Tasty Tuesday December 23

Last week, when I was talking about slow cooking ribs, the picture I used included some jalapenos. This entry talks about those peppers. And there’s bacon involved.

Start out with 3-4 big jalapenos, 4 inches long or so. Using vinyl or latex gloves, cut the peppers in half and cut the seeds and ribs out of them. Set them aside. Take half a block of cream cheese, left out to soften and a half cup or so of grated cheese, a Mexican or taco blend is good or just good ole Cheddar. Mix the cheeses together and if you want to make things a little more interesting, add 1/4 teaspoon of the rib rub to the cheeses or add some chopped fresh oregano. You could even get really ambitious and cook up some sausage and crumble it into the cheese mix. Fill the jalapeño halves with the cheese mixture. Now, take some good regular slice bacon, thick slice won’t work here (and yes, there is not so good bacon) and cut the slices in half lengthwise. Wrap the bacon around the stuffed pepper and secure with a toothpick stuck all the way through it.
When the grill is hot and ribs resting comfortably in the heat, place the peppers on the grill. I sometimes give them a sample of heat on the cheese side to start the bacon crisping and then move them off the heat after a few minutes, or you can just put them on the far side of the grill, pepper side down, and ignore them for an hour or so. Cooking them so long with the cheeses in them seems to take most of the heat out of the peppers so even if you aren’t a fan of hot, spicy food, these are smoky, bacony, cheesy goodness. They do need to be cooked a long time to get the bacon crisp so this is not a side dish to plan with steaks or other quickly grilled meats.

This makes enough for 2-3 people, multiply as needed.

http://patronsofthepit.wordpress.com is where I got the original recipe for Jalapeño Poppers