Have you a love affair with jalapeños? I know plenty of people that do, although I am not among them. I think of the Jalapeño lovers in a clique that I’m not worthy of, nor interested in. So what do I do? I make them for other people. Mainly family people.
If it weren’t for my love for each family member that loves their spicy foods (especially in the form of a fresh pepper), I wouldn’t cross paths with any hot pepper really. I’m just not a fan. My palate can’t take the heat!
This day, it was requested that I bake these little green, breaded delights as well as wrapping them in bacon – my task was set in front of me, all the ingredients that I needed were delivered to me, including a noxious bag of little green gems that were sure to cause the eater tingling delight on their tongues, a deep satisfaction in their bellies and a little trouble a couple hours after consumption – so how could I say no?
I’ve noticed with many jalapeño poppers that the cream cheese and cheese filling are barely seasoned and I can’t imagine that the popper itself tastes too amazing, but is more of a vehicle to shovel spicy peppers with a good dab of barely seasoned cream cheese in. So I thought about it for awhile and came up with some seasonings that were sure to provide more palatable interest for the eater, including the tingling tongue effect that seems to be part of these coveted, culinary gems.
Three happy brothers-in-law, one happy father-in-law, one happy mother-in-law, and one happy husband!
That alone made my burning cuticles worth it in the end.
We also grilled some burgers for dinner, a meal that Emily discovered that she absolutely LOVES!! And I love that! As a part of the grilling duties, my two brothers-in-law were manning the grill and preparing all the burgers and noticed that I was taking (many) photographs of the jalapeños for my blog so periodically as they went along with their grilling adventure, they would shout out, “GRAB YOUR CAMERA!”
Haha! At least they are supportive! One in particular was very selective about which burgers I took photos of and the “ambiance” as well… here’s the results of their efforts!
- 20 jalapeños, halved, seeded and cored
- 16 oz of cream cheese, softened
- one package of bacon, strips sliced in half (you will need two packages if you plan to wrap them all in bacon)
- 1-1/2 C of shredded cheese of your choice (we used a cheddar and mozzarella blend)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1-1/2 C breadcrumbs, divided
- 2 TBS butter
- one egg
- 1/2 C flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, shredded cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper (to taste).
In a separate bowl, toss together Panko and half of the bacon bits.
Spoon the filling into each jalapeño cavity. Then top each jalapeno with a spoonful of the Panko and bacon bit mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet, cavity side up. Mist each of the jalapenos with olive oil (you can use a Misto) or cooking spray. Bake until the filling is melty and the Panko is golden, about 15-20 minutes. (If the Panko starts getting too brown too early, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of the jalapeno poppers.)
Remove from oven, and sprinkle with additional bacon bits. Serve immediately.