Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers


This recipe was written for my Foodie Column for the April 7th edition of my local newspaper, The Hinton Voice. 

[When I was growing up, my Dad used to make jalapeño poppers
whenever a reason to make appetizers came around.  Christmas, Easter, the Super Bowl… you name it, we were having jalapeño poppers.  

They take very little effort to throw together, yet taste like a dream, and are fancy enough to make for nearly any occasion.

Dad’s favourite combination was always a mixture of crab and horseradish (see chart below), though I’ve since made them with everything from freshly chopped fruit to plain cream cheese topped with buttery breadcrumbs.  As long as you start with a base of cream cheese, it’s really easy to get creative from there.

The fillings for these poppers also work really well with mushrooms (or so I hear, since you generally won’t see mushrooms anywhere in my vicinity).  Often times Dad would take the filling for the poppers and place them inside of mushroom caps (to which, I would only eat the filling and discard the mushroom, much to his dismay).  Needless to say, my feelings for mushrooms still haven’t changed, but these poppers are definitely around to stay.]

Recipe makes 1 dozen

Ingredients
- 6 large jalapeños
- 1 (6oz) container of cream cheese  
- filling of choice (see side chart for inspiration)
- 1 lb bacon (not thick cut)

Filling Options
- 2-3 cloves crushed garlic +
  fresh herbs (chives, basil, oregano)
- ½ cup cheddar (or other cheese)
- ½ cup crab + 1 tbsp horseradish
- ½ ripe mango, or peach chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with Silpat (or parchment paper). 

Using gloves (trust me, don’t skip the gloves) cut jalapeños in half, and use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds.

Combine cream cheese and fillings of your choice.  It helps if you use room temperature cream cheese for this step.

Scoop cream cheese filling into jalapeños, being careful not to overfill (I generally have about a tbsp or so of filling leftover).

Wrap each jalapeño half with a piece of raw bacon (don’t wrap too tightly as the bacon will shrink once it cooks).

Bake for 30 minuets or so, or until the bacon is cooked.

Serve either hot or cold.

Photobucket

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