Here in Knoxville, Tennessee fans are still pumped about the season’s BIG opening win against Utah State last Saturday — what a great way to start football season! Tomorrow when the Vols face Arkansas State in Neyland Stadium there is sure to be some epic tailgating going on all over campus, so I thought I’d share the recipe for Bacon Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers. These are one of our new favorite game day appetizers thanks to Lindsay (our daughter), who made them last weekend for our VOL party.
Bacon Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers are easy to put together, but be sure to wear disposable gloves when slicing and coring the peppers otherwise you may experience a little heat…OK, those fingers WILL definitely sting! Be careful not to touch your eyes or mouth after prepping the peppers if you don’t wear gloves…trust me on this…just wear gloves, alright? Now, that the disclaimer is out of the way, don’t let it scare you, because these little poppers are delicious! Once you’ve seeded and removed the veins from the jalapeños there doesn’t end up being that much heat in the final dish, but there’s plenty of flavor. How can they be anything but delicious when they’re wrapped in bacon?
After coring and seeding the peppers, fill them with the cheese mixture and wrap with thick sliced bacon, securing with toothpicks. The original recipe by The Kitchn suggested lining a baking sheet with foil, but Lindsay also added wire racks on top to keep the poppers from sticking and to allow more heat to circulate during baking. She may also have used a bit more bacon…no complaining about that! If you like bacon and you like cheese and you like a little spice, make these poppers! Go BIG ORANGE!
- 12 large jalapeño peppers
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 12 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half into lengthwise strips
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- Slice each jalapeño in half lengthwise. Wearing disposable gloves, remove the core of the jalapeño and scrape out all of the seeds with paring knife.
- Place the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, cumin, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat on medium-low speed to combine. (This can also be done by hand.) Generously stuff each pepper with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture.
- In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a generous amount of panko mixture over each stuffed pepper.
- Wrap a strip of bacon twice around each pepper, allowing a few inches of bacon to hang off each side. (The bacon will shrink as it cooks.) Secure with a toothpick, if necessary, to hold the bacon in place.
- At this point, the poppers can be covered and refrigerated until serving, up to three days.
- Place the poppers on a sheet pan with the peppers on their backs and the cheesy filling facing up, like bowls. Bake until peppers are tender and the bacon begins to crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. (For darker, very crisp bacon, finish off under the broiler for a minute or two.) Cool the poppers for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe by The Kitchn (a really cool web magazine).
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 438mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g