Correct me if I'm wrong, but when most people think of a jalapeno popper, they think of a large, breaded, deep-fried thing filled with cheese.
Now, there's a place and time for such a thing. Namely, if you're at a chain restaurant.
But we can do better at home, people. SO much better. And we don't have to break out the deep fryer! All we have to do is fire up the grill.
That's right. This jalapeno popper recipe
is made for the grill!
Before you even touch a jalapeno for this recipe, get out a big bowl, fill it with hot water and throw in some toothpicks.
I mention this because if you don't soak these guys, they will burn in an instant on the grill. They'll probably burn a little no matter what, but you should be able to handle them if you soak them first.
So get that out of the way.
Now, traditionally, poppers are filled with some bland yellow cheese. Again, we can do better than that. I like to use cream cheese with my poppers. It melts really well and is easy to mix with other ingredients.
Speaking of other ingredients, my favorites at the moment for this recipe are a big pinch of chili powder and a squeeze of honey. The chili pepper brings out the heat in the peppers and the sweet honey works great with the bacon/pepper combo.
Once your filling is mixed up, take each pepper, chop off the stem and cut it down the center. Scoop out all the seeds and fill each half full with the cream cheese mixture.
Then press the pepper back together and scrape off any extra cheese that squirted out. You should have a pretty tight seal.
Now for the good part. The bacon part!
Take a strip of bacon and wrap it snugly around the pepper. Start at the top of the pepper where the stem used to be. You want to make sure that spot it covered so the cheese doesn't all fall out when grilling.
Once the bacon is wrapped around the pepper, secure it with a toothpick or two.
Time to grill!
You want to grill these guys over medium heat. Any higher and you run the risk of scorching the bacon before the pepper is done or heating the cheese so hot that it explodes out of the pepper.
Just a nice medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally, should do the trick.
As the poppers cook and the cheese melts inside, obviously you're going to lose some to the grill gods. Don't worry about it. There will be plenty in there still for eating.
When the bacon is crispy and the pepper soft, they're done!
I recommend letting them cool for 5 minutes before biting into them.
These are not a single bite appetizer. Multiple bites will be necessary.
So there you go. Ditch the fryer and the bland cheese. Get with the grilling program and make some great poppers!
Nick cut his finger right before making these and only had Looney Tunes band-aids. Hence, the Looney Tunes band-aid. Check out his blog, Macheesmo and his Tablespoon profile.