I thought I’d make the last post of the season hot – like “bring a tear to your eye” hot! So let’s talk Jalapeno Poppers! These lil babies are perfect for end-of-year parties at work or for a southern NYE party. They pair great with tamales or can make a fun alternative for them. Just a word for the wise… wear gloves for goodness sakes when cleaning them; they don’t play around and will burn your skin! As a past roommate who once found me crying over my red blistered hands screamed at me “Porque no tienes guantes puestos muchacha loca?!” Translation: “WTF stupid white girl?!” In her defense, she was grabbing the milk to soak my hands while screaming this at me. Yes, milk has never been so heavenly! #loveyoucarmen
· Fresh Jalapenos (12)
· 1 package of Cream Cheese (full fat if serving to company, reduced fat for a night in)
· 1 package of Bacon (sub for turkey bacon for a lighter version)
· Sharp cheddar cheese ½ cup
· Chili powder 2 tsp
· Garlic Salt 1 tsp
· Paprika ½ tsp
· Broiler pan
Make sure the cream cheese is out (trust me, you will thank me later! It mixes much better when is not straight from the fridge)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Cleaning the peppers:
As previously stated now is a good time to put your gloves on!!
Cut the stem side of the pepper off, now slice the pepper down the middle horizontally (hot dog style, not hamburger). Next take a spoon or knife and scoop out the seeds, the more seeds and stem you leave, the hotter the popper, so beware and scoop well! I love spicy food but there is a difference between “oh man that’s hot” and “THAT’S ATOMIC EVEN MY LIPS ARE ON FIRE!” Now rinse the poppers once cut to help remove the remaining seeds and set to the side to dry.
Now let’s get cheesy (yes I went there… I almost always go there actually).
Take your room temperature (or close) cream cheese, add in your spices and the sharp cheddar and mix. The hard part is not stopping at this point and retiring to the couch with a spoon and your spicy cream cheese mix… don’t judge me.
Now to make the poppers (gloves still on, people):
Scoop some of the cream cheese mixture into the pepper until its level with the sides of the cut jalapeno. Now take one piece of bacon and wrap it around – it should stick to its self once wrapped around, but if not a good old toothpick always works! Place on the broiler pan and repeat until done. Pop in the oven until the edges of the pepper start to look soft and the bacon is cooked (30ish min depending on your oven). Feel free to put the oven on broil for a minute if you like your bacon crispier.
Once out of the oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes then plate ‘em up!! I serve these lil bacon wrapped bundles of joy with a big side of ranch dip (it’s a southern thing, everything goes with ranch). Whether you are pairing these with a Mexican style NYE with tamales and queso, or just making them for a work potluck, they are sure to steal the show!
Here’s to a hot and spicy start to the new year!!