Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Pepper Poppers

Have I ever mentioned that I love jalapeno pepper poppers?  No?  Well, I do!  They are a particular weakness of mine.  I think that I could eat them every night for dinner and not get tired of them.  So, if regular pepper poppers are good, what could make them better?  Let's the deep-fried crispy crust for bacon and throw it on the grill!  Bingo, we have a winner!  I mean, really, is there anything that bacon doesn't make better?!  Can't think of anything?  No, me either.

I realize that I am not the first one to think of putting bacon on pepper poppers, or even the first one to grill them, but I like to think that these have my own little touch.  I chose not to go with just a cheddar or cream cheese filling, but mixed the two together and added a few other things to create a delicious little treat.

Here's your Cast of Characters.

12 - 14 Large jalapenos
6 - 8 slices of bacon (half of the amount of peppers) - cut in half
1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 Cup chopped cilantro
1 Tsp. Lawry's season salt
1/2 Tsp. Pepper
1 8 - Oz. tub cream cheese with onions and chives

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together cheeses, cilantro, Lawry's and pepper.

It will smell really good, but try not to eat it straight from the bowl!

Next, take a pepper and slice it length-wise.  Remove seeds and membranes.  You don't want these to be so spicy that you can't taste the filling.

(Sorry the photo is a little blurry.  My daughter was helping me out by taking pictures while my hands were messy.  She's only 12, but usually does a great job.  I think she was just too excited to start eating them that she rushed the photo.)

Spoon filling into each side, being careful not to overfill.

Press the halves together, and wrap with a half-slice of bacon, securing with a toothpick.

Continue with remaining peppers.

Place a large piece of foil on the grill, then heat to between 375 - 400 degrees.  Put peppers on foil, with a little bit of space between them.

Turn frequently to brown bacon evenly and cook the peppers through.  It should take about 10 - 15 minutes.

You want the pepper skins to start browning a little and loosen.  That's when they are perfect!