Cheesy, crispy, crunchy jalapeno poppers; oh and did we mention they're also stuffed with bacon? You're welcome.
Tortilla chips, jalapeno poppers, and BACON. Yup, these are pretty much the most perfect appetizer. Ever.
To make these, grab a couple of bags of Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips. There are countless flavors you could try, but I decided to check out guacamole and sweet potato. The guacamole chips have some kick to them and lend well to the Southwestern flavors of the jalapenos. The sweet potato pairs well with the goat cheese and balances out the spiciness of the jalapenos. Finely crush the chips (a food processor works best for this) and set aside.
Stem the peppers and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds as well. I highly recommend wearing gloves for this, as the jalapenos can easily irritate your eyes and skin. Also, I’ve found a serrated grapefruit spoon works great for this process.
I love the tangy and creamy taste of chevre (goat cheese) paired with cream cheese. I used those, along with some shredded jack cheese (though any mild white cheese would probably work) and some crumbled bacon and spices.
Mash everything together with a fork until well combined (it’s easiest if the cheeses are at room temperature).
Spoon fill into the pepper halves and set aside. (Gloves still a good idea here.) Depending on the size of your peppers, you may have some filling left over. If so, it’s delicious on extra Food Should Taste Good chips. Just sayin’.
Now it’s time to get your assembly line ready to go. I happen to own these adorable breading pans that I use precisely for this type of thing (and for jelly shots, but that’s another story). If you don’t have breading pans, just use three shallow dishes. In the first dish, add the flour and season with salt and pepper. In the second dish, whisk together eggs and olive oil (the oil will help brown the breading in the oven since we’re not frying these). In the third dish, place your chip crumbs. (If you are doing two flavors, only put in one kind at a time.)
Bread peppers in this order: Flour, egg wash, chip crumbs. Place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
This is an optional step, but a delicious one. Drizzle reserved bacon grease over the top of the peppers before they go in the oven. Alternately, you can drizzle a little olive oil over the top or just skip this step completely.
Bake in a 350ºF oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and cheese is starting to ooze out. You can cook for less time if you would rather the cheese didn’t do this. Allow to cool for a couple minutes on the pan, then enjoy!
Jaymee Sire is an Emmy award-winning sports anchor by day and food blogger by night. (Or sometimes vice-versa depending on the sports schedule). You can check out more of Jaymee’s delicious creations on her alphabet-themed food blog, e is for eat.