Monday, July 04, 2016

Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

I'm a big fan of stuffed jalapeño peppers.  They may be one of the most perfect appetizers.  Spicy chile?  Check.  Creamy, cheesy interior?  Check.  Meaty, fatty, smoky bacon?  Check.  And now that I have a new fun toy to play with (hello, pepper roasting stand!), I have an excuse to make these dang things all summer.  Can one get sick of stuffed peppers?  I'm betting the answer

Note:  The red, orange, and yellow peppers in the photo are actually small sweet peppers that I mixed in since I brought these to a party with children, and I'm all about being kid friendly.

Stuffed Jalapeño Peppers

25 to 30 large jalapeño peppers
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
¾ cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack, plus additional for the tops
4 green onions, white and light green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons diced pimento
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon mesquite smoke powder or liquid smoke
½ slice of applewood smoked bacon for each pepper

Slice the top off of each jalapeño pepper and use a corer to remove the ribs and seeds.  In the bowl of a blender with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese with ¾ cup shredded Cheddar, green onion, pimento, seasoned salt, and mesquite smoke powder until smooth.  Stuff each jalapeño to the top with the cheese mixture.  Wrap each pepper with half a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.  Stand each pepper upright in a jalapeño grill rack and top each one with a pinch of shredded cheese.  Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

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