough for the number of peppers you are preparing)
Rubber gloves or Ziploc bags to use on your hands during preparation
What you need to do.
Put on rubber gloves or use plastic baggies such as ziplock bags to keep the peppers and the insides of the peppers from coming into contact with your skin. The oils from the peppers is strong and will stay in your skin for a little while.
Take a sharp knife and cut the ends out of the jalapeno peppers. Take a small knife such as a paring knife or butter knife and carefully insert it through the hole at the top of the jalapeno and turn it to scrape the seeds out. Run the peppers under water to rinse off any seeds that may be left inside the pepper.
Warning: Just a a good suggestion when cleaning out the inside of the peppers. Make sure you do this under running water because the twisting of the knife inside the jalapenos releases these hellacious microspores of hell that when inhaled will cause you to get a runny nose, have slight problems breathing and your eyes will start to tear up pretty bad. It is basically like getting pepper sprayed by the cops.
Jalapenos typically range from mild to hot (2500 to 8000 scoville units in heat). The hotness of the pepper depends both on the cultivation and the preparation. If the peppers are used for this recipe and the seeds are discarded, the pepper will taste similar to a green pepper with just a little extra kick to it. If after making your first batch you decide it needs to be a little spicer, chop up a small portion of the seeds that you scraped out and add them into the cream cheese further down in the recipe.
Your cream cheese should not be so cold that it is hard to work with. If needed, let the cream cheese get closer to room temperature so the cheese can be packed into the pepper more easily. Cut off a strip of cream cheese and while holding a finger over the small opening of the pepper, push the cream cheese into the pepper to fill it. You can always add some shredded chedder cheese to the cream cheese, mix it together in a bowl and use that in the pepper, the possibilities are endless.
Take a strip of bacon and cover one end of the pepper and stretch it over the end so it covers the hole pretty good and tight. Wrap the bacon around the pepper as shown in the photo and secure it with a toothpick by pushing the toothpick all the way through the pepper to secure the bacon on two sides.
We recommend using one toothpick on each pepper. As the peppers cook on the grill, the toothpicks run the risk of burning down. If you have a few peppers that you had to use an extra toothpick on, your buddies may not know that and when they remove what they think is the only toothpick and bite down, they may be in for one hell of a surprise and may require a trip to the hospital to remove the tooth pick from their throat.
Lay the peppers on the grill and occasionally rotate them to cook the bacon. As the bacon cooks, it will shrink and tighten on the ends of the peppers, helping to hold the cream cheese in place. some cream cheese will sneak out of the pepper, this is normal as the cream cheese heats up on the grill.
For the record, when we have family and friends over for a BBQ, we usually have to make 50 or 60 of these. They go fast and everyone seems to love them. they are even good the following day if you put them in the refrigerator to keep them from spoiling. Try one cold, you may like it better that way.